With my right foot pressing an imaginary brake pedal in the floor as hard as I could and my heart in my throat, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Going down hill into turn 10A at Road Atlanta, I sat strapped in the passenger side of my own Miata and watched as Rob Ebersol shifted up into fifth gear at the 300 foot sign and continued to accelerate. I was certain that our next stop was the gravel pit at the end of the straight, because, in my mind, there was no way we would navigate turns 10A and 10B carrying that much speed. I was wrong, and the reason I was wrong was that I didn’t understand the physics of driving a momentum car like the Spec Miata!
With the smoothness and precision that he had done thousands of times before, professional Miata driver, Rob Ebersol, whom I call “The Momentum Meister,” shifted back down into fourth gear and braked hard inside 100 feet, dropped into third gear, rotated the car to the left, and stood on the gas. My Miata responded perfectly by clipping the curb on the left, drifting out and touching the inside curb at the apex of 10B, and then power sliding all the way to the edge of the rougher curb as it entered turn 11 under full power in third gear.
In that one sequence, Rob had shown and explained to me through the intercom in my helmet most of the things that I needed to know about driving a momentum car like the Spec Miata. He had taught me about “progressive braking,” “load shifting,” “car rotation,” “proper turn-in,” and “timely use of power.” Also, he had shown me the tremendous braking ability of the car, the phenomenal tire adhesion, and the uncanny racing worthiness of the Miata. Therefore, in one track day with Rob Ebersol, I knocked 11 seconds off my previous fastest time at Road Atlanta, and that’s why I hired the “Momentum Meister” to teach me the track and the car.
In more than ten years of competitive driving with SCCA, Rob Ebersol has driven everything from Solo II to Grand-Am Cup and Motorola Cup in the professional ranks. Though most of his track time is in Mazda Miatas, Rob has driven ITA in RX-7’s and the Viper Nationals in a Dodge Viper GTS. Also, he is probably known more for his expertise with a Miata on Road Atlanta, but he has driven competitively at Daytona, Roebling Road, Watkins Glen, Las Vegas, Moroso, Charlotte, Sebring, and Mosport.
Rob Ebersol has been an instructor with the BMW Club, the Porsche Club, the Miata Performance Driving School, the Road Atlanta Performance Driving School, and numerous private students like myself. In 1993, Rob was the SCCA Rookie Solo Driver of the Year, in 1996, he was the SCCA Rookie Road Racer of the Year, in 1997, Rob was the SE Regional Champion in Showroom Stock C, and in 1998, he was the SE Endurance Champion in Showroom Stock C.
Off the track, Rob Ebersol has been the Motorsports Editor of Miata Magazine, a consultant/writer/contributor for Grassroots Motorsports, and wrote the motorsports chapter in the book, “Miata Performance Handbook” by Garrett. Rob is also a respected and valuable member of the Atlanta Region of SCCA.
Despite going through the SCCA novice driver’s school at Roebling Road, driving more than ten races this year, studying films, and discussing techniques with numerous seasoned drivers, I have learned more from Rob Ebersol than all of the others combined. In addition, I have watched from trackside as he drove several different cars at Road Atlanta, and I continue to be amazed at his smoothness and perfection lap after lap. Rob Ebersol has truly earned the title of the “Momentum Meister,” and despite his busy schedule, he enjoys passing on his knowledge to rookie drivers through private lessons. For additional information, or to contact Rob directly, call his office at: 404-687-8889.