Mazda to send European racers to Global MX5 race

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This September, five grassroots racers will line up on the grid at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in full race-specification Mazda MX-5 Cup cars, for a special Global Mazda MX-5 Cup race.

An initial knock-out competition over the weekend, at ParcMotor Circuit, Barcelona, saw 20 qualifiers narrowed down to ten, with further knock-outs then taking the field down to the five finalists who will soon be packing their bags for the U.S.

The winners are: Moritz Kranz (Germany), Kamil Franczak (Poland), Erik Blixt (Sweden), Oliver Allwood (UK), Gabriele Gardel (Switzerland).

The would-be racers were recruited from all over Europe as part of Mazda’s Friends of MX-5 engagement initiative, and came together at the weekend’s training camp to face-off through a series of assessments in a nail-biting knock-out format. Professional racing instructors judged the competitors in dynamic driving, race track driving, reaction tests, basic fitness, and their media prowess. 

Launched in April 2016, Friends of MX-5 engages with car lovers everywhere, be they MX-5 owners or not. The invitation to join is open to anyone who wants to share in the fun and passion of MX-5, across Europe.

“We are pleased to announce our five winners who will now go on to race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” said Jerome de Haan, director public relations, Mazda Motor Europe. “This intense weekend of motorsport action, and the competitions leading up to it, were just part of our wider Friends of MX-5 initiative that mixes racing with lifestyle experiences and once-in-a-lifetime rewards.”

During the assessment weekend, the competitors also got to try out the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Global Cup car; a thoroughbred race car with over 200 race components added to each brand new factory specification base car.

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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