It’s an alternative to Spec Miata and Spec E30 which might sway a few more to switch teams after watching this footage. True, the running costs of Spec Boxster are a little more than those of the aforementioned categories, but the added torque and mid-engine balance are worth the extra few thousand more per season.
An Appealing Alternative
The Spec Boxster adheres to a stringent rulebook to keep costs low and give the average enthusiast a chance to race a real Porsche and enjoy all the cachet that comes with having a P-car with a rollcage. Its ruleset still allows for reasonably wide tires, which is a good thing, since the Spec Boxster isn’t a particularly powerful car. Its 2.5-liter engine makes roughly 188 wheel horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque—enough to get its 2,650 pounds up to speed reasonably quickly, even with the factory gears retained as per the regulations.
Though a little twitchier than a Spec Miata, it’s still a relatively welcoming car to drive. Case in point: on a set of Toyos with 12 heat cycles, Justin Crick puts together a pair of clean laps behind an older 911 at the flowing, scenic Chuckwalla Raceway. Even with the distraction ahead, Crick manages to claim the POC Spec Boxster lap record with a 1:59.32. “This suggested that there’s still much more performance there,” he says. “Even with the wrong gearing and a few moments where I hit the limiter, I went nearly 2 seconds faster than the previous record.”
Prioritizing the Mid-Corner Phase
Unlike more powerful P-cars, the Spec Boxster isn’t a typical “point-and-shoot” car. Still very much a momentum car with more grip than power, the mid-corner phase needs to be prioritized to find the lap time. Thanks in part to wearing relatively large 255/40/17 tires, it does corner a little better than the momentum car benchmark that is the Spec Miata. Crick, a former Spec Miata racer, finds that the minimum speeds in most places are just a little higher in the Porsche. The Boxster does require a little more trail braking, however, and isn’t quite as agile as a Miata—something which is noticeable in quick direction changes. Nevertheless, it’s still a pretty pointy thing.
The only real hindrances at this stage of the Spec Boxster’s brief career are its open differential and its lack of testing. Being mid-engined with a bigger footprint, it has the potential to out-brake a Miata, but there simply haven’t been enough inquisitive drivers testing different brake compounds to find the right one just yet.
The car is still in a fledgling state of development, but a strong turnout in southern California, a newer platform, and mid-engine balance promises a intriguing racing series once people starting moving away from BMW E30s and Miatas. It might take some time, but we can all admit we’d like to see these cars in fields of twenty-five—though, hopefully, without the bashing that earned Spec Miata the moniker of “Spec Pinata.”