Monday, November 20, 2017

Will You Go Racing in a Mazda MX-5?


Quick: what’s the most raced brand America’s grassroots racing scene? If you’re thinking Toyota, Nissan, or Subaru, then you’re wrong. It’s Mazda. According to 2015 figures of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), Mazda is the preferred brand by grassroots racers a whopping 55 percent of the time (it’s closer to 60 percent now); and at the cornerstone of all that is the MX-5.

Recognized as the world’s most raced production car, Mazda realized the importance of producing a race-ready MX-5 straight from the factory. Mazda Motorsports, Mazda’s in-house racing division, tapped into the engineering talents in its biggest market, the US, to produce a turnkey racer. Teaming up with Long Road Racing in North Carolina, the result is the MX-5 Global Cup car. Removing the cost of having to engineer and fabricate racing parts, it allows racers to focus on what matters the most: racing.

All MX-5 Global Cup cars are identical. They start as complete MX-5 road cars shipped from Hiroshima, Japan before being transported to Long Road Racing. There, they are transformed into a complete race car. The process includes disassembly of the production car, followed by welding, paint, as well as a full roll cage and interior, and then assembly of the race car with more than 250 motorsport-specific parts. Components such as the engine (the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G), transmission, and limited slip differential are sealed to ensure even competition. In fact, homologation is taken seriously in that 200 components are documented, cataloged, and photographed to form a “vehicle passport.”



Aside from being provided with ready-to-race MX-5s, Global Cup racers also have the benefit of dedicated on-site team support at every race. This includes technical support and driver coaching as well as parts sales and service along with professional marketing and PR. There is even an option for drivers to rent a drive for a race weekend or a full season with an experienced, professional team at their disposal.

Currently, the MX-5 Global Cup runs in two countries: the US and Japan. It follows a 45-minute race format with two races per weekend in the US and one race per weekend in Japan. The winners then get to compete at a global finale at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California where a total of US$ 120,000 (~ P 6,000,000) in prize money is at stake. Recognized as an entry-level professional racing series, the global champion also gets US$ 200,000 (~ P 10,100,000) in racing scholarship and possibly a step into higher levels of motorsports be it open-wheeled or touring cars. For instance, the 2016 global champion got a one-day test in Mazda’s top-level IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) prototype racer.

Reiterating its commitment in developing grassroots racing in the country, the Philippines may become the third country to join the MX-5 Global Cup.

No stranger to the Philippine motorsports scene, Bermaz Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles and parts in the country, backed up Michele Bumgarner’s Road to Indy quest in 2013. Then, they’ve forged a partnership with Edwin Rodriguez whose Mazda2 Skyactiv won the Philippine Touring Car Championship Division 3 both as a privateer and as a factory-backed driver. Most recently, they’ve cemented a long-term relationship with the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP)’s Motor Sports Development Program or MSDP.



Steven Tan, Bermaz Auto Philippines’s President and CEO says that the company is currently evaluating the feasibility of bringing the MX-5 Global Cup into the country. Mr. Tan believes that the MX-5 Global Cup is a cost-effective means to hold a globally recognized professional level motorsports racing series in the country.

“Why fix if it ain’t broke,” he said. “The Mazda MX-5 Global Cup has proven itself to be a great viable racing series in both the US and Japan. We already have two great race tracks in the country [Batangas Racing Circuit and the Clark International Speedway], so it’s just making sure that the Global Cup series is viable for us here as well. We have to make sure it’s sustainable not just for us in Bermaz Auto Philippines, but for the racers as well.”

His statement is echoed by Takahiro Kobayakawa from Mazda’s Brand Strategy Department in charge of Global Sales and Marketing, who flew in to witness the finale of the Miata Cup at the Clark International Speedway.


“The Mazda MX-5 provides great performance at an affordable price. This is backed up by the fact that more than 3,000 MX-5s are currently being used for racing. With the Mazda MX-5 Global Cup, we are making it easier for aspiring professional road racers to get involved. The Philippine setting is no different from the US or Japan since there are a lot of talented racing drivers here. All they need is just the right platform to get involved. We believe that this racing series could suit their needs.”

Currently, the MX-5 Global Cup car costs US$ 58,900 (~ P 2,993,950) excluding the racing seat and shipping fees. With all the appropriate duties and taxes, it will cost around P 4,500,000.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Global Cup Car Specifications

Engine
  • Sealed SKYACTIV-G 2.0L four-cylinder engine (157 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm, 201 Nm @ 4,600 rpm)
  • Sealed race specification ECU by GEMS
  • Stainless Steel race exhaust header and full exhaust system with muffler designed and manufactured by Kooks Racing Headers
  • Setrab engine oil cooler with race quality oil lines and fittings
  • Castrol Edge engine oil
  • Oversized C&R radiator
  • Coolant (non-glycol based)
  • Radiator protection screen
  • Long Road Racing engineered and manufactured cross brace upper strut bar
Drivetrain
  • Sealed six-speed manual motorsports transmission (reinforced 3rd / 4th gear and stud bolts) with pump and Setrab cooler
  • ACT clutch kit
  • Sealed limited-slip differential with pump, Setrab cooler and thermal controller
  • Transmission and differential Castrol Syntrax fluids
Suspension
  • Long Road Racing engineered front adjustable stabilizer bar
  • Adjustable front and rear sway bar links
  • Sealed Dynamic DSSV 2-way adjustable dampers
  • Coil over race springs and helper springs
  • Torrington bearing spring perches
  • BFGoodrich g-Force 215/610 - 17 slick tires
  • Rays Wheels lightweight forged aluminum 17” x 7.5” racing wheels  
  • MSI wheel studs and lug nuts
Brakes
  • Stock Brembo 4 piston front calipers
  • Pagid brake pads
  • Goodridge shielded flexible brake lines
  • Grooved rotors by Brembo
  • Castrol SRF brake fluid
  • Long Road Racing engineered and manufactured brake cooling ducts and hoses (fog light mounted)
Interior
  • FIA, SCCA, IMSA, NASA, ACCUS, JAF approved roll (cage specifications:  Laser cut and pre-bent roll bars with 6’4” (193 cm) tall driver capability; Long Road Racing designed symmetric roll cage design for left and right hand drive cars; Full NASCAR style door bars for both sides with finished and painted door cutouts; Grey automotive painted cage and interior for easy touch up; (Optional) interior and colors available for an additional charge
  • Center mounted electronic control cluster
  • AiM MXL2 Data system.  (Optional AiM Smarty Cam can be installed at an additional cost.)
  • Max Papis Innovations (MPI) race steering wheel, custom design includes Mazda logo
  • NRG quick release steering wheel hub
  • Panoramic rearview mirror
  • FIA approved racing harness
  • Left and right window nets
  • Lifeline Electronic FIA approved fire system
  • Fused electric circuits for additional equipment
  • Solenoid controlled main power cutoff switches. Rear bulk head enclosure at base of the windshield and center console.
Body
  • Artic White factory paint
  • Safecraft non-marring tow hooks
  • AMB Transponder with one-year subscription
  • Battery Tender Lithium Ion battery mounted in the trunk
Documentation
  • Vehicle homologation document containing all Mazda part numbers
  • Users Guide containing maintenance schedule and procedures
  • Bill of sale for off road use only (no title)
  • Race car component manufacturer documentation (tires, data system, fire suppression system, etc.)
  • Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) updates (all new car builds will include all published TSB updates designated as REQUIRED as of date of delivery).

2 comments:

  1. Hell no!!!! With that specs!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Miata
    Is
    Always
    The
    Answer

    Slow cars are more fun than fast cars since you can push it to it's limits without running out of road.

    ReplyDelete

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