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RingBanana: The Little Miata That Could

by Shane McGlaun

I used to have a 1994 MX-5 Miata, known as the NA version to Miata geeks. It was an ugly, caged, turbo race car, with silly pop-up headlights. The reactions were the same at the track, lifted eyebrows and chuckles. A few laps on the track and no one laughed at the car any more, it was stupid fast, especially around the corners. Anytime anyone asks me what track car should they get on a budget, the answer is an NA Miata.

A dude is showing off his new project dubbed RingBanana, an a beat up old NA Miata that he bought for next to nothing, and then realized that it actually had potential. After taking the car out on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the baseline time for the car was 9:21.8 – not bad for what amounts to a 21 year-old bucket of bolts. Now, he wants to modify the car on the cheap to put down a sub-9:00 time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The first thing he needs to do is put a roll bar on that car, the NA Miata isn’t exactly known for its rollover protection ratings. Otherwise, you can knock tons of time off a lap time anywhere with a driver mod and learning the track 100%.

My other suggestions for the RingBanana are some 9-inch wide, 15-inch wheels with the widest R-comps you can fit on them, some track-worthy coilovers, and then use the brakes as little as possible.

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