Friday, December 23, 2011

Fast iRacing Laps on Four Great Tracks in a Mazda MX-5 Cup Car

The off-season fever starts to get fierce this time of year and it's about to get worse. I just got beaten to a pulp at the Nurburgring on GT5 by 3 different friends. As if this wasn't enough, my friend and avid iRacing driver Tom Rathje issued a proof that he can beat my Z4 M Coupe's real-life times at Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, NHMS and Summit Point in a wimpy 195-HP Mazda MX-5 Cup:

Good for me these great iRacing laps don't always transfer to real-life lap times but wow - that MX-5 Cup Car will beat me at every track except for the Glen where we'd be about even.

Here are the Cup Car's lap times:
NHMS: 1:17:833
Watkins Glen: 2:16:37
Lime Rock Park: 59:915
Summit Point: 1:24:908

And here's what this cool Mazda MX-5 looks like in a real-life video.

To get to an MX-5 Cup Car, you start with a new MX-5 Sport and add $5,500 worth of Mazda racing go-parts. The package includes an air intake and an exhaust header boosting power to 195 hp, which is 25 hp more than the stock car's 170. It also includes a suspension kit with Eibach dampers, much stiffer Eibach springs, and solid sway bars. The brakes are stock, except for the Hawk race pads. The Cup Car is shod with 225/45WR-17 Hankook tires. It's stripped of windows and interior trim to save weight and its weight is only 2,600 pounds with the driver. The MX-5 is the quintessential momentum car, which does especially well at handling tracks that don't require heavy braking. Lime Rock in under a minute - are you kidding me?

And here is a video my friend Tom put together on the iRacing setup options for a typical car. It's very impressive how much you can play with the car setup and even better that you can test it right away in a simulation lap.

Let me try to figure out where I can find four seconds in my Z4 M Coupe's lap times at Lime Rock so I can beat these pesky Miatas. Ah, camber, schmamber, give me a supercharger, Tom. The car doesn't need to last an entire season of driving on iRacing, does it?