Wednesday 31 July 2013

MX-5 Open Race

30 cars, 4 hours, lots of fun!
Continuing with the worldwide 20th birthday celebrations, Mazda put together a 4 hour endurance race and invited European motoring media to form teams of journalists and compete in specially modified Roadsters.  The venue was Adria International Raceway in Italy, and there were 30 cars on the grid each given a country-specific racing colour scheme.  Mazda certainly knows how to generate publicity!  Here's a look at the livery for the Austrian, German, and UK teams, if you want to see the others a full gallery of all the race liveries can be found here.
The cars were specially prepared for the race with a development team running a test car at Hockenheim which you can see in the video below.  Each one was fitted with a rollcage to meet safety requirements and used uprated brakes to cope with the demands of endurance racing.  There were also a few unique parts such as a rear diffuser piece with a cut out for the centre exit exhaust system.  A unique aerodynamic rear deck cover and rear spoiler were used.  The cars were also fitted with lightweight 17" Nitro alloy wheels by German company Motec paired with racing slick tyres.
After the success of the 2010 event and the publicity it created for the Roadster, Mazda changed things up for the following year and hosted another race.  This time Sweden was the host and the event took place not on smooth tarmac but on... ice.  Yes you can use a RWD car to race on ice, provided it's fitted with skinny spiked tyres of course!  Oh and you'll need the obligatory icey themed livery...