Mazda is taking on the might of prestigious marques such as Aston Martin, Porsche, Lotus, and BMW on the race track with its lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT entry in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship 2011.
A large step forward over the Production class entry it raced in 2010, the Mazda MX-5 GT race car will accelerate from 0-to-60mph in just three seconds and hit a top speed of 160mph, thanks to a dramatic weight loss and increased power.
=Jota Sport, the race engineering team that will run the cars in the 2011 series, took 400 hours to build the shell to a specification that ensured it was 17 times stronger than required by the FIA. During the development they faced a number of engineering challenges such as suspension adjustments, integrating the six speed sequential gearbox, and lowering the engine. Weight saving strategies such as, the removal of interior components, reducing component weight and dipping the shell in acid lost 15kg from the MX-5 race car.
The completed MX-5 GT features a modified Mazda engine to produce 275bhp, a six speed sequential paddle shift gearbox, carbon doors and Polycarbonate windows. On the exterior, the Mazda MX-5 GT boasts a Spirited Green metallic body colour – a first on the MX-5 for Mazda UK – complimented by Jota Sport corporate coloured liveries in orange and grey.
The Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship is contested over nine races from March to November including a race at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The first race is a three hour endurance race at Silverstone next weekend, Saturday 26 March 2011, starting at 3.00pm.
This is the fourth time that Mazda has entered Britcar and this year the Mazda MX-5 GT car will be driven by two Mazda works drivers including experienced Mazda racing driver Mark Ticehurst, 39 from Hassocks, West Sussex and Auto Express journalist and racing driver Owen Mildenhall.
“The MX-5 production race car’s modest power output, bullet proof reliability and nimble handling demonstrated last year how the MX-5 can be competitive against some of the purpose-built Lotus, VW and BMW race cars. With a higher power output combined with the durability, reliability and handling attributes that the MX-5 is renowned for; the MX-5 GT race car will be strong contender against the more powerful race cars in its class,” comments Graeme Fudge, PR Director, Mazda UK.