The Mazda Foundation has donated more than $75,000 to 29 individuals and groups from across New Zealand in the largest funding round since 2009.
As part of the celebrations for the Mazda MX-5’s 25th anniversary Mazda has announced it will partner with the UK’s JOTA Sport to enter a Mazda MX-5 in the arduous 24 Hours Nurburgring endurance race taking place in Germany on June 21and 22, 2014.
Andrew Clearwater, Managing Director Mazda New Zealand says the Nurburgring 24 Hours race is one of the toughest tests for a motor vehicle.
“With 25km of testing corners and long straights the Nurburgring track is the perfect environment for the MX-5 to demonstrate its outstanding handling and performance and I am sure it will come through with flying colours.”
Mazda has commissioned JOTA Sport to prepare the vehicle and manage the race team. The team of four drivers includes Stefan Johansson, who knows endurance racing inside out and has an outstanding track record as a driver for Mazdaspeed at 24 Hours of Le Mans; Wolfgang Kaufmann, who has an intimate knowledge of the Nurburgring circuit; Owen Mildenhall, a journalist who has raced the Mazda MX-5 in a variety of competitions throughout England; and Teruaki Kato, winner of Japan’s Roadster Party Race.
The iconic Mazda MX-5 symbolizes Mazda’s car-making philosophy and tireless pursuit of driving pleasure. Over 940,000 units have been produced since the start of sales in 1989, and the model is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s best-selling two-seater open-top sports car (over 900,000 units sold). This lightweight sports car will now make the most of its outstanding ‘Jinba-Ittai’ dynamic performance to take on the challenge of competing in one of amateur racing’s most prominent competitions, the 24 Hours Nurburgring.
Mazda is sponsoring driving schools and participatory motorsport events, in the hope that more and more customers will be able to enjoy sporty driving. Through such activities Mazda aims to enrich the lives of its customers, and help to build a special bond between them and the Mazda brand.
Race name: ADAC Zurich 24-hour race (24 Hours Nurburgring endurance race)
Team name: Mazda Motor Sports Team JOTA
Vehicle: Mazda MX-5 (V3 Category: NC soft-top based, 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated, unmodified class)
Drivers: Stefan Johansson (Sweden)
Wolfgang Kaufmann (Germany)
Owen Mildenhall (UK)
Teruaki Kato (Japan)
Sponsors: Bridgestone Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.