All forms of Mazda Miata racing are known for one thing: a good number of drivers who, as Ken Block would put it, just ain’t care. Add fresh rain into the mix and you get the first time I’ve laughed out loud at the delightful nuttiness of a race in a long, long time.
MX-5 Cup ran as one of the support races at Circuit of the Americas this weekend. When Sunday morning’s skies opened up with rain, they put on the best show of the weekend.
If you’re still mad about Max Verstappen’s track limits penalty from last year’s Formula One United States Grand Prix, this is the series for you. If it’s paved, the MX-5 Cups will run on it. Sometimes they’ll even run off where it’s not paved. They bounce along over whatever in hopes of getting that pass. To be honest, I’d love to see these guys get a mild lift, off-road-tolerable tires and be told “just don’t hit the walls or get stuck.” Have at it, my dudes.
Naturally, there’s a couple drivers who do piñata their Miatas towards the end of the race, but overall, his field in particular is shockingly well-behaved. It’s far more entertaining to watch all the drivers who don’t crash on this one.
But the rain makes this a truly delightful watch. Sometimes you’ll see a car just shift completely sideways on the damp track, but still hold it. The team name “Sick Sideways” is pretty accurate, and it’s dang impressive.
Mazda streams and posts most of these races to their YouTube channel, too—just in case you’d like to see little cars at each others’ throats more often.
UPDATE [8:01 p.m.]: Mazda uploaded the full wet race to YouTube, so we’ve update the linked video above. The real video you might want to watch, however, is Selin Rollan’s onboard camera from the No. 87 Sick Sideways car.
This is Rollan’s first race weekend with the series, and he started from the rear of the field thanks to a grid penalty but won it outright anyway. Incredible.
[H/T HandsOffSam + Preston!]