Mazda UK team revs up for international ice race

DRIVING rear-wheel-drive Mazda MX-5’s on ice may not be everyone’s idea of fun – but racing them?
That is what’s editor David Hooper is doing this week, driving for Mazda UK against journalists from Mazda’s other European markets in an international race in northern Sweden.
Joining a team of British journalists who write for the country’s most popular car magazines the event is being held near Are, Sweden, in sub-zero temperatures.
Mazda UK has entered two cars in the event which takes place from February 21-24th – and is hoping for a good result.
A couple of testing sessions will be followed by a four-hour endurance race, with six drivers to a car swopping seats during the race, and getting a good result will depend on being able to drift the car around the frozen track.
In all, 126 drivers from 27 countries will be taking part in the race in northern Sweden, driving on spiked tyres.
The British team will be joined by Maeda-san, Mazda’s Global Chief Designer who was responsible for the RX-8, and is now in charge of the company’s new design direction, Kodo, and for the Shinari and Minagi concepts that will be at Geneva at the beginning of March.
The designer’s nickname is Speedy, as his hobby is racing MX-5s in a Japanese race series.
David said: “I’m really looking forward to going ice racing. It’s something I’ve never done before so it will be quite a challenge, especially when you think we will be racing against Scandinavians who are brought up with these conditions.
“I’ve seen the British driver line-up now and I’ll be sharing a car with Speedy, which is a real honour. Our car’s driver line-up will also include Jamie Corstophine from Auto Car – I saw him race for Mazda in the Britcar 24-hour at Silverstone last year, and he looked very quick on a dry circuit, but racing on ice will be a new challenge for most of us.”
See how the British team gets on with a full report on, coming soon.

Racing on ice with studded tyres in northern Sweden will be a whole new experience.