First Track Day at Laguna Seca Raceway

We have been working on the Exocet for over 2 years now and today is the day we finally test out all our hard work on the Exocet at a track.

We had signed up for a Hooked-on-Driving track day at Laguna Seca Raceway months ago and we sorta rushed the build a little in the weeks leading up to this day. We were pretty apprehensive about tracking the Exocet since we had very little time to do extensive endurance testing but we did it anyways. Here are the results of the day:

We learned a great deal from our first outing on the track. There are definitely a lot of things we loved about the car and also plenty of issues we will need to look into in the near future. Here are some of our findings:

What we liked

  1. Fantastic braking. We found we could jam on the brakes super late into a corner and we still felt like we could hit the brakes even later.
  2. Handling felt great with the depowered steering rack and the light weight of the Exocet.
  3. The car ran great and seemed pretty reliable with no noticeable mechanical issues.
  4. Visibility was great with very little getting in the way of seeing everything around you.

What we didn’t like

  1. There is lot’s of body roll on aggressive turns since we are still using OEM shocks.
  2. A pretty loud ticking noise from the engine has developed. This apparently is a very common and well known problem with hydraulic lifters in the 1996 1.8L Miatas.
  3. The throttle and brake pedals are way too close together which makes it too easy to accidentally step on both at the same time.
  4. Lots of pebbles fly into the car and it is difficult to get them out in some places.
  5. Lots of wind is coming through the bottom of the windshield.
  6. The car is very slow and has no power to pass cars since we are running just a stock Miata 1.8L engine which makes at most 133 HP.

We had tons of fun on our track day but there is still plenty to do before we have this car truly dialed in.

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