Road & Track: Running Your First Pro Race While Possibly Dying

Imagine something with us for a minute.

You’re a successful amateur racer and professional motorsport journalist. You get a call from Mazda Motorsports offering you a ride in the 2016 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich’s debut weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. You’d take it. We know you would.

What if you were sick? We’re not talking a case of the sniffles. Full on fever, vomiting, bruised ribs bronchitis. Would you still do it? Sam Smith of Road & Track did. He lived to tell his tale and wrote about it at

“I'm a decent club racer—I've won races, flirted with track records. I know what I'm doing wrong, I just can't make my body do what's right. How do you look through the corner when each of your eyes is in a different zip code? How do you have smooth hands when you can barely keep your head off your chest?”

You don't; at least not well. Sam survived the weekend and got himself well. Hindsight says that he probably shouldn’t have been in a racecar. But we don’t blame him. Because Racecar.

To read Sam’s account of his weekend, visit