• Oct 13th 2009 at 6:59PM
  • 15

2010 Tri-Point Motorsports Mazda3 World Challenge Racecar - Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2010 Mazda3 made its motorsports debut this past weekend on its home track, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at the final race of the 2009 SPEED World Challenge season. The car was developed and built by Tri-Point Motorsports, which has been running Mazdas in the series since 2001. The team has raced a trio of Mazda6s for the past few season, even capturing the Touring Car title in 2007 with Jeff Altenburg behind the wheel.

Mazda hasn't released any official details on the car quite yet, but a company representative told us that the race was less about going fast and was more of a "public test" to give the car some much needed track time. In fact, the car was completed just before the race and didn't even get its sponsor decals until the second practice day. Even so, rookie driver Eric Foss managed to qualify in 12th and zoom-zoomed his way to a respectable 11th place in Sunday's race. Check out our photos of new Mazda3 racecar – which looks extraordinarily happy to be on track – in the high-res gallery below.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great job for pretty much a car that had next to no experince on the track. Hopefully by next year they'll be on top like they did with the 6's.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man, I absolutely love the 3speed hatch but like many people I just couldn't get past that powder puff smile. Lord knows I went to the dealer several times and tried but damn it I just couldn't do it. Even my four year old son thought it was "silly".

      The minute there is a decent aftermarket replacement for the whole front fascia I'll have check in hand. It would make a great work/commuter for my 100 mile round trip drive.

      I know, I know. It makes you smile when you drive it. It's an incredible car. Zoom, zoom. Yada, Yada. Say what you will, I just need something a little less *ahem* feminine looking. Every time I see that goofy smile go by I expect to see an ex Backstreet Boy with frosted hair jamming to Ah Ha's "Take On Me".
      • 5 Years Ago
      This picture made me smile! Look at how happy the Mazda3 is going around the track! Now I am officially a big fan of the 2nd generation Mazda3, the styling just grew on me!
      • 5 Years Ago
      No ugly hood scoop, either!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Happiest racecar in the world.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't have a problem with the smily face on these cars. It's that plastic bumper that's in the smile. It makes it look like some old dude that lost all his teeth and only his gums are showing. I was hoping that it wouldn't look like that in person but unfortunately it does especially in bright sunlight.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Touring Car
      Touring Car (TC): Cars up to 2.8 liters that are naturally aspirated are permitted. Forced induction permitted as if it came that way from the factory. The cars can be front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. The cars must be able to seat four adults, and roadsters are not allowed. Class horsepower range is 235 - 275 bhp.[4]

      They're probably working from a weight and price point. You can shed more weight with the sedan, and work your own magic on the breathing aspect of the engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've always wondered what's all done to the stock mill in those cars, but I'm too lazy to search.
        I wonder if it's a mixture of custom and off the shelf performance parts or what.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The turbocharged Dodge SRT-4 is still technically legal in SWC... & it had 300+ HP. Just sayin' ...
      • 5 Years Ago
      man mazda! race the hatchback version! race the mazdaspeed 3 version! cheaper engine development costs
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, that's the first good looking 2010 Mazda 3 that I've seen. All the racing livery really blends that awful grille to a much more palatable look.

      They really need to go back, fill in the top 1/3 of the grille and foglamp areas with regular panelling and the car might look good again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, just wait for the 2011 model.

        Although at the rate I see them flying out of the Mazda dealer I work for, I don't think Mazda will change it much, if at all....
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Atleast the decals took the attention away from the smilie face.
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