With the aero system done and installed, a nervous, low ground clearance trip was made to Gingerman Raceway, 2.5 hours away. I’d be meeting up with fellow Professional Awesome driver, Devin Giles, to do some back-to-back testing to see how fast we could get this Miata! The previous best lap that I had driven was a 1:59.18, set back in October of 2017, with brand new Nitto NT05 tires. Read all about that in Part 10. Right out of the gate, the car was faster with a 1:58.508 lap time. Then Devin jumped into the car and he ran a 1:58.632, the first time he had ever driven the car! At this point, disaster struck… for someone else. A Mazda 3 caught fire and ended our lapping day with just 5 clear laps combined for us. Bummer.
Upon arriving back home, I started to dig into the data a bit. We had been using the RaceChrono app to monitor laps, but the new phone I was using wouldn’t connect properly with my bluetooth GPS receiver. Devin saved the day with his AIM Solo, so we used AIM’s Race Studio software and matched the AIM data to the RaceChrono info. RaceChrono used 5 sectors to determine best theoretical laps and when we applied that same information to the AIM data, we found that I ran a real, best rolling lap of 1:57.318.
A rolling lap is a real lap, but with the start/finish point changed to get the best 5 sectors of lap time in a row. The best theoretical lap was a 1:57.048, which is when we use the fastest 5 sectors total, even if they didn’t come consecutively. Before aero, the best theoretical lap was a 1:58.24, based off of the 44 total laps we had completed previously using the same 5 sectors. 44 laps vs. 5 laps, this makes me feel extremely confident that we had more time to shave off with more laps under our belt. What makes me even more excited was that the Nitto tires had been driven back and forth across the country and had another track day on them, so we had to have lost a little adhesion from the previous fastest lap time. One last thing to hit on, the aerodynamic changes also increased fuel economy by 2-3 mpg on our trip to and from the track, not bad!