My college World History teacher was a cute, young professor who loved to teach--Im sure a few guys asked her out that semester; wonder how they fared...I don't recall much that semester, but I do recall this: She drew a circle on the board and labeled "Democracy" at the top. Tracing 360 degrees around with her hand, she wrote "Communism" next to Democracy and said, "Democracy and Communism are as different as can be; and as similar."
A Radical SR3 is a race car; as is a spec Miata. They're VERY different, but share unexpected similarities. On a circle, the Miata and Radical may sit side by side, separated by 360 degrees; and by 0...if the measure is balance.
My track days began in a Noble M12, an amazing car designed by Lee Noble (Fact: Lee follows the XNR Facebook Page). Coolest car I'd owned, but difficult to learn on: No driver aids, massive power, and 2300 lbs. And though extremely nimble, not equipped with sports racer aero like the Radical. Driving the M12 on track was akin to driving a Corvette or Viper: Before a turn, you brake...A LOT. Power drowns out grip. This can make it difficult to navigate an apex with optimal speed and position, as the concern becomes braking enough to keep the car on track. Hold that thought...
After a random day at the track in a spec Miata, I accepted an offer from Lemonata Racing to race in the 2017 24-Hours of LeMons at High Plains (Shout out to Eric and Chris, great guys! Find them if you want to race in a Miata). With 6 hours of LeMons racing, I learned a ton about Miatas and how the style differs from an M12. "The Miata is a momentum car", says everyone, all the time. Translation: Power and aerodynamics are relatively balanced. Sure, the Miata has no aero...but it's not a powerhouse either. Therefore, one can often take turns without braking. The car's ability to stick to the track is similar to it's ability to accelerate. This is nice for learning, as a driver can approach many corners from the point of being able to handle more speed, as opposed to feeling like they may sling-shot off the track.
The Radical SR3 exists in an entirely different dimension. In no way whatsoever is it a street car, but a purpose-built racer from head to toe. In one way, its more similar to the Miata than the track-happy Noble: Power/grip balance. Radicals have serious aerodynamic wizardry. And while it out-accelerates a Miata, it has less thrust than a Noble (unless were talking about a Radical RXC). As the Miata tackles many turns brakeless, the SR3 is no different. It enters turns much faster; and thanks to aerodynamic panache, it can do it full-throttle. In many ways, the SR3 is also a "momentum car". It just has far more of every factor while maintaining balance. But thats the key here! The balance of an SR3 is brilliant!
The SR3 is a massive adrenaline-producing experience; it is so visceral! Braking, turning, accelerating, feedback from the ground, the noise, the open cockpit...and the balance. It's more fun than anything I've driven or can imagine driving.
I'll go out on a limb and claim that the Radical SR3 is also a great car to learn in! It allows a driver to work on conserving momentum, while reducing lap times through safe, incremental increases in speed. In the hands of an advanced driver, the SR3 is blindingly fast; but the rookie should not shy away!
And of course, for those looking to offset that power/aerodynamic balance a bit, there is always the 600hp RXC Spyder...