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Racing legends Peter Brock and John Morton will fly their famous #46 red, white, and blue pattern on a classic Japanese roadster once again. But rather than on the Datsuns that made this livery so renowned, it will be on the most popular roadster ever sold or raced, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The car will fly the BRE colors next weekend as part of Round 2 of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup at Road Atlanta.
After the decision was made to honor Peter Brock of BRE at the upcoming 2010 Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta, one of the biggest vintage racing weekends of the year on the east coast, Mazda sketched up a BRE graphics package for the MX-5 and then got Morton and Brock onboard. With 2010 being the 40th anniversary of Morton’s SCCA C Production (CP) Championship at Road Atlanta in a BRE prepared racecar and his racing career including more than a few race wins with Mazda, the connection was strong.
As Peter Brock stated, “It’s been some 37 years since a factory supported car in BRE livery sat on a racing grid. Seeing the new MX-5 in our traditional colors almost brings tears to my eyes. It’s wonderful that Mazda, a company that really loves, understands and supports racing of all kinds, has seen fit to honor our team’s great racing history with this new spirit of competition”
According to John Morton, “This Walter Mitty weekend is very special for me because it is bringing together so many facets that were significant in my racing career. First is the reunion and recognition of our championship winning BRE team that Peter Brock developed in the late sixties and that led me to two SCCA National Championships and two 2.5 Trans-Am Championships in the early seventies. Second is the opportunity Mazda has given me to race in a professional race in my sixth decade of competition. Twenty-six years ago I shared the BFG-sponsored, class winning Mazda Lola at Le Mans which was the beginning of a long relationship with both companies. The Mazda Miata MX-5 I will be racing at the Mitty, the only real modern sports car in mass production, is a reincarnation of the cars that started this sport in America in the late forties.”
Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Mazda North American Operations, added, “Mazda is a team of enthusiasts. Long before we began working behind the scenes for Mazda, we were race fans. We love the sport and the heritage. This opportunity to pay tribute to Pete, John, and the BRE team is something we did out of respect, with knowledge that there are others like us who appreciate the blending of heritage and modern sport.”
Mazda unveiled the BRE MX-5 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the Mothers Polish display within the fan expo. If you are a fan of BRE, we recommend you pack your best 70′s wardrobe and get yourself to Road Atlanta on April 29th thru May 2nd.
New products will be more compact and use smaller engines
Starting in 2011, Mazda’s new products will be lighter, more compact and use smaller engines. The announcement comes from Mazda North America product boss Robert Davis, who specifically said that all new products will weight at least 220 lbs less than their predecessors. The decision is part of Mazda’s initiative to improve fuel economy and Davis says the reduction in weight will lead to a fuel economy improvement of anywhere from three to five percent.
While successive products have grown in size over the year, much of the added weight is due to lager wheels and tires as well as more complex safety equipment, said Davis.
To meet the 220 lb goal, new Mazdas will use lighter materials. That doesn’t mean, however, that the next Mazda3 will be sporting carbon fiber body panels, as Davis specifically said that level of engineering just doesn’t fit the Mazda cost structure. Instead, look for the use of more aluminum as well as smaller chassis overall. The size of future Mazda products should shrink with much of the space being cut up front where new smaller engines are expected to take the place of Mazda’s current lineup of powerplants.
We expect to see this new Mazda weight-saving policy reflected in future versions of the MX-5 Miata (as hinted at with the 2,200 lb MX-5 Superlight Concept, above), as well as with the upcoming Mazda2, which is set to debut at the LA Auto Show next month as a 2011 model.