As an auto manufacturer, Mazda has an excellent reputation for supporting motorsports across the spectrum, from grassroots and amateurs up to the pros. The Skip Barber Spec Miata has performance specs that are a little bit lower than the Mazda MX5 Cup cars. The engines aren’t blueprinted like the top-notch cars. The suspension isn’t quite as dialed in. But a Skip Barber Spec Miata is still a really good car to learn competitive driving skills, and the Skip Barber Racing School is appreciative of Mazda’s attention. Autobytel recently got an overview of Skip Barber’s instruction cars. When the school gets a Mazda MX-5 to add to the fleet, it doesn’t need much work before it’s ready to be a solidly performing race car. The first priority is to tune up the suspension with stiffer shocks and lowering springs. The engine stays stock, other than a race exhaust system and intake, boosting the horsepower from the stock 170 to about 180. A limited slip differential and brake pads are the only other modifications, except for safety equipment. The Skip Barber MX-5s even use street tires. Of course, beginning racers need to know how to get behind the wheel, too, especially since that safety equipment can complicate matters. A demo of proper seating position rounds out Skip Barber’s Mazda MX-5 overview.