Silesia Ring opened in the fall of 2016, so it is pretty new, and actually – it’s still being developed. The track itself is ready, but the rest of the infrastructure is under construction.
But who cares about the infrastructure, when you have 3,6 kilometers of fresh tarmac, wide curves, gravel traps, almost 1 kilometer long straight lane, finishing with a 180 degree u-turn.
If you don’t make it, your brakes fail, your tires fail, you fail, there is still a strong chance that you and your car will remain unscathed, because Silesia Ring is a very well done conversion of an air strip – you still have another kilometer to slow down, after you missed your braking point.
That is a first thing that comes to my mind after opening session of MiataChallenge 2017.
Silesia Ring, previously known as Kamień Śląski airport, is now officialy one of amazing total of two professional race tracks in Poland.
When MiataChallenge (then called Miata MiniChallenge) has visited the place couple of years ago, it looked just like any airstrip trackday place – like this:
Well, some things have changed, some have not.
It is still pretty far away from my place, for starters.
Down south of Poland.
But this makes it is easily accessible for our southern neighbours.
It also means that I had to wake up at 4am at Saturday morning. Pack up, buckle up, meet up with fellow MXfivers and drive for 4 hours, just to get to the, oh well, something like a paradise for a petrol head.
I can live with that.
Unfortunately, it also meant that in the meantime I have decided to brake the 11th commandment.
Thou shall not do anything with a car less than 24 hours before a trackday.
I broke it.
I have tried to change the rear brakepads and I have failed miserably. After seeing changes in the weather forecast, I have also decided to go for Federal RSR, instead of Toyo R1R, and in that I succeeded.
I woke up at 4 am, knowing that I will have to change the rear break pads at place, with the help of somebody that knows, how to do it. It actually turned out, that I almost made it at the Friday evening, but the Dzik (my car) is missing one regulation screw in left rear, and that is why I couldn’t find an Allen wrench (hex) that would fit in there. It just wasn’t there.
Trying to fix your MX-5 yourself means constant learning.
We have arrived at Silesia Ring at about 9.20 am. The usual procedure – registration, technical checkup, brakepads change – took some time, and when we started racing it was after 11am.
“I have no brakepads.” became sort of a tagline of the day later.
On the morning after the rainy night, the track was wet, but already drying up. High winds sped up the process (but added up to the wind chill factor) and soon we were racing on the dry tarmac . Heavy clouds were rolling through the sky, but it did not rain, so those who went for harder tread semislicks as their only tyres for the day were the lucky ones.
And what a day it was!
130 kilometers on the clock of pure petrolhead pleasure.
There aren’t really a lot of legal things that you can compare to, while going full throttle up against a slightly elevated airstrip, knowing you have to brake very hard from whatever top speed your car can achieve and negotiate the before mentioned 180 degrees u-turn.
Some of the turbo Miatas where doing up to 230 kilometers per hour at the end.
I was doing much less then that, and still had my adreline all up, even though I knew that if I fail, a have room for that.
“I was braking only twice.” – said Rockatansky in the short video interview after.
No wonder that he was 3rd in the class 2.
I must say that I really liked the way Silesia is not so obvious to handle even for the much more skilled and more experienced fellow MX-5 drivers.
Second best lap time of the day belongs to Tomasz Patan, driving almost stock 1.6 NA. The difference between his time and the best lap time of the round is a mere 0.54 of the second, and, oh, just about 185 turbo horse power of heavily modded Mazdaspeed Miata, third best belongs to stripped and roll caged NCfl 2.0.
You can check Tomasz’s onboard video here:
(and there is me doing chill down round 🙂 on the long straight )
There is one thing I must adrress though.
There is one place that doesn’t feel safe – it’s the last turn just before finish/start line. It has seen some action, as you have to go wide in and flat out in order to go fast, and there is this band, that makes me think about Kubica’s crash…
Fortunetaly, even though gravel traps have seen some action, everybody got home safe and sound, and the safety crew kept the gravel out of the tarmac in the time between sessions.
Just after first round of Miata Challenge it is of course very hard to predict the series outcome, especially when not all of the better skilled drivers were present, but one thing stands out in class 2 (1.8-2.0) – there are significant differences between the top 5 drivers , and then there are 10 drivers that fit in 2 seconds gap on a lap. Of course, they drive different cars, differently modded, so the classification doesn’t reflect the skills perfectly, but it shows one thing.
Competition is a good thing.
It makes us just better, more self and car aware everyday drivers, and makes our cars safer.
After all, if the car can handle a rapid decelaration from 160 km/h to 60, several times during one session, it will be much safer in the everyday traffic.
After seeing this part of linked video I can’t really wait for the MC Spec Miata series to happen…
Side note: We are looking for english speaking (and writing) contributors willing to bring closer Miata communities from around the world. Please do not hesitate to contact us at info @ miatasm.com
Round 1 Miata Challenge 2017 results:
- U.S.U.L. (Tomasz Patan)
- Arturo Tiburon
- Grzegorz N