MiataWorld II: The Preview

by Alan J. Claffie

First off, I'm aware that we haven't yet recapped the happenings at Miatas at Myrtle Beach II that happened back in late March. We probably will, even if it means copying and pasting forum posts that were made from the time. Or we'll completely forget about it.

So we move on to the next Big Deal on the schedule, and it could be the Biggest Deal Yet. It's MiataWorld II, celebrating twenty years of Mazda Miata. It takes place waaaaaaaaaay far away in the outskirts of Dallas, Texas in a couple weeks.

What we don't know yet is whether the best part is going to be the event itself, or the going to the event.

The event itself is set up to be a large gathering of a few hundred Miata fans. We'll be at the Gaylord Texan resort and that's supposed to be a pretty fancy place. By "fancy" they mean "we can charge you extra for stuff" including a $15/day "resort fee" which includes bottled water in the room and Internet access. Of course if you pay half as much and stay at a Hampton Inn, the Internet is a freebie. Go figure.

There will be dinners, vendors, a Hawaiian-themed evening, group drives, self-led tours, a show and shine, and they'll cap it off by giving away a 2010 Miata to some lucky participant. Kate's looking forward to winning it, but all I can think of is "another car?" This defeatist attitude means of course we're going to win.

There will also be a day at the track. It won't be half-mile Myrtle Beach Speedway this time, but 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. We'll be set loose to run on the big oval, the infield road course, and an autocross course just outside the track. They'll be keeping times on the autocross while the others are non-competitive events.

In Myrtle Beach we found out that we might not be half bad at autocross. I made it to the final four there before knocking over a cone and eliminating myself from contention, even on cheap, non-sticky Kuhmo Ecsta AST tires. With that under the belt, we can only be better. We're not quite thinking about bringing home trophies just yet, but we shouldn't be totally completely outclassed.

Getting there should be at least half the fun, though. The route planned for the ride down includes a who's who of fun roads, at least for the first half of the trip. We'll start out in Virginia, heading west to Front Royal where we'll pick up Skyline Drive. That'll take us to the Blue Ridge Parkway that'll take us to, well, somewhere in southwest Virginia. Mix in side trips to US421 ("The Snake"), and US129 ("The Dragon"), and there's enough twisty, turny 30-35 MPH roads to get that out of our systems for quite some time.

We're leaving with plenty of time to get there, plenty of days in fact. We can't do the drive-all-night because, like for Myrtle Beach, we're taking two cars to Texas. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense but with all the track stuff that'll be going on, and both of us wanting to get on the track as much as possible, neither of us wants to be standing around when we could be driving.

More later.

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