Making the Move to STR – ND MX-5 Miata

It’s a rare occurrence when a stock vehicle can make you grin from ear to ear amid your morning commute. It’s an even more rare occasion when that same car can be transformed into a race car. For those who have experienced the 2018 MX-5 Miata (ND), it goes without saying that it’s just fun to drive.

The popularity of the ND has grown rapidly in autocross since its release in 2016. One of the most popular classes for the ND in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is C-Street, which provides a great entry point for racers who are new to the sport. Inevitably as time passes and autocrossers get the bug to go to build on their skill set, many make the move to Street Touring, with STR being the most popular. If that is you, or you want to start in STR, this article is for you.

Making the move to STR opens a variety of modifications and adds options that you can use to get the ideal setup for the car. Fortunately, we have done a lot of the work for you.  In 2016, Mazda Motorsports worked closely with championship racer Ron Bauer on the development of the ND in STR and dialed in just what you need to get track-ready.

The front sway bar. While the stock sway bar is great for street driving, it doesn’t provide you with any level of adjustment to handle different track conditions. Mazda Motorsports offers a competition two-piece adjustable sway bar, which has proven to assimilate well to the vehicle without putting extra strain on the sub-frame, unlike some aftermarket options that might be less expensive.

The springs and shocks (click here for video on shocks) from Mazda Motorsports are aggressive enough to handle the tight, quick turns of the cone maze, and are quickly and easily adjusted to drive home at the end of the day, if desired. Pair them with Eibach springs and you will be hugging the road with ease.

The brake pads. While we all like to go fast and rarely like to stop, it’s important to have a great set of brake pads. The right set of brake pads will allow you to time your braking differently and could shave off those valuable tenths. We recently added a line of pads from Pagid, which are being well received in the community and provide superior performance over stock pads. Prior to these pads becoming available Ron Bauer ran the Winmax W3 pads which are also a strong alternative for responsive braking.

The wheels. To top it all off, you can throw on a set of BBS wheels (standard on Club Trim Level NDs) or give your ND the MX-5 Cup car look with a set of Rays wheels. Not only are the Rays wheels a cost-effective option they are also lightweight at about 18 lbs. The Rays wheels have also been known to take a beating and keep on rolling. There have been instances where a Rays wheel was severely bent along several spots of the bead and still held air!

Here’s some articles that may be of interest to a first-timer. For more information on the parts we recommend for your ND MX-5 Miata in CS, please refer to the PDF below which details all the parts mentioned in this article.

STR parts list – PDF

Related articles (click any below):

2016 MX-5 STR Update #1: Crows Landing Championship Tour
2016 MX-5 STR Solo Development: Update #2
2016 MX-5 STR Update #2: Spring Nationals