Video: Turbo Miata Slides On Bald Tires Behind An E36 M3

Talent, tenacity, and youthful exuberance can take you a ways in racing. When they don’t, those traits still make for some eye-opening driving. Taking his turbo Miata around Laguna Seca is nothing new to George Koustoumbardis, but driving on a set of Maxxis Victra RC-1 tires with more than 50 heat cycles is bound to make his trip around the famous Monterey racetrack a bit surprising.

“The tires were extremely unpredictable,” Koustoumbardis begins. The trained eye will notice the outrageous amount of steering lock required to turn the Miata into the corner. “So I had to set the car during turn-in even more than usual. If I didn’t, which is evident in Turn 4, the car would just push,” he elaborates. This is most noticeable at 2:14, where Koustoumbardis had to hold an armful of steering lock all the way until he’s on the rumble strips.

Even with that much understeer, the Miata never snaps into oversteer. Perhaps that’s due to the conservative power output. The 201 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque are delivered very progressively, so big snaps aren’t common — not what you would expect from a force-fed Miata. That said, there’s still enough to break the rears loose at lower speeds (3:23). Fortunately, in the faster corners, he can neutralize some of the understeer with a brief lift from the throttle (3:03).

Despite the tendency to push, the Miata can roast the driven tires in the slowest corners.

With worn brakes and tires, Koustoumbardis didn’t indulge in any late-braking heroics. Even still, his superior power-to-weight made the E36 M3 ahead easy to reel in on the power-dependent circuit, but the GT350 was another challenge entirely. After accepting the fight was futile, Koustoumbardis went out in style (7:18) and proved that the Miata is just as capable of going sideways as it is of carving a tidy lap.

Footage from the BMW driver’s perspective. 

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