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    world challenge Driver training and development from karts to Ford Mustangs in the SCCA Pro World Challenge series and Spec Miatas in the NASA Pro Racing Series.
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    world challenge Pirelli's World Challenge Championships is to provide teams, manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers with a competitive production-based race series.
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    world challenge Pirelli's World Challenge Championships is to provide teams, manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers with a competitive production-based race series.
  • Ford Fiesta TCB Class
    Ford Fiesta TCB Class Nate Stacy, age 14, podiums both days in the World Challenge Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in the Touring Cal B Spec class driving an MDG Ford Fiesta.
  • World Challenge
    World Challenge 14 year old MDG driver Nathan Stacy is the youngest driver to win a Pirelli World Challenge race! Nathan won 1st place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park driving an MDG Ford Fiesta.
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    Driver Development Driver training and development from karts to Ford Mustangs in the SCCA Pro World Challenge series and Spec Miatas in the NASA Pro Racing Series.
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    Spec Miata Racing Spec Miata racing in the SCCA series and NASA series at MSR Houston, Texas World Speedway, Eagles Canyon, Motorsports Ranch Cresson and NOLA.
Stuart Robinson coaching Alec Udell

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The following is an article from the July issue of the NASA Speed News  online magazine. You can view the entire eMagazine by clicking HERE. You can read the article on pages 64 - 67.

NASA Speed NewsAlec Udell's Spec Miata Is a Prime Example of What a Well-Prepared Early Car Can Do

When 1.8-liter cars were introduced into Spec Miata, many predicted the death of the 1.6-liters. When the second-generation, 1999-2005 cars came in, many people knew that the first-generation cars were good for nothing more than scrap metal. You would need the newer car to win.

Still, the original 1.6-liter cars soldier on, and win with regularity, proving both theories false. One example is Alec Udell's 1990 car. A 16-year-old from Texas, Udell is competing in Spec Miata and the Mazda Teen Challenge with this Smurf-blue car, and winning. At Oklahoma's Hallett Motor Racing Circuit for the Summer Shootout, he swept all four races for the weekend and clinched the Texas/Midwest Mazda Teen Challenge championship.

That's the beauty of Spec Miata and the equalization formula between the different years and engine sizes – it works. It keeps the cars equal, and a talented driver doesn't have to have a particular model year to win. One does need a well-prepared car, however, and Udell's is one fine example.
Perhaps a little rough around the edges, as many Spec Miatas are due to the razor-edge closeness of the competition, Udell's example is in many ways typical of Spec Miatas. It obviously has all the required suspension kit bits and other necessary items, but there are some areas that Udell has been able to optimize.

"One thing that's really good for me personally, since I'm a little guy, is we're able to move the weight around to where we want it," says Udell. "So when we balance the car, we're able to get exactly a 50-50 weight split left and right, which really helps the car handle well. Since it has to be at the spec weight, being able to move the weight really helps with handling and braking."

With spec classes, every little bit helps, including weight distribution, as Udell notes. The other area where a little bit can make a big difference is power. While the rules are pretty strict about what you can do inside the engine – no balancing, for example – there are no prohibitions on choosing the best parts with which to build your engine.

"The motor comes stock at about 110hp out of the crate motor. We are able to go through and match up best we can and make it 118, 119hp," he explains. Ed Gilfus of Gilfus Racing Enterprises builds the engines for Udell and many other Texas Region SM racers.

Inside the car, Udell runs an AiM display for lap times, plus RPM and air/fuel meter and water temperature. That's the only information he wants on race day.

"We don't want to over-complicate things," he says, explaining his lack-of-data-acquisition strategy. "When you start to get into the little things and you make a little mistake, you think, 'Oh, that's going to show up on the data.' It's the little things you don't want to have to worry about on track. In practice, we'll use a camera that will show the little mistakes. But on race days, you want to concentrate on what you're doing."

Alec's father, Bob Udell, bought the car in 2007, already built. He drove it, prepared by Stuart Robinson, who works closely with Gilfus and still sets the car up. Alec got his hands on it in 2010.

That's how Alec came into Spec Miata. He stays because of the closeness of the competition and the things a low-horsepower car can teach a driver who has his sights set on a professional career.
"Spec Miata teaches you how to drive so well, because you learn how to keep the momentum through the corners and you don't learn to point and shoot like you do with higher-horsepower cars," he says. "You only have 118hp, so you have to roll through the corners and keep the throttle mashed to the floor as much as you can and be very smooth.

"You get a ton of drivers that are all very good, really competitive. It makes you better. Since no car has an advantage, you really have to force the passes and set them up. It teaches you how to race." SN

Alec Udell's 1990 Spec Miata

Weight: 2300lbs.
Engine: 1.6-liter DOHC normally aspirated Mazda
Suspension, f: Eibach ERS springs, Bilstein shocks and 24mm adjustable swaybar
Suspension, r: Eibach ERS springs, Bilstein shocks and 15mm adjustable swaybar
Tires: 205/50-15 Toyo Proxes RA-1
Intake: Custom with K&N cone-type filter
Exhaust: Custom
Data Acquisition: AiM Sports
Sponsors: Motorsports Development Group, Kart Nation, Gilfus Racing Enterprises

SPEC MIATA RULES
Based on first- and second-generation Mazda Miatas with either 1.6- or 1.8-liter engines. Each model requires different suspension kits and each model and specification has a different minimum weight, from 2300 to 2415lbs. The 1.8-liter engines require a restrictor, from 38 to 45mm depending on year.

Each car must use the specified suspension kit for the model year. The kits include Eibach springs and anti-roll bars and Bilstein shocks.

All engine internals must remain stock and unmodified. Cylinders may be bored 0.010 in. over stock, although that requires a 15-pound increase in weight.

The 1.6-liter cars may use a cone-type air filter. All 1.8-liter cars must use the stock airbox.

Exhaust past the downpipe is free, with a maximum diameter of 2.25 in.

Any clutch disk may be used, with a minimum weight.

Any 15x7-in. wheel may be used provided it weighs a minimum of
13 pounds.

Brake pads are unrestricted and the stock brake hoses may be replaced with steel-braided hoses.

For the complete rules, see http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/spec_miata_rules.pdf

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