Targa Miata
September 30, 2011 - Overall, the car is in excellent shape.
The rear subframe brace took the worst beating, which wasn't a surprise. Ground clearance back there is at a bit of a premium and my experience in 2008 was that the back was the most likely place to hit. The skid plate/brace did exactly what it was supposed to do and protected the important bits.
Elsewhere, there's very little sign that the car just finished such an ordeal. In fact, all we need to do is bang the rear skid plate into shape and we could run another week. Even the tires would be good for a few more days of racing. We replaced a coil that had heatsoak problems due to my heat shielding, had a video camera die (and lost a GoPro off the roof at speed) and of course lost the main relay. But overall, the car proved itself to be a strong and reliable tool with a huge turn of speed. By contrast, I was speaking to one of the MINI drivers after the event and he had a big list of problems to fix. For example, both of his front upper strut mounts were damaged and he'd replaced them once or twice already during the race. We had no similar concerns.
I've also been thinking about The Relay. At the time it happened, I felt that I should have been able to fix it on the side of the road and rejoin the race without the DNF for one stage. However, it wouldn't have made any difference in the end. By the time we'd extricated ourselves from the car, set up the triangles and OK sign, instantly diagnosed the problem, reloaded ourselves and rejoined the stage, we would have lost too much time to catch the Challenger and the M3 that finished ahead of us.
entry 1006 - tags: impact protection, skid plate, post-race