Maruha Motors

The MX-5 Miata of the Month from


April 2003

Mike Wann and Eddie Nakato

Mike Waan (mike@wann.org)
Eddie Nakoto (enakato@ix.netcom.com)
Team diary: Jolting.com

Congratulations to Mike and Eddie on their selection for the April Miata of the Month!


It takes a lot of courage to enter a competition for the first time. If that competition is seven days long and runs all over Nevada and California - you've got to be a little crazy. Mike and Eddie entered the 2002 Open Track Challenge (OTC) with their Miata, racing under the name "Team Psychic Friends Network". It was quite a trip.

You can read the entire diary of their effort on their website: Jolting.com. It's highly recommended, full of photos and the story of what this sort of event is like. We don't have room for it all here although we have included their official team profile below. As you can tell, they entered with a fun attitude. The "girlie car" comments are aimed at all the Viper drivers entered in the event and are tongue in cheek.

The 2003 OTC has a large number of Miatas entered already, including Mike and Eddie. It runs from April 6-12, and Jolting.com will have the story as it unfolds.

Eddie says:
"My Miata is a '90 Miata built mostly for competition use. Its been through the Open Track Challenge, and will compete again this year in 2003. It was originally bought with 210K miles and THEN converted to race use. It has been turbochared with an FMII Turbo kit (original engine) and is currently undergoing conversion to a built 1.8L to comply with OTC '03 regulations. We plan to have a website following our OTC adventure alongside FM's Track Dog at this year's OTC...
Should be fun!!!"

Team Members
Mike "Power Wheels" Wann   Eddie "My Hamster Is Bigger Than Yours" Nakato  
(Bellevue, WA) (Portland, OR)
Driver/Owner Driver

Mike’s addiction to speed started with a Fisher Price Power Wheel and a dream…to win the neighborhood Power Wheels 500 in Taipei, Taiwan.  Dissatisfied with the slow speeds and maneuverability of his ride, he boosted the power of the battery pack, tweaked the homegrown suspensions and managed to leave his playmates eating his dust at the next neighborhood gathering.    

As time went on, the modes of transportation changed but the need for speed remained.  Eventually, Mike gave in to the seductive lure of the go-fast crack pipe a years ago and succumbed to an Acura NSX.   Not satisfied with just one means of feeding his addiction he will be attending OTC in a Mazda Miata to see just what the so-called “girlie” car will do. 

 

Born with a lead foot and a need for speed in his blood, Eddie is no stranger to the race track.  Participating in his first race at the age of 19 while attending the Bondurant school of Racing, Eddie hasn’t let up off the accelerator since then and doesn’t have any plans to slow down anytime soon.  2 years ago, after reading the NSXfiles Eddie promptly went out and bought an Acura NSX and has been modifying the beejesus out of it ever since.  He is firmly addicted to the Go-Fast crack pipe. 
*Update* Eddie has recently entered rehab to try to kick his Go-fast Crack Pipe addiction, but has been met with poor results and very little support from Partner Mike.  Please be kind to him and donate money.
 

Editor’s Note:  Eddie has recently acquired a girlfriend, proving once and for all that he is in fact NOT of “Questionable sexual orientation”, a stereotype he has been battling ever since publicly announcing his intention to compete in a Mazda Miata.   

 

Car Information
Year/Make/Model 1990 Mazda Miata
Engine Displacement: 1.6L  
Weight 2300 lbs
Horsepower: 150
Modifications:

Classified.  (Except for the open-air Hamster Cage 2002:  Specs available upon request)

 

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A Sunday Conversation with Team PFN

by Tara Leiser (Team PFN Spokeswoman)

1) Alright, this is where we separate the men from the boys. I'm gonna throw a few punches and we'll see who comes up swinging and who dies with a whimper. What was your motivation to enter the OTC this year?

Mike: I phoned the Psychic Friends Network and asked Lady Amber (a good friend of Miss Cleo) if this was the year to enter. After $29.95 in psychic fees, a consultation with a crystal ball and a free set of Ginsu knives, the consensus was that the karmic energy is right, the stars are all aligned, and that I would be one with the track this go around. Besides, who can resist the opportunity to take a weeklong hit off the go fast crack pipe. I'd be crazy NOT to enter. Besides, with "Voodoo Boy" Nakato and his secret ways… how could we lose.

Eddie: Miss Cleo the Psychic told me to "Keep it real". "Keep it real" when read backwards, turned upside down, translated into Polynesian, and read with a French accent translates to "Enter the OTC". Or so I surmised, and hence the OTC entry. With as much psychic energy support as we have, I cannot imagine doing anything but literally CRUSHING our opposition. If this does not work I have a voodoo doll allocated to each competitor of the OTC. Do they allow live Rooster sacrifices in the Paddock of each track?

2) Rumor has it that you are a hard core NSX driver Eddie. How did you join forces with Mike to race the girly Miata?

Eddie: Well, the journey to becoming co-driver started with a few unplanned exterior alterations to my NSX, which has kept it sidelined for a while. Going cold turkey on racing was not an option…as far as I know there is no "Quit Racing" Patch so, when I heard Mike was looking for a co-driver I gave him a call. I was originally planning on entering the JGTC series in Japan, but was short only $1.45 million and decided to do the OTC, where I was only short $1,900.00.

Mike: Hey… at least we're not driving a car that comes built in with flower vases like some people….. (team #TBD)

3) What kind of preparations have you been doing to get in fighting form for OTC?

Eddie: Currently, we're prescribing to the TOAST method of race preparation. It's a rigorous training regime that consists of:

Trash Talking 101 - A little known course offered in bars and elementary school playgrounds across America. We figured we might as well learn something useful while drinking all that quality beer, and picking on 4th graders.

OTC diet plan - A nutritionally un-balanced diet of bagged Malt-O-Meal cereal and Top Ramen, which allows us to lighten the interior load while enabling us to pump all that saved money into the car.

Editor's Sidenote: We've recently found an inherent flaw in this portion of the team PFN diet plan as both Eddie and Mike were hospitalized for Scurvy last week. PFN now includes 1 Orange every other day as part of our diet regimen. The PFN accounting department (Mike) tells us that over the next 4 months we will spend an extra $17.00 by supplying the team with these much needed Orange's. The PFN tech guy (Eddie) has decided to cut the $17.00 from our Oil budget. Looks like Team PFN will be running the OTC this year without Engine oil for the last 3 track days.

A lot of sleep.

Sony Playstation - Gran Turismo 3 has proven to be an integral part of our training regime by allowing us to hone our driving skills while saving wear and tear on the real deal.

Touring the local Nudie bars. (As Larry Flynt said… visualize, visualize, visualize)

Mike: With the doctor's stern warnings requesting for additional supplements to ensure driver health, We've also instituted a revolutionary new program we like to call IHOP.
International House Of Pancakes.
This Program is quite self explanatory. However, it is untested, unbudgeted currently, and desperately in need of funding.

4) What do you think your chances are at OTC?

Mike: Pretty decent. I'll be happy just as long as we aren't sucking exhaust fumes at the back of the pack. I'm daunted by the Flyin' Miata Red Rat that's competing in our class and that Turbo bug. With all the prototype products running, I'm keeping our fingers crossed that we'll be the only one left at the finish line. Besides, the psychic friends network wouldn't lie about our outcome….. would they?

Eddie: As stated on NSXPRIME, Now that I've heard that Andrie and the Rice Rocket Hybrid Civic are not competing, I'm counting on the Turbo Miata to spontaneously combust, the 250hp Turbo Bug to blow their engine (due to a stuck blowoff valve which is later found to be glued shut by another cheating bastard competitor.*Ahem*), and a convenient Meteor shower to eliminate all other competitors in Touring 4. If these 3 simple things happen I will be victorious!! So, yes I think we have very good chance of winning this event outright.

5) Who or what do you see as being your biggest competition?

Eddie : Time. Apparently this is a timed event. No sightseeing, detours or miscellaneous non-race related activities on the track itself. Which is a shame really as I was really looking forward to doing my infamous (and Critically acclaimed) "How to cook Bacon and Eggs on the front straight" show at Thunderhill Park.

Mike: Scurvy. The OTC driver weight regimen is bringing serious detriments to our health and driving abilities. We've considered modifying our TOAST (Patent Pending) training regimen to survive til May.

6) What kind of modifications have you made to the Miata?

OUR Miata has tires on it. And as stated earlier will be running without oil for the last 3 tracks. Thats about it for modifications.

7) Acura NSX or Ferrari F50?

Eddie: Thats like asking Cereal or Prime Rib. Yeah I like cereal but who the heck wants grapenuts (Which I am still convinced is simply re-labeled bird feed) when you can afford the Prime Rib?? I'd take the F-50 without a doubt. You may have to supply me with several extra pairs of shorts though.

Mike: I'll be supplying Eddie with those extra DependsÒ Undergarments.

8) Favorite part of racing?

Mike: Besides the rush of adrenaline, the thrill of the race and the pleasure of leaving your opponents in the dust? There's the wonderful smell of smoking brake pads and exhaust fumes…..They should bottle that and call it Eau-de-go-fast-crack-pipe

Eddie: Speed of course is a given. I also enjoy heckling slow drivers by passing them at the track in vastly inferior cars. I am planning on hitting Portland International Raceway this year with my Bone Stock 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4 and lapping several Porsche's in the Novice group.

9) Create a new offshoot of racing?

Eddie: How about stunt car driving meets track racing. Bonus points are awarded to those who can impress the judges with their daredevil skills while managing to get both their car and their driver across the finish line intact.

Mike: WWF meets track racing…wait isn't that NASCAR?

10) Here's your chance to thank your supporters, beg for money or both…your choice.

A big thanks to our supporters at MSNBC and to anyone out there with a few spare sponsorship dollars lying around out there, feel free to toss a few our way. We'd appreciate it. Also, we are still looking for someone to sponsor us with a set of Matching Nomex driver suits!!! (Any color but pink please). We are trying very hard to break the "Real Men don't drive Miata's" Stereotype.


Previous Miata of the Month Winners

Will you be next?



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