Mazda MX-5 Roadster
MX-5, Euno Roadster . . . by any name, Mazda’s hugely popular two seat sports car is among the world¡¯s most-raced automobiles. Whether it’s the SCCA Pro Racing’s Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, club races from Lime Rock to Twin Ring Motegi or autocrosses in parking lots the world ’round, wherever you find motorsports competition, you’ll find the Mazda MX-5/Roadster.
It’s understandable. The Mazda MX-5/Roadster offers a satisfying balance of power and agility, wrapped in a classic shape – all for a very reasonable price.
Born of Mazda’s desire to build a light-weight, mechanically uncomplicated sports car, the design of the first MX-5/Roadster resulted from a competition between Mazda’s new Southern California-based design studio and its Japanese counterpart in the mid-1980s. While the Japanese design favored either front-engine, front-wheel drive or mid-engine, rear-wheel drive designs, the Americans’ concept of a front-engine, rear-wheel drive was selected as the basis for the MX-5/Roadster.
The first Mazda MX-5/Roadster (also known as the Mazda Miata in the United States) went on sale in 1989. The car was widely praised by the automotive press and embraced with equal enthusiasm by a public which almost immediately began utilizing the sporty new car for motorsports competition, be it in showroom stock races or in race-prepared production classes.
The car has evolved over the years, particularly in terms of increased power, and the third generation MX-5/Roadster features a revised, five link rear suspension and new bodywork that continues the car’s original themes. And as the success of the Mazda MX-5 Cup and the fact that 10 of 38 starters in the E-Production Class of the 2009 SCCA National Runoffs were Mazda MX-5s attests, the Mazda MX-5 continues to be a staple of grassroots motorsports.
iRacers are fortunate to have the Mazda both the MX-5 (left hand drive) and Roadster (right hand drive) available. Either one (or both) is bound to become one of your favo(u)rites.