Spec Miatas are torture. Well, at least when they’re sitting in the grid, baking in the sun, waiting to race.

  • Car: NA and NB Spec Miatas
  • Location: Buttonwillow Raceway Park
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (Instagram)
  • Camera: Canon 1D Mark 2, EF 75-300mm Zoom

I shot this photo at an SCCA race weekend back in Summer 2017. I had a lot of fun with my Mazda2 during the quick track sessions, and for most of the day the car counts were miniscule. I had maybe five other cars in my run group, which is nothing for the size of Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Buttonwillow, California, about two and a half hours north of Los Angeles.

The numbers were low because it was incredibly hot. I recall the mercury was a consistent 105 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the day. Add in a light breeze filled with Central Valley dust, and it was a harsh day to be running in an SCCA weekend. Especially for the poor folks sitting in grid in their little Spec Miatas, waiting for their race to start.

Spec Miatas don’t have air conditioning, but you can install a CoolShirt type system. Though, it’s not the same, especially when you’re sitting there dormant, just cooking in the sun.

At the moment, I’ve been daydreaming of getting my competition license and paying for a seat in a Spec Miata this summer. Though, when I look back on this particular day, maybe I’ll put that on hold until late Fall, or travel to a cooler climate to get behind the wheel.

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