Mazda Roadster Festival – Car News – Car and Driver

23 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mazda Roadster Festival – Car News – Car and Driver
Mazda Roadster


A in King Miata’s Court.

The has its share of enthusiastic car clubsBMW, Viper, Ferrari, Porsche, to just a fewbut no club in this country can rival the Mazda Roadster Festival in an all-day celebration of one of the world’s sports cars. Backed by the the festival is held at Tsukuba a nifty 1.2-mile road about 60 miles south of The activities include time for Miata club members, laps by a throng of Mazda (the rotary-powered coupe set the stage for the Mazda RX-7), a contest (involving girls, not demo laps by Mazda drivers, and, the central a four-hour Miata endurance

The enduro is allegedly for journalists, is how C/D ‘s correspondent in Japan, Lyon, happened to be on hand, with your humble and Sam Mitani, colleague from Track. However, the better identical 1.6-liter Miatas the green flagwere loaded ringers, guys who were active pro racers or recently Tops among the ringers was Hattori, a Formula Nippon who had a CART ride with Coyne Racing in 1999.

Hattori anchored the winning which included three guys almost as quick as he

Mitani and I, the only Yanks on were billed as Team a grouping that also Ikuo Maeda, who is leading the effort on the soon-to-be launched RX-8. Team USA indeed.

An element of the Mazda four-hour is the race doesn’t always go to the Each team is allotted 61 (16.1 gallons) of fuel for the event, and more than the fuel-frugal teams have on at the end to win when the fast guys ran out of

Another interesting feature of race, which enjoyed its renewal, was an old-time Le Mans complete with the cross-track to the waiting cars. There was a when I was relatively fleet of but that time, like the De is in the distant past. Climbing the car through the roll cage was time-consuming, as was doing up the seatbelts.

At with most of the field rolling, I was under way, I began to wonder what had to the car’s power. I’d into third gear I realized the crew had set the hand Releasing it helped my forward

A lot.

From this beginning, things went It began to rain. Did I mention these Miatas were And did I mention these were Miatas? Left-hand shifting?

I a few shifts during my two stints. 107 or so. Fortunately, the misses were upshifts, so the engine didn’t

Beyond that, the fuel aspect went by the boards the wet weather.

Mazda Roadster

To make a four-hour story we slithered around out there any real problems and finished out of 27. Unremarkable, for sure.

What was though, was the intensity of the racing at the of the pack.

During the last or so, Hattori and Ryo Michigamianother Formula regularwere never more a second apart, in conditions varied from damp to contending with traffic at corner, as you’d expect 27 cars on a short track. It was of the best racing I’ve this season.

The other remarkable element was the of the 5000 or so fans who turned out for event. Despite miserable they hung in until the Wow.

Wouldn’t it be swell if would do something like in the U.S. With left-hand-drive Come to think of it, Mazda is up with Laguna Seca,

Doesn’t rain there much, either.

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