While driving a manual transmission is different on the track vs. on the street, track techniques can be practiced on the road
When Logan Clampitt won the opportunity to test a Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car through his victory in the Mazda Hot Lap Challenge, he had one challenge to overcome before climbing into the race car: he had never driven a manual-transmission car before.
All current model Mazda MX-5 Miatas are available with either a manual transmission or an automatic with paddle-shift option, making it possible for modern-day enthusiasts to never have to worry about a third pedal. But, while most drivers heading to their first track day or autocross in a manual transmission car know how to drive one on the street, they may not be familiar with the best way to use one on the track.
For example, getting used to up-shifts in different conditions while trying to maximize acceleration is different from moving up through the gears on the road. And, while most people learn to simply push the clutch in when coming to a stop and then put the gearbox back into first gear while stationary, downshifting on the track to keep the car in the optimum gear is another level of mastery that must be honed.