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August 13, 2020

Mazda Pulls the Plug on Its Mazda3 Race Car

After teasing it last year, Mazda has some sad news for those expecting to see the Mazda3 go racing: the program has been axed.

A report coming out of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine via Jalopnik says Mazda is canceling the program due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Straight from Jalopnik:
The car was initially intended to make its competition debut during the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Daytona in January. Long Road Racing has long paired with Mazda to prepare its Mazda MX-5 Cup cars, so it was a natural connection that this team would also prepare the TCR entries. Then the Long family’s racing operation folded suddenly, leaving Mazda without anyone to build its racers. At that point, the car missed its planned debut and Mazda extended the car’s plan out by a year. 
Development of the 3 TCR was already well underway, and the wholly-American program was looking ready for prime time. A planned series of test days were next on the docket when Long pulled the plug on his operations. Now, several months later, Mazda USA is putting the whole program out to pasture as its sales trend downward and coronavirus continues wreaking havoc on the American economic system.
Moreover, here’s a quote from Emily Taylor, Mazda USA’s Director, Communications & Experiential Marketing.
“Given the recent conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has elected to cancel the development program for the Mazda3 TCR car. We thank all our fans and partners for their continued support for Mazda Motorsports.”

Well, at least the Americans get a turbocharged Mazda3, eh?

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