My name is Tom Hampton. I’m a new race driver. I’ve been building my SM since 2010. If you want to read about my build, you can check out my blog. I’ve done almost everything myself—for better or worse. I first met Chris, when I lost a front brake caliper bolt while I was on a test drive. I posted a grumble on mazdaracers.com about my stupidity, and Chris quickly PM’d me offering me a bolt from his stash.
There are two (well maybe 4) things that I’m didn’t feel qualified to do: paint and engine. The other two would be transmission and differential rebuilds.
Once I was “mostly” done with the mechanical changes to the car, I asked Chris to paint it for me. As you can see he did an awesome job. I’d drawn a sketch of what I wanted, but Chris had some problems with the sketch, and I just gave him free reign to tape it how he though would look good. He did an awesome job.
When it comes to engines, while I can do the mechanical work (I built my first engine when I was 14)….there is a black art to making maximum horsepower within the limits of the SM rules. For that, I turned to Chris.
Anyway, this is supposed to be a bio. What else is there to know? I grew up watching the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 on ABC sports with my dad. Nothing more than that throughout my childhood and most of my adult life. Then in 2009 my family all bought me a 10 lap drive around in a NASCAR car at Texas Motor Speedway. It was awesome. I was hooked. I couldn’t figure out how these “instructors” could make a living instructing and driving race cars. So, I started doing google searches. I quickly found my way to specmiata.com. You can build a racecar out of an old miata? Really!? You can race it with like minded people? Really!? Wow. I’m in.
So, I found a local HPDE group, and rented a prep’d miata for the day. It was turbo charged. That didn’t hurt. What a day. Two months later, I rented another SM prep’d miata, and went back. Alsoo awesome. 3 weeks later I found a great deal on a ’92 via Craig’s List.
Three years later, I’m reaching the final stages of the car build. I’ve been to the two local tracks numerous times in various HPDE events. Now, with Chris’ help, I’m about to enter the realm of Wheel to Wheel racing.
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