Race Car Build: E Production NC MX-5

Glen McCready, in his sophomore year campaigning his MX-5 in E Production, is targets the Runoffs

Glen McCready had been racing a Miata for a few years in NASA Performance Touring. When SCCA announced that the 2018 Runoffs were going to be in his backyard at Sonoma Raceway, he decided to make the jump into SCCA in E Production. But he didn’t take the route most do, nor the one you might expect of someone who had been racing a first-generation car.

“I’d previously been running with NASA in Performance Touring E, and improved that car into PTD – that was an NA with an NB motor in it,” McCready explains. “We figured we’d just move up the stack a little bit. The NC looked like a prime choice. When we looked at wheelbase and track, it looked like it was going to be much more stable than the older Miatas. With the option of 17-inch wheels, it seemed like the prime candidate to try to build an EP car and do some development.”

McCready introduced the car last year, but without a fully developed engine. Showing up at Willow Springs International Raceway for his first U.S. Majors Tour race of the season in March with a properly built engine, he ran away from the competition. Built by TC Design, the home of brothers Tony and Joe Colicchio, the car has been a steady work in progress.

“Glen came to us once he knew the 2018 Runoffs were going to be in our backyard and said, ‘OK, what do we want to build?’” says Tony Colicchio. “He has had many Miatas in the past, and we kind of figured that’s what he wanted to stay with, the Mazda brand. So we picked the NC. We looked at the power-to-weight, wheelbase and track width and also saw our friend Jessie Prather was having some good results with his, and started developing it. We built the car in 2016 and did development last year with the goal to win the Runoffs in 2018.”

Other than Prather’s build, however, there wasn’t much previous experience with the NC in E Production, so Colicchio started looking at some other racing categories.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of real data out there,” Colicchio says. “The only series that raced these at a really high level was the [IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge] series. All of their data doesn’t mean much to us, because we’re on a much different tire, we’re open cockpit and [have a] much different weight. Every thing we found out that were knowns became unknowns, because they just didn’t work as we started testing the car.

“It does kind of carry the standard Production stuff, so we do an open cockpit. All the suspension bushings have been put into a bearing; where we can have adjustability we have adjustability. We use the MCS Motion Control shocks – we’ve been a dealer with them since day one, we followed them over from Moton – so we have a knowledge with them and also a lot of knowledge with the Hoosier tire. Other little things, just kind of using known parts that we’ve used before with the Miata, and just tweaking them with what we learned with the NC package,” Colicchio adds.

One area where the car departs from the Production norms is the use of the Hoosier A7 D.O.T. autocross tire instead of the more common slicks. “If we can get away quick, we can put down some really fast laps in the beginning, or if we have a high-traffic situation in qualifying we can put down a lap quickly and get off track, whereas everyone else is fighting with each other trying to put down a lap,” Colicchio says.

McCready plans to stick with those Hoosiers and is looking forward to getting some testing in at Sonoma now that the car has a proper engine. As the car gets more sorted, it and McCready may very well turn out to be ones to watch come this year’s Runoffs.