Prep shop based at Motorsport Ranch Cresson has its roots in the beginnings of Spec Miata
One of the key things to know about Motorsport Enterprises Racing, more commonly known as MER, is that it was founded by Shannon McMasters. Don’t know the name? Well, McMasters is generally regarded as the father of Spec Miata, coming up with the first set of rules before letting others run with it. Now the shop is owned by Darrin George, who began working at the shop in 2007.
“Shannon McMasters started it – he started Spec Miata in ’99,” says George. “I think he built the first MX-5 Cup car in ’05. They campaigned it in ’06 and ’07 and I came out for the 2007 season. That was when everything blew up. They ran three cars in ’06; when I came out in ’07 we had five cars, then 10 in ’08. It got huge and then we all got burned out. [McMasters worked on] RX-7s before Spec Miatas. That’s where I learned about rotaries and how to rebuild them.”
George moved from California to Cresson, Texas, to work at the shop, and says he learned a lot about setups and race cars in general. When things slowed down, he moved on to work at car dealerships, worked with Dodge’s SRT program on the Viper, then McMasters talked to him about selling the shop.
“It’s been three years and nine months since I officially took over MER,” says George. “We’ve stayed true to Miatas and MX-5 racing. We haven’t done Global Mazda MX-5 Cup yet, we’ve just been trying to build the shop back up and get our name back out there and get back into racing. We still do a decent amount of support for MX-5s in NASA and SCCA.”