"A mid-engined Miata with a flat-six," is how the Matt Million starts describing the Spec Boxster. Is it a big departure from something with less power? No, not really, but it does have some characteristics that the Miata just doesn't. Overall, it's not quite as nimble a car. The Porsche currently weighs in at 2,550 pounds—a few hundred heavier than the Mazda—though they're aiming to trim another 100 pounds from it in the coming year.
But what it lacks in pure chuckability, it gains in low-rev torque. This asset makes it less of a sitting duck in traffic-heavy situations; negotiating backmarkers is much, much easier. For events such last weekend's 14-hour race with the Lucky Dog Racing League, having some grunt on demand made it easier for his team to finish 7th out of 45—and without any major issues! Well, that is if you don't count an iffy starter and a gearknob that decided to fly off in the middle of Turn 5.
As Million mentions in his personal blog's race report, this trip to Laguna was more of a competitive shakedown than a podium attempt. Technik Competition hired him to help provide "quick and consistent stints to aid in setup baselines, data and tech, and give suggestions on next steps this weekend. But before he could do that, he had to adjust his style to suit the Porsche.
A Delicate Touch
Being mid-engined, the Spec Boxster requires a different cornering approach than the more benign Spec Miata. "I found myself extracting my best times with very delicate inputs on corner entry and planting to full throttle earlier on exits. The turn-in rotation will catch out anyone expecting it to have the weight transfer of a Miata!"
This edginess ought not to be seen as an unshakable characteristic of the car; this particular example is just in its developmental infancy. Oh, and the 200TW tires causing a little more sliding during the mid-corner phase. In Million's estimation, the Spec Boxster only needs a limited-slip differential and a set of similar tires to lap Laguna 3-4 seconds faster than the best Spec Miatas.
Especially considering how this car from Technik Competition was struggling slightly through its maiden outing at Laguna Seca, it's impressive just how well it's sorted it is. This Boxster will compete in future Lucky Dog, NASA WERC, 25 Hours of Thunderhill, and WRL events. As such, it's mostly Spec Boxster but will be receiving some parts from Porsche 911 GT3s as well as some endurance-optimized components for the long races it'll soon be competing in. It might not have the cachet of the Cup car, but as this footage illustrates, it is a formidable racer for a fraction of the cost.
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