The On Track Adventures of my ND 'Cup'

After the demise of my long term track car last year I am finally just two weeks away from my first TD in my ND2 at Castle Combe (9th June)

This will be my baseline TD from which I hope to build on and improve the set up.

Prep so far:

  • Cup Pack (minus wheel upgrade as I wanted to keep the 16’s) of aero kit, Bastuck exhaust, Eibach springs and alcantara.
  • First service completed yesterday at Mazda (I still need to find a local MX5 independent specialist in my area to look after it longer term)
  • Flyin’ Miata geo (1.8 deg camber front and rear, max caster, 0.05 deg toe in front and rear - 0.10 toe in total)

Apart from the above it is a totally standard 1.5 and still on the tyres supplied with the car. Really looking forward to some fun at Combe and if anyone else is there it would be great to say a socially distanced hi!

Will be very interested to hear your experiences :+1:

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So my 5’s first time on track yesterday on a very sunny day at Castle Combe (yes I may have a very tanned face now)

Key things I’ve taken away are;

  • The factory fit pads create a lot of dust. They also had faded more than I expected by the end of the day. I generally track my cars with standard pads and don’t experience fade. I am not heavy on the brakes.
    I will probably swap these for something aftermarket but not performance (it still stopped fine)

  • The body roll on the standard car is greatly improved with the Mazda/Eibach springs. However once on track and starting to push on, it becomes evident that springs alone are fine for the odd fun track day but to get near to some decent lap times additional roll reduction is needed. I’ve got a set of H&R anti roll bars and these will definitely be going on. (Although with less roll the TD photos will be less dramatic!)

  • The 1.5 engine is ample. No, I wasn’t worrying other cars as I would have in my previous 300bhp track car, but the power from the 1.5 is more than enough to have fun. I do not regret my engine choice at all. I also have no plans to turbo or supercharge it.

  • Standard fit tyres are great. I’ll probably move over to my preferred brand (Continental) when it’s time to change but the Advans did a fine job, it’s just personal preference in all honesty.

I’m quite happy with my baseline lap time of 1:35 ish (I submitted 1:35.671 to Fastest Laps and then typically went and did a 1:35.173 later in the day) Fastest Laps Combe LINK

I expect to be able to drop a couple of seconds quite easily with the ARB upgrade as I was spending a bit of time settling the car in to corners and through changes of direction.

I’ll pop up some pictures when they are available online (the track day was run by Opentrack who offer free photography) so for now here’s a picture of my car and my little tool tent :rofl:

EDIT: This was my first experience at Combe, and it was a nice circuit. Wide and lots of passing room. Quite easy to learn too so recommended :+1:


Good feedback, I had the lowering springs on my 1.5 to improve the handling (roll) and they were great for the road, never tempted to take it on the track.

I agree the 1.5 engine is a peach and thrives on being worked… The ND2 engine 2.0 revs quite well now compared to the ND 2.0 though still not quite as nicely as the 1.5. With the 2.0 you’re exercising a different part of the rev range usually or else travelling really quite rapidly.

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Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jealous!
Glad you had a great day, and don’t rue the very significant power-drop.
Personally, 130bhp-ish from my 1.8 Mk1 is wasted on my talent-level… but I still have a grin like a Cheshire cat.

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There were a couple of moments where I may have wanted the old car to chase down some of the flashy stuff that was there that day, but in reality I got more space to myself which was more valuable…because my MX5 doesn’t have a millionty-twelve bhp and people just blat past it on the straights it meant I could just get on and have a nice time :slight_smile:

I’ve got Llandow next in the diary, and have lap times from my two previous track cars there, so it will be interesting to see how far off the mark the MX5 is. If I can get close to a minute lap I’ll be pleased

Finally got round to starting the download of my on board videos.

Here’s the first.

Do bear in mind that this was my first time at Combe and I’m used to the lines of a 300bhp track car :rofl:

1.5 ND at Combe


So the next track day is on the 24th August at Anglesey (if they let us in!) and in preparation I’ve fitted some H&R anti roll bars, and Paco Motorsports reinforcement brackets.

The car corners much flatter and turn in is quicker, so I’m looking forward to testing it out properly on track :slight_smile:


Looks good, I’m going to do Meister R coilovers, Paco re-inforcement and Eibach Roll bars for when the car is back on the road next year.

So far I’ve found the Mazda optioned lowering springs to be good enough without going full upgraded suspension. The ARBs having the biggest impact so far.
It’s going to be interesting at Anglesey as the elevation changes, particularly around the Corkscrew will give it a good test :slight_smile:


Anglesey yesterday with OpenTrack and an opportunity to try out the H&R ARBs properly.

I have to say it was awesome :slight_smile: ok, so my 1500 couldn’t match the bigger cars on the drag down the straights, but in the technical areas it definitely made them work to keep up :wink:

Had a nice chat with a few people running 400+bhp who told me they really had to work to get past my little car, which is always nice to hear.

I’ll pop a few more photos up, and a bit more info on how the standard tyres, brakes etc held up when I’ve had another cup of tea. Driving 350+ home to Devon after a full day on circuit has left me a bit sleepy this morning :smiley: