Mazda RX-8 Chosen For Unique Formula Woman Race Series | Part Two

James Muir added: "While these are road cars, the Mazda RX-8 provides the perfect platform for fast and exciting racing. With a 240 bhp rotary engine, perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a 6 speed manual gearbox, the Mazda RX-8 is a true sports car. As a result, I’m sure that the drivers will have a truly thrilling experience in what will be known as the Formula Woman Mazda RX-8 Championship.

"We will also be providing Mazda MX-5 cars for the initial stages of driver training and pre-selection. The Mazda MX-5 is the world's best selling roadster and will provide the perfect means for the potential contestants to get the feel of a performance car on the track and give the judges the opportunity to assess their driving skills.

"The lucky 16 drivers who are successful in winning their way through to the race series proper will also get the opportunity to drive a Mazda MX-5 road car for the duration of the series itself."

Mazda is a natural brand to be associated with this project, for the Japanese manufacturer has a great sporting heritage and Mazda cars have always been as popular with women drivers as they are with male motorists. Over half of the sales of the Mazda MX-5 sports car in the UK are to women.

The highlight of the company’s sporting record came in 1991 when Mazda became the only Japanese brand ever to win the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance Race and the only manufacturer to win with a rotary-engined car.

Mazda also holds a significant entry in the Guinness Book of Records, for the Mazda MX-5 is the world’s best selling sports car, with well over 600,000 produced. In the UK in 2002 Mazda sold an all-time record number of more than 7,100 MX-5 sports cars.

James Muir concluded: "Formula Woman represents a terrific opportunity for Mazda to reiterate its sporting pedigree and to showcase the MX-5 and the astonishing new RX-8 on national prime-time television."

Published 15 January 2003 Melanie Carter

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