Ryan Passey’s Amazing Miata

Ryan Passey’s Amazing Mazda Hyper Miata

By Mike Kojima

We have always liked the super-efficient cars of Moti Almagor’s Blackbird Fabworx. His cars have a distinct signature; lightweight, elegant, very fast with very little horsepower. Focus is put on maximizing handling, braking and cornering grip in a simple package. His creations have always piqued our curiosity. Moti is also a master of the difficult art of aero balance, getting grip while not creating drag, critical with small amounts of power.

Recently at the last Global TIme Attack event at Buttonwillow raceway we got to check out Ryan Passey’s, of Goodwin Racing, 1990 Mazda Hyper Miata that was built by Ryan in collaboration with Blackbird Fabworx. This Miata is far from an ordinary Miata. It is currently tearing up the limited RWD class in GTA.

Ryan has worked on the car for many years starting in Miata Challenge, then in 2014, moving to do battle in GTA. Ryan also worked as an apprentice at Blackbird Fabworx for two years to hone his skills while developing the car before starting Singular Motorsports. He now works for Goodwin Racing, a major player in the Miata performance world.

Let’s take a close look at this very unique machine.


The heart of the Hyper Miata is the Chevy LFX V6 engine swap.  The LFX engine is an all-aluminum 3.6 liter DOHC V6 found in base models of the Cadillac CTS and Camaro LS.  It has variable cam timing, direct coil on plug ignition, direct injection and is flex-fuel capable.

On the Hyper Miata it is totally stock and is one of the main reasons why the car is stone reliable and runs every session for the entire time, unusual for a time attack car!

The LFX engine has been installed using a swap kit from V8 Roadsters using a V8 Roadsters subframe. The carbon plenum cover is one of the sole concessions to cosmetics. It covers the somewhat plain looking plastic intake manifold.

For engine management, the LFX engine runs the stock ECU tuned using HP Tuners calibration suite. The tune takes full advantage of the OEM flex-fuel capability and 11.5:1 stock compression ratio to get the most out of E85 fuel.

All of the engine side injectors, fuel rails and regulators are all stock due to the complexities of direct injection. The low pressure in tank pump is a DeatschWerks DW300 to feed the GM high-pressure engine mounted pump that feeds the direct injection common rail.

The engine harness and wiring were modified by V8 Roadsters while the chassis and auxiliary harnesses were designed and built by Ryan with complete schematics and tagging also done by Ryan for the ability to properly troubleshoot the wiring if it is ever needed. All wiring forward of the firewall is terminated with bulkhead fittings to make engine removal a snap.  The wire harness can easily and quickly be removed with the engine as one unit.

The engine makes a healthy 326 whp at 7000 rpm and 293 lb/ft of torque at 4700 rpm which is very close to GM’s claimed crank hp for the engine!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *