2003 MR2 Spyder At Buttonwillow: Blissful Momentum And 129 Wheel Horsepower

By Peter Nelson

March 03, 2020


This past weekend, at an event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park hosted by Speed Ventures, prepped MR2 Spyder driver Julen Arellano pulled off an impressive 2:05.730 on its world-famous 13CW configuration. This is by no means any easy feat considering he’s got just 129 WHP to work with. Even with a svelte weight of 2300 lbs. (with driver), 200TW 245-wide BF Goodrich Rival S tires, and aftermarket coilovers, it takes quite a bit of seat time, skill, and love for momentum (that’s actually redundant as mastering momentum is skill) to reach this kind of a time. This side of a fully-caged chassis with full-on slicks of the same size, too.


The MR2 Spyder doesn’t get enough love as a track car; it’s a great chassis that can shed a lot of weight, and it handles incredibly well thanks to its midship design.


The video highlights some great skill, especially when Julen jumps the bane-of-every-non-California-driver’s-existence, Bus Stop, and the rear end comes out a bit through one of the fastest sections of BRP, Riverside.