The Mazda RX-8 entered in the Production S1 Endurance race series performed faultlessly in the second round of the championship yeterday, Saturday 16 April, on the twisty Brands Hatch Indy circuit driven by Natasha Firman and Mark Ticehurst.
In a grid of ex-BTCC cars and race developed cars the Mazda RX-8 stands out as the car closest to a production car. With standard engine and gearbox the only modifications are to the suspension, to reduce roll in corners, slick tyres required by the race series and the addition of a roll cage and safety equipment. The Mazda RX-8 is a true production car and is proving competitive in racing against race developed and proven cars.
In qualifying Mark placed the car on class pole and led comfortably for the first half of the race, even able to reduce his pace to preserve tyres to avoid a tyre change at the pit stop. After an hour of racing Mark brought the car in for a pit stop lying fourth overall and leading the class by over 20 seconds. Mark's fastest lap was 54.71 seconds with a maximum speed of 110.2mph.
Natasha left the pits leading the class but was tapped into a spin by a car in the class above around Clearways and lost the lead, despite a charge towards the end she was not able to regain the lead taking a very creditable second in class.
"This was another great result for the Mazda RX-8," commented Jeremy Thomson, Marketing Director Mazda Motors UK Ltd. "A win would have been great but we have to be realistic and remember this is just the second race for the car, second place is outstanding and we showed that the car is a potential winner by taking pole position and leading for the first hour."
"We are looking forward to the next round at Snetterton in May where we will have two cars entered, we will be carrying out testing over the next month to see where we can improve the car further."
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