Video: Nik Romano Blitzes Through The Pack In A SuperSpec Miata

Though it was once called Supermiata S2, the category is known nowadays as SuperSpec Cup. By not having to conform to as strict a rulebook, your average SSC is cheaper and a little faster than most Spec Miatas. In fact, Nik Romano was matching the SCCA Spec Miata record around Sonoma Raceway this past weekend in this car, and he’d been out of the seat since January.

Snagging consistent 1:56s in a Miata on RS4 tires is not exactly slow.

The amount of power allowed is what makes the difference between these two categories. In the case of the SuperSpec Cup, most engine modifications are allowed, and the addition of an aftermarket intake, header, exhaust, and ECU to a typical Spec Miata’s motor should make nearly 140 horsepower at the wheels. That’s what Romano imagined he’d have at his disposal this weekend, but a subsequent leakdown test revealed the engine had about half the desired compression in three of its cylinders. Nevertheless, our man put on an incredible masterclass around the technical Sonoma Raceway in his down-on-power steed, showing us how to balance circumspection and aggression when dealing with slower rivals.

For a complete listing of SuperSpec Cup’s rules, read here.

A Cautious Start

An inverted finishing position puts Romano ninth at the beginning of the third race at Sonoma Raceway. Knowing he’s fully capable of outrunning most in the pack, he gives his rivals plenty of wiggle room in case they snatch a tire while everyone’s rubber is still a little cold. Rather than dive-bomb down the inside of two others into Turn 7 (1:33), Romano wisely avoids a squeeze that could’ve caused a silly end to the race. After all, this is only the first lap and he has time to pick out low-risk passes.

It’s because of tight groupings and eager moves on the first few laps leave so much out of his control that he avoids pushing too hard. For instance, a spot of unpredictable traffic leaves him open, and so he’s passed opportunistically by a Lotus-themed Miata into the Turn 8 esses (1:43). Though this driver looks like they have a good head of speed, Romano disposes of them by pressuring them into overcooking the entry to Turn 2 (2:42). When he has some room to pressurize the driver ahead, he does it so well.

The adverse camber at Turn 2’s exit makes big slides fairly commonplace.

Goading the Man in Front

To clinch the race-winning move, Romano first goads driver into cover the inside into Turn 7. “The move for first was calculated. I force him to defend the right side of the track, and just before the braking zone, I quickly jump back onto the ideal line,” a sneaky Romano divulges. As the driver ahead blows the entry phase, he pulls an over-under and sneaks past, never to be challenged again.

A deftly executed feint before braking gives Romano just a little more grip and a longer braking zone.

For those who felt his start was a little too cautious, the events that took place after the following start demonstrate why leaving a little on the table is smart. A tap into Turn 2 ended Romano’s race, but he didn’t leave the track without a sense of pride that weekend. Being that competitive in a pack of capable cars is always something that helps wash the bitterness of a DNF out of one’s mouth.

To learn how to pass from the man himself, visit Nik’s site here

Romano beaming behind the mask.

 

 

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
Read My Articles

The Art of Driving delivered to your inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Turnology, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes
Turnology NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

TURNology - Subscribe to our Newsletter

We'll send you raw engine tech articles, news, features, and videos every week from TURNology.

TURNology - Subscribe to our Newsletter

Turnology NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

TURNology - Subscribe to our Newsletter

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...



Engine Tech

Hot Rods & Muscle Cars

Corvette Enthusiasts

TURNology - Subscribe to our Newsletter

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...

  • Engine Tech
  • Hot Rods & Muscle Cars
  • Corvette Enthusiasts

TURNology - Subscribe to our Newsletter

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

TURNology - Subscribe to our Newsletter

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Loading