Just Miatas at Laguna Seca
by Terese Mac Davis
Put together 300 Miatas, a huge crowd of Miata fans, some rain and wind, a wet racetrack, and what do
you get? You get to race your car on one of the most-loved race tracks in California.
On Friday, March 30th, 2012, we headed over to Monterey for the Miatas at Mazda Raceway, Laguna
Seca event. This weekend of Miatas was started in 2009 as an Anniversary celebrating the Miata. It was
such a popular event, that it’s becoming an annual Miata owner’s chance to race, show off their cars, and
hone their driving skills.
For more details on the event, visit www.miatasatmazdayraceway.com . If you want to know the racing
details, you can get them from their website, too.
Jimmy and Carolyn (my husband and my friend) and I took my Miata, the Tequila Sunrise, (aka TQ) and
Chuck the Truck out on the road. We arrived at the Embassy Suites in Seaside in time for the BBQ
hosted by BAMA (Bay Area Miata Association).
Then the cars started arriving. They say there were about 300 Miatas there. Most drove up, but a few
cars were trailered in. We were in the parking lot with cars backing into their spaces, watching everyone
We enjoyed the BBQ and met lots of Miata people. There was a big crowd from the San Diego club and
from BAMA, but only a few of us from SAMOA (Sacramento), a few from across the country and a few
Wow! It’s impressive to see so many different Miatas, all in their race gear. I’m sure you’ve all seen
special Miatas and racecar Miatas and all the fancy performance stuff. But there were lots of things I’ve
never seen. Let’s start with paint.
This was a truly gorgeous car, and a racer, too. I parked next to him when I first got there, then had to
move my car. Everyone was looking at this one and my Tequila Sunrise (AKA the TQ) wasn’t getting any
attention at all.The TQ looked much better next to a blue car.
I’ll admit I’m not the best backer-upper in the world, especially with everyone watching. I had picked my
spot and I was going for it. I had to back in all the way across the row and between a few cars. I’m sure I
heard a few giggles and gasps, but I docked without incident.
It did look much brighter next to the blue car. In fact, so did the blue one. As we were standing around the
parking lot admiring each other’s cars, a little RC car screamed out from under a Miata and raced into
the middle of the aisle and made a hard right, headed right for the BBQ folks. It was a little blue one that
coincidently looked exactly like the car next to me, right down to all the badges, stickers, and mods.
A few people were startled, a few amused, but most just thought it was great. It made a 180 wheelie and
came back to us and it went back under the car and back to its owner. That little RC car was a fast little
sucker. It was cool.
There were famous cars too. Here is the only ‘91 concept color Pastel Yellow Metallic. I saw it the next
day on the track. It was the most luminous yellow I’ve ever seen, very pale and pearly.
Saturday morning, bright and early, we drove the van and the TQ over to the track in the rain. With
hundreds of Miatas traveling just 8 miles, you wouldn’t think so many of us would get lost! We finally
found the track and moved into Vendor Alley and into our racing garage. The racing garages housed the
vendors and the race teams all in a running line from one end to the other. Here we are, in our garage
and hosting visitors.
These are the racing garages. It was a very busy place with cars and people everywhere. The 949
Racing Team was our neighbor on one side, and Moss Motors was on our other side.
The 949 Racing Team a big screen TV set up and would watch the race films from their car cameras
after each race. It was cool. You saw the race as the driver did. Their cars were all orange and they had
really cool orange chairs around the TV. People stopped and watched, and so did we. It was
The 949 Racing Team, as well as the other race teams, gave rides to all participants who wanted to go.
We saw all the people coming back from their wild ride with hair standing on end! Carolyn took a ride with
949, but not me! These guys did not go gently. Or quietly, either.
Which one of these concept cars would you have chosen to be the first Miata, back in 1988?
The original prototypes for the 1990 Miata were on display. These were the possibilities for the first 89/90
Miata. Of course we all know which one was picked to be our first Miata!
It rained most of the day on Saturday and we were glad to be inside. The races continued in the rain. It
practically takes a tornado to cancel a race.
We got to know a lot of Miata people. My friend Skip, who is the Clearwater Speaker rep, introduced me
to Tom Matano, the Father of the Miata.
When I met him, I gave him one of my books and he asked for my autograph! I asked if he would give me
his autograph too, on my car. So, Tom Matano, the chief designer of both the 1st and 2nd generation
Miatas, SIGNED MY CAR! I have pictures.
How cool is that? Mr. Matano even sent me an email thanking me for ‘saving all those Miatas for future
Although it rained all day Saturday, Sunday turned out sunny and windy and cold. Nobody cared. The
racers got plenty of track time, and they opened the track during lunch and after the last race for parade
I hadn’t been on a track in years, but Carolyn and I jumped into the car zoomed out of our garage and
joined the line. Then we were on the track! They usually don’t let the cars go very fast during parade
laps, but everyone was following the rules and they just let us go. I went 70 mph the whole way through
the corkscrew turns. It was exhilarating. I drove as fast as I could and I didn’t scare myself this time. We
had a blast out there with everyone else for about 45 minutes. I’m not a racer, but this was FUN! I can
sure see what attracts all the racers to Miatas.
This is what it’s like to be a vendor at a famous racetrack, with racers from all over the world, celebrating
the Miata. I signed a lot of books over the weekend. Just Miatas, How I Buy, Restore and Sell is about
buying and restoring Miatas, the cars and the people we met, and the cars we saved. Because the book’
s not technical or racing oriented, some people at the races didn’t know what to think of it. Fortunately,
many did buy it and enjoy it, because they’re Miata people, too!
This was my first trip to Miatas at Laguna Seca. Moss Motors has an excellent video of the weekend at
http://www.youtube.com Video207. I’m sure others will have stories, too!
Copyright@2012 by Terese Mac Davis
See, Miata racers do have a sense of
humor! And a great imaginat
From the very clever to the extremely beautiful