Video: Can the Barra MX-5 run eights?

We take the MX-5 back to Heathcote to see if we can squeeze an eight-second pass out of it

Photographers: Matt Hull
Videographers: Matt Hull

Regular viewers of our Carnage YouTube show will know we had an absolute field day in the Barra-swapped MX-5 at the recent Summernats Slam event at Heathcote Park Raceway, where it ran a fistful of nine-second passes and never broke a sweat.

However, like any good racer, we want more, so this fresh episode sees us back at Heathcote to chase an eight-second timeslip.

At Slam, the little Mazda ran a PB of 9.62, but since then we’ve made a few simple changes in order to break into the eights. The biggest of those was a rear anti-roll bar kit from Enemies Racing Australia. The MX-5 had some major lean the whole way down the track during its runs at Slam, so we had the new kit installed by BSC Performance to hopefully dial that out and get the car launching straighter. We also ripped some weight out of the car, because the best mods are always free!

Once we got the Mazda back to Heathcote, the first run of the day to ease the car in saw a 9.8, and joy of joys, it launched straight as a die with the new anti-roll bar without any adjustment.

The second pass was an absolute ripper, Scotty surprising everyone including himself with a new PB of 9.26@147mph! It’s an awesome achievement for the little Mazda, especially when you consider the Barra is still a stock-bottom-end green-top.

For the next run, Scotty subbed in our favourite larrikin Bubba Medlyn of ACE Performance Parts. It was his very first time driving the car, and he clocked a 9.39 at the same 147mph as Scotty on a softer launch.

Unfortunately, the fun was then cut short when the boys spotted 0psi of oil pressure on the Haltech dash after the car came back from that pass. We suspect the LPG mill has suffered a case of broken oil pump gears, but because it wasn’t making any suspect engine noises we may be able to get away with a new set of gears and squeeze some more life out of this combo as we shoot for eights. Fingers crossed!