Grassroots Motorsports hosted their annual Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge at Virginia International Raceway last week. I have participated in this event several times throughout the years, and it’s always a memorable one. This year I had the opportunity to drive the Long Road Racing Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car, which has a nifty upgrade with that new sequential gearbox I recently tested.

It was a beautiful and warm day at VIR for the Ultimate Track Car Challenge!

It was a beautiful and warm day at VIR for the Ultimate Track Car Challenge!

Thanks to all of the incredible preparations that Long Road Racing had done, the car was running strong and feeling great throughout the warm-up session. We just made a few small tweaks to fine-tune it, and then we were ready to face the timed sessions.

Although the conditions were extremely hot and the track was slick, our Mazda MX-5 was able to break into the 2:07 lap times, which met the goal we had set for ourselves. That is a couple of seconds quicker than what the car is currently running in either World Challenge TCA trim or the Global MX-5 Cup Series! It gave everybody a nice pat on the back, so to speak, both for the hard work to set up the car for the event as well as all the fabrication that went into the sequential gearbox, which customers can now purchase.

It was kind of funny that of the more than 50 cars that had entered, we were in the top half with a car that only had 160hp to the wheels. We were running with cars that had two to three times the horsepower gridded behind us.

In the end, we all left with a great sense of accomplishment. We are excited about reaching our goal and knowing the potential not only of the platform but also of the gearbox. Be sure to check back with Long Road Racing for updates on this latest performance product and continued upgrades for the Global MX-5 Cup Car.