6th and 7th of October had been marked in my calendar and in many other RWB enthusiasts’ ones for a long time: just about a year after Champagne was born, Nakai-san was coming back to Reims, France, to bring another one of his creations to life.
Time attack is a discipline that has always fascinated me: Getting rid of everything but yourself and your car from the equation and battling exclusively against the clock, no excuses, trying to lower lap times by tenths of a second until the car limit is reached.
There are not many people who can brag about their name being almost a synonym for a driving style. It’s even more difficult to earn the King nickname and have almost everyone agree. However, both things are true for Keiichi Tsuchiya.
Some cars are deeply tied to their background in competition, and the Impreza saga is a perfect example of it. These Subarus are virtually a synonym of the World Rally Championship, especially on their most emblematic iteration, the first one.
For every motorsport aficionado from the 80s out there, the 1993 debut of the first Impreza was a memorable experience for sure.
When, some years ago, I started looking for an RWD car which was fun and had a good amount of aftermarket parts, the Mazda Miata was the obvious choice. At that time they could still be found for a reasonable price, and once I found one that matched what I was looking for, I went ahead and bought it.
The car is a joy to cruise in, but when on spirited drives or in the track, its flaws come to light: it’s not a fast car, and the brakes aren’t spectacular either. That’s the truth. The best thing about this car is the gearbox: direct and precise, it feels great to change gear after gear on twisty roads, where the car feels like at home. I still haven’t met anyone who has something bad to say about the MX-5 shifter feel.
That’s exactly why I was so surprised when I saw that IRP had built a Miata-specific short shifter kit. With so many things to improve, why start with its strongest point?