TAKING I T IN
(ABOVE) Michael might besurprised by his recent success,but considering how often heraces, it’s not like his wins arehappening by accident.
Michael returned to Spec Miata in 2018and ’ 19 with Advanced Autosports, butthis time not only was he getting fasteras a driver, but his car changed, too.
“After that first year, when I went
back to Advanced, they gave me a much
better car,” Michael laughs. “It was a car
that actually had a pro-built engine in it.
“At Blackhawk, the smaller track in the area,
that first year I was doing pretty well, but every
time I’d go up to Road America I just was like,
I can’t keep up with these guys. Everybody’s
talking about how big the track is and everybody
just drives away from me. Then they put me in
a car with an X-Factor engine and the first time
I went back to Road America I instantly went
quite a bit faster. I could tell that extra power
made a difference down those long straights.”
Spec Miata was going well, and Michael found
himself continually improving and finishing
higher on the results sheet, but then there came
the announcement for the 2020 Runoffs.
“When SCCA announced the Runoffs was
returning to Road America, I was at a banquet
with Ben Merwin from Advanced and we were
chatting and he was like, ‘Since we’re a local
shop [to Road America] we want to have an
NC Miata on the podium at Road America.’”
Michael was still driving the NC he’d
autocrossed, and the idea of road racing
one was enticing. So, he jumped.
The original plan, Michael explains, was tobuild a Spec MX- 5, but since it wouldn’t haveits own class at the Runoffs, Touring 4 turnedinto the goal. But rather than renting anotherracecar, Michael went a different route.
“Ever since I’ve been into racing video gamesand got into cars, I don’t know why but I’ve alwayswanted to rip out the interior and do as much workas I possibly could to build a racecar so I could
“ Racing John Heinricy that weekend atRoad America was …more intense thananything I’d ever done in Spec Miata”MICHAEL BORDEN