I'm about to make myself sound really stupid here, be forewarned.. But what are ITA and ITS?
IT stands for Improved Touring, which is broken out into different classes such as ITA (Hondas, NA Miatas, etc), ITS (Rx7s, NB Miatas, MX5s, etc), ITR (944s and other Porsches, BMWs, etc), ITB (VW Rabbits, Mr2, etc), ITC (even slower Rabbits).
These are basically just other classes that you can "double dip" in on a regional weekend, and you can run in ITA if you have an NA miata, or you can run in ITS if you have an NB miata. However, technically the SM is not legal in IT for some stupid reasons and we got protested because everyone hates running with us SM guys . So, the class that we do is STL (Super Touring Lite), which the car is very underclassed for, but the regional competition isn't that strong. In the CFR, as well as many other regions ... you can run the Spec Miata class for on average, $200 per event, and then you get a discount on the second entry when you double dip into STL or ITS. So you get double the track time for about $100 more.
When you are first starting out, I would encourage the following things:
- Run take off tires until you're within a second or two of the leaders per lap. This will help your learning process and make you a more well rounded driver over time. This will also make it so you are spending your money on track time and not the purple crack.
- Use the limited funds you do have to do as many double dipping and enduros as you can afford, in addition to SM. Track time is where you should be focusing your spending on and it is a great discount value when you add on enduros and other race classes.
- Socialize with other teams and drivers. If we don't know who you are and we blow by you ... we can't help you...you will just be some car on the track.
- Don't get worried about what part of the pack you are in. Focus on improving yourself each session, no matter where you finish. Unless you are Ayrton Senna, you are most likely not going to be in the front pack for a while, and that is completely normal. We have all been there. I autocrossed and did PDX for 5 years before I started racing SM. What a wake up call it was, as I was a pretty good autox driver, thought I was a decent PDX driver, and my first time on Sebring long course I think I was over 10 seconds off pace, starting in 50th+ position. So, do not get discouraged if that happens to you.
- Most importantly, HAVE FUN!