New Beginnings

The new year is always a lively time. Sure, most of us are still mired in the dead of winter and up to our knees in snow, but there is something about that new beginning, that fresh start that brings with it a palpable sense of energy and urgency.

Here at Speed News, we spent December — the only month we don’t produce a new issue — working on editorial plans for 2016. We are excited about them, too, not just because we get geeked out about producing great content, but because of how useful we think it will be to Speed News readers.

For example, we introduced in the November 2015 issue a new feature called “Class Syllabus,” which will appear in each issue of Speed News. “Class Syllabus” uses an info-graphic approach to highlight a given NASA racing class. Last November, we opened with an introduction to NP01, a new class in which the Élan NP01 will race. In this issue, we highlight Spec Iron, a class that looks poised to bloom as prices on 2005 to 2010 Ford Mustangs continue to fall into donor car ranges.

We’ve made some changes toward the front of the book, too, in our departments. “Tech Matters,” which appeared somewhat sporadically last year, will be in every issue in 2016. “Tech Matters” takes an in-depth look at a technical subject and exposes it to readers. In this issue, we look at a phenomenon known as pad knock-back, and learn what’s actually happening and what you can do to either prevent it or deal with it effectively.

We also have one last “Going Pro” column for you from the 2014 Mazda Road to the 24 Shootout winner Kyle Loustaunau, who diligently wrote about his foray into pro racing in 2015 in the Battery Tender MX-5 Cup series.

“Going Pro” will be going away after this issue, but we’ll be adding “Timeout With,” a new department that features a brief Q&A with a NASA member of interest. This month, we interview Jeremy Barnes, a NASA SoCal Spec Miata racer who also is the director of public relations for Mazda North American Operations. Barnes got to drive the GTO RX-7 at the Goodwood Festival last year.

Of course, we also have some great features planned, too, with the sole goals in mind of providing information you need to become a better driver and to help you become more adept at the mechanical aspects of high-performance driving and racing. We will offer you feature stories on theory, instruction and lots of tech bits for 2016. Count on them.

We’re also coming to your regions this year. Well, not every region, but we’ll be on the road for the Eastern and Western States Championships, and HyperFest. We also hope to hit some crossover events where two or more regions come together at one great track. We haven’t nailed down the details, yet, but we love getting lots of different NASA members’ cars and faces into the magazine, and the only way to do that is to hit the road.

Beginning with this issue, Speed News is now being distributed on a new platform, the software that makes it a magazine and not just another website. The new platform is friendlier to search engines and offers readers better ways to share the information with friends. The Apple app will no longer work, but the platform is designed to work equally well across all hardware and software platforms.

The new platform and all our improvements for 2016 are part of our effort to make Speed News a more valuable member benefit, and an indispensible part of your NASA experience, whether you are in the HPDE program, Time Trials or racing. Here’s to new beginnings.

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