• Mar 25, 2008
Head out to any open track day and it's likely that you'll find more Mazda vehicles making the rounds on the tarmac than almost any other make. It's not rare to find out that at least one of the instructors doing a ride-along campaigns a Spec Miata, and during our last event, the same guy that flogged his caged MX-5 around the course (and was kind enough to help us figure out turn six) got into a Mazdaspeed3 for the long trek home from Thunderhill.

Mazdas currently account for around half the cars running during SCCA events, something that seems to be better for the brand than throwing big money at NASCAR or F1 in pursuit of serious performance credibility. And it's not just good for perception. Mazda sold $6.9 million in parts to grassroots teams last year and is expected to increase that amount to $7.8 million this year. While that's a small percentage of the overall Mazdaspeed sales for the year (MS products account for around $130 million total), it's obvious that Mazda has set the pace for any other automaker that wants to get in on the ground floor of racing.

Mazda's success is primarily based around its expansive lineup of products – everything from basic bolt-ons to ceramic apex seals for rotary engines –plus, SCCA-licensed racers can buy cars at discount, hit up the dealer for parts and if they forgot something come race day, there's a good chance that Mazdaspeed has a trailer at the event. The old adage of "race Sunday, sell Monday" holds less value today than it has in the past, but Mazda could redefine the saying to "Sell (parts) Friday, race hard Sunday."

[Source: Autoweek]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      No cred in Europe? I believe Mazda was the first Japanese company to EVER win Le Mans. Granted, they don't spend a lot of time/money in Europe anymore but, when they put their mind to it, I'd say credibility isn't a issue.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mazda Rules!! It really does. I have a 335i coupe and a RX-8 and I truly enjoy the Mazda more. It handles so well and their grassroots participation is great. (BMW also participates in grassroot events, BMWCCA, is also great but really only to BMWs) Mazda also has a racer's program as mentioned and gives discounted parts to racers, etc. They really do get drivers excited to go out and compete.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The SCCA Showroom stock classes are where the real action is. Winning here means your cars are good sporty cars, whereas winning in NASCAR means....

      uh...

      Help me out here...

        • 6 Years Ago
        This is hilarious. Anyway I wish more brands would support amateur racing like Mazda. I think Ford does, but I'm not sure beyond that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry, can't help you there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That a v8, RWD version of the car you are driving that shares zero parts with the one you bought is .... uh...

        help me out here....
      • 6 Years Ago
      You really have to hand it to Mazda on this, the article is so right (and its an objective opinion, I don't own one, YET). Its been a coordinated approach including marketing together with cars that make sense, and work. I really hope they don't 'lose it' with the NA version of the new 6.

      Now why didn't some of this rub off on Ford?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love Mazda and all but the next Mazda in my driveway will need to have a turbo rotary. Its too bad they don't just restart production on the FD, I know for many reasons this is a stupid idea, but why even try to reinvent perfection?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mazda has it easy in the grassroots. All the other companies are too busy worrying about NASCAR or F1 or WRC. Those are some serious and expensive ventures. I'm surprised more of the smaller auto manufacturers are not trying to compete with Mazda, or even companies like MINI or VW. Both have very capable and relatively inexpensive cars that could compete against the MS3 or MX-5. Hell, Honda should get their ricer boys from the street to the track. ... actually this is a great idea. Then they would figure out how useless all that kit is on their cars and maybe get rid of it!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Solstii are winning b/c of GM Performance is building cars and Hienricy is driving and helping the cars compete (that man is a legend).

        But outside of that for Amateur road racing Mazda is the cream of the crop with their support - I'd be driving a Spec Miata if I could actually fit in one (6'4") comfortabley and safely - instead I can't and race a 944 in 944 Spec with NASA and a Civic hatchback in SCCA ITC and Honda Challenge.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What Mazda has done is great, but Pontiac has been winning with the Solstice for the past two years.

        2006 National Championship: C Stock Open
        2006 National Championship: C Stock Ladies
        2007 National Championship: C Stock Ladies
        2007 National Championship: A Stock Ladies
        2007 National Championship: B Stock
        2007 National Championship: Touring 2
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love Mazda. My first Mazda I drove was aunt's '97 626, which was so much fun to drive than it's competitors even back then. Then she bought the '05 Mazda6 Sport GS (the 5-door one) and I was hooked to the connected feel of the driving and handling of the chassis. And of course the looks. I myself received a '06 Mazda3 Sport GT from my parents and I absolutely love it. Sure there are many fantastic cars out there but there is something driving a Mazda which is so hard to describe. Once you feel the traits I mentioned, you can't go back. Is it as glamorous, expensive, powerful as some other products? No. But when you have a smile on your face every time you drive one, you don't really care.
      • 6 Years Ago
      When you give cars to all the SCCA board members and give more incentives to the drivers than anyone else to drive their cars, than yes, you will dominate. That's why people are leaving SCCA for NASA and other organizations. If you don't run Mazda you are effectively gridded out by the rules. SPEC Miata isn't policed and is plagued with cheating and it goes on from there.

      Mazda has effectively bought the SCCA, of course they are going to be the supreme vehicle. It all started in the 90's when they cried wolf over the Dodge Neon destroying them in showroom stock.

      BTW: Yes, I am a current licensed SCCA club racer.
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