Posts Tagged ‘motorsports’

2014 Mazda Skyactiv Prototype looks ready for Daytona

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 17th, 2014

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2014 Mazda Skyactiv Prototype

With less than two weeks before the Mazda Skyactiv Prototype makes its race debut at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Japanese Zoom-Zoom brand brought its diesel-powered racer to the floor of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

The red prototype marks Mazda’s return to prototype racing, and will campaign the inaugural Tudor United SportsCar Championship using a 2.2-liter, SkyActiv-D diesel engine. With 451 horsepower on tap and 580 pound-feet of torque, the racer should stand up well against a field of gas-powered competitors.

Should the Skyactiv win Daytona, it’ll be a coup for Mazda. The racer is running an engine with over 50 percent of its parts drawn from the oft-delayed production Skyactiv-D. Head up top for our full gallery of images of the new Skyactiv Prototype. The 2014 Rolex 24 will be run from January 25 to 26.

2014 Mazda Skyactiv Prototype looks ready for Daytona originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Jan 2014 11:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Red Bull RX-7 goes drift crazy on New Zealand’s Crown Range

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 8th, 2013

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Red Bull Crown Range drifting by Mad Mike

For the first time ever, the Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest paved road, was closed off for the drifting pleasure of one man. That man is Mad Mike Whiddett, and the machine he’s piloting is a heavily modified Mazda RX-7 sponsored by the energy-rich crew from Red Bull and powered by a 750-horsepower quad-rotor engine. There will be smoke. Lots and lots of smoke.

Mad Mike hits speeds in excess of 140 miles per hour over the course of the road’s six and a half miles, which boasts 47 individual corners at over 3,500 feet of elevation. Scroll down for all kinds of fire-belching, tire-squealing and smoke-inducing action. Or, as Mad Mike himself puts it, “A dream turned into reality.”

Continue reading Red Bull RX-7 goes drift crazy on New Zealand’s Crown Range

Red Bull RX-7 goes drift crazy on New Zealand’s Crown Range originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 May 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The 2013 Rolex 24-hour race at Daytona comes down to the last hour [spoilers, w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 28th, 2013

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It took 24 hours to run the race, but it was the last one was stuffed with the high action as four cars were still trying to figure out how to gain victory on the track and in the pits. Along with the obligatory crashes, spins, mechanical issues and retirements had come numerous penalties, a double-digit number of full-course yellows and two hours of fog that turned early Sunday morning into a stretch of parade laps.

The final hour would make up for the morning – drivers who might have been happy just to get on the podium had a shot at victory as the end of the race approached, and that turned into a few gambles that paid off, and at least one that didn’t…

Continue reading The 2013 Rolex 24-hour race at Daytona comes down to the last hour [spoilers, w/video]

The 2013 Rolex 24-hour race at Daytona comes down to the last hour [spoilers, w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jan 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Diesel-powered Mazda6 going racing in Grand-Am Series

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 30th, 2012

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Diesel-powered Mazda6 Grand-Am Series racer - artist's rendering

The diesel version of the 2014 Mazda6 won’t be hitting North American showrooms until the middle of next year, but we won’t have to wait that long to see the car in action. Mazda will enter its midsize sedan in the new Grand-Am GX class with a Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine under the hood, and the car will make its racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 26. This will be the first time in the race’s 60-year history that a diesel-powered car has competed in the 24-hour race.

We first heard about the 2.2-liter turbocharged Skyactiv-D race engine back in June, but we now know it will used in the Mazda6 and we have a little bit better of an idea of power output. Developed in conjunction with SpeedSource, the clean diesel racer is said to produce more than 400 horsepower using many of the same components that will be found on the passenger version of the car.

The newly created GX class will race against the Daytona Prototypes and GT class cars, and its goal is to provide a race class for alternative fuels and technologies. In addition to the Mazda6, the Lotus Evora GX will also compete in the this class, which will be composed of 13 models from 12 automakers – including Audi, Hyundai, Ford and Scion.

Scroll down for Mazda’s press release, and be sure to check out the Grand-Am link for more information.

Continue reading Diesel-powered Mazda6 going racing in Grand-Am Series

Diesel-powered Mazda6 going racing in Grand-Am Series originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Nov 2012 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 22nd, 2012

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Mazda MX-5 Miata GT4 racecar from Jota Sport

Mazda has just revealed the latest iteration of its MX-5 Miata GT4 race car, and it promises to be the meanest one you’ll ever meet.

Mazda has Jota Sport building the GT4 using carbon fiber doors, splitter rear diffuser and wing with an FIA-spec roll cage inside. Under the hood crouches a turbocharged 2.0-liter MZR cranking out 320 horsepower. In a car that only weighs only 2,200 pounds, every horse is pulling less than seven pounds each. A six-speed sequential shift gearbox is standard equipment. A separate cooling system for the differential and gearbox keeps things less heated and adjustable traction control helps keep the car between the lines. Mazda says the car will be fully homologated for GT4 racing.

“The car is an easy car to race and would even suit track day enthusiasts. We are still developing the car, but we are now at a point that we can offer this car to customers safe in the knowledge that it is going to be a front runner in any GT4 field,” says Sam Hignett, Managing Director of Jota Group.

All that fast won’t come cheap. The monster Miata starts at $197k with options like soft touch control panel, lithium power pack, endurance exhaust and four-way adjustable dampers taking the price up and up. Despite the daunting price, the Miata still works out as pretty affordable by turnkey GT4 standards.

Check out the full press release below for more details.

Continue reading This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like

This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Aug 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda to run Skyactiv-D diesel engine in 2013 Grand Am GX class

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 4th, 2012

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Mazda Racing Skyactiv-D Diesel Engine

Race teams in the Grand Am GX class can now get their hands on a new diesel powerplant. Mazda has announced the company will supply the new Skyactiv-D for the 2013 season. The race engines will use a stock 2.2-liter block with a two-stage turbo, just like the production version. Redline sits at a relatively lofty 5,200 rpm and the engine uses a very low 14:1 compression ratio. If you’re keeping track, that’s the lowest diesel compression ratio in the world.

Mazda says the Skyactiv-D is a full 10 percent lighter than the outgoing 2.2-liter MZR-CD diesel and that it generates up to 20 percent better fuel economy, as well. That’s partially thanks to a 20 percent reduction in internal friction.

The Grand AM GX class is just for advanced and clean drivetrain technologies. So far, Mazda hasn’t released any information on how much power race teams can expect to glean from the diesel mill, but the standard production unit is good for 173 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 310 pound-feet of torque and a gloriously-low 2,000 rpm. Check out the full press release for yourself. If you need us, we’ll be busily daydreaming about a diesel-powered MX-5 Miata.

Continue reading Mazda to run Skyactiv-D diesel engine in 2013 Grand Am GX class

Mazda to run Skyactiv-D diesel engine in 2013 Grand Am GX class originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Jun 2012 10:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The art of threading the needle, as demonstrated by a Lotus Exige

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 7th, 2011

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lotus passes miata

Professional racing drivers are a different breed than the rest of us mere mortals. While fear – of dying, of killing or of simply making a fool of yourself – keeps most men and women from pressing their automobiles to the very limits of their capabilities, some people choose instead to embrace the fear, turn it into adrenaline and hit the track.

That includes Barton Mawer, who was chasing down a Lamborghini Gallardo for the overall lead in his Lotus Exige during Australia’s Island Magic Enduro 2011 race at Phillip Island. Only one problem: in his path were a pair of slower cars; a Porsche Boxster and the Mazda MX-5 of Team Chapman Racing.

What happened next is the things dreams are made of… or nightmares, depending on which seat you’re in.

See for yourself, from both points of view, in the videos pasted after the break.

Continue reading The art of threading the needle, as demonstrated by a Lotus Exige

The art of threading the needle, as demonstrated by a Lotus Exige originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Dec 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Flyin’ Miata V8 Targa MX-5 Miata

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 25th, 2011

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Point. Shoot. Grin.

Flyin' Miata V8 Targa MX-5 Miata

Wedging myself into the cockpit of Keith Tanner’s 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata turned Targa Newfoundland podium finisher, I’m struck with the realization that most race cars are the automotive equivalent of a pet electric eel. They look fantastic lounging around, and you may even be struck with the impulse to get close, but the reality is that it’s only a matter of time before it reaches out and lights you up like a cheap string of Christmas lights. This notion is only underscored when Tanner hands me a set of noise-cancelling headphones with an integrated com system.

“Here. You’ll probably want these,” he says. “It can get kind of loud in here.”

With a 400-horsepower General Motors L33 wedged between the fenders of the poised Miata, it’s only a matter of time before the stripped interior resonates with the sound of eight furious cylinders. I ask if there’s anything I should know before I hit the ignition. Tanner says no. I’m beginning to suspect he’s lying to me.

Continue reading Flyin’ Miata V8 Targa MX-5 Miata

Flyin’ Miata V8 Targa MX-5 Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Flyin Miata at Targa Newfoundland, Part 5: The final days

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 18th, 2011

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Flyin' Miata at Targa Newfoundland 2011

Two mistakes. After six days of late nights bent over the route book with calculator in hand, long days of non-stop rallying and lengthy transits, we’ve covered over 2,200 kilometers, raced 41 stages and made two penalty-worthy mistakes. There simply aren’t words to convey the spectrum of emotions that accompanies the Targa Newfoundland, and the Flyin’ Miata crew experienced its fair share of highs and lows throughout. While Wednesday saw both teams leading their respective classes, Thursday had nasty surprises in store for both the V8 Roadster and the supercharged NC.

Due to a transcription error, I fouled the finish time for stage 4-5, Garnish. We were supposed to cover the 13.25 kilometers in 8:43; I directed Brandon to the finish in 8:51, which landed us three seconds of time-over penalty plus another four seconds of interim time-control penalties. That seven seconds alone knocked us off of the podium, but the last stage of the day, Marystown North, saw an additional 7 seconds tacked onto our time after we missed the first turn and were forced to turn around.

Continue reading…

Continue reading Flyin Miata at Targa Newfoundland, Part 5: The final days

Flyin Miata at Targa Newfoundland, Part 5: The final days originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 17 Sep 2011 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Road to Targa Newfoundland, Part 1: Bill breaks an arm

Published by admin on August 24th, 2011

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Flyin' Miata Nancy

Racing is built on a foundation of tired sayings packed with monumental truths. Recently, few have been more poignant for the crew of the supercharged NC Miata we’re set to co-pilot in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland than, “You have to start before you can win.” Last week, Bill Cardell, our valiant pilot and part-time lumberjack, wound up accidentally felling an aspen tree on himself while doing some work at a mountain cabin. He’s currently awaiting a second set of x-rays to determine just how lengthy his recuperation will be, but either way, he’s facing a few long weeks out of the saddle due to a broken humerus. Cardell, while in seemingly good spirits, finds nothing funny about the situation. Needless to say, squeezing into the cockpit of a race car isn’t on his doctor’s prescription pad, which leaves Nancy and I without a driver.

Brandon FitchIn a moment of solidarity, your author managed to high-side my ’82 Kawasaki GPz750 on day one of a two-week motorcycle ride. The next morning, one very haggard ER doctor told me that while my bones were intact, there’s a good chance that I’ve torn my rotator cuff.

“That’s bad,” I said.

“Yes. It’s very bad,” he agreed after a pause that conveyed a mix of disdain and admiration for my appreciation of the obvious.

Even so, I’ve regained much of the movement in my left shoulder, and the pain has subsided to an ever-present dull ache. If I can ride 2,300 miles on the arm, I can sure as hell use it to hold up pace notes. I’ll circle back with the medical establishment after our return from Canada.

Meanwhile, Cardell’s nephew, Brandon Fitch, will take over the forced-induction Miata’s controls. Fitch formerly served as crew chief for both vehicles and has worked with Flyin’ Miata for the past five years. As such, he’s had plenty of seat time with our car as part of his work in product development, and word has it he’s plenty quick to boot.

The race kicks off on September 10, and I’ve been ordered to stay indoors and intact until then. That’s advice I’ll likely heed. Our best get-well wishes go out to Cardell as he stitches himself back together.

The Road to Targa Newfoundland, Part 1: Bill breaks an arm originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Aug 2011 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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