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Mazda MX-5 wins 8-hour endurance race

Drivers Gaby dela Merced, Tyson Sy, and Angie King display their 2022 Petron Makabayan Endurance Race Challenge trophies and pose with the MSCC Mazda Miata team. — PHOTO FROM MAZDA PHILIPPINES

AFTER COMPLETING a record 188 laps non-stop over eight hours of racing at the Clark International Speedway, Team MSCC Mazda Miata was recently crowned the 2022 Petron Makabayan Endurance Race Challenge overall race champion. The team also bagged the Class 1 and Open A categories for both the four- and eight-hour races.

Driven by international race driver and MSCC Miata Spec Series first runner-up Angie King, along with racing veterans Tyson Sy and Gaby dela Merced, the MX-5 performed flawlessly, completing the race ahead of 17 other finishers (the race featured 33 cars in all). With the fastest time of 2:16:648, the MSCC Miata Spec Series car lapped the 4.2-kilometer Clark International Speedway 188 times in eight hours — a new record for the endurance race. It finished two laps ahead of the second-place car.

Team MSCC Mazda Miata is backed by Mazda Philippines, with a support team led by Edger Dy-Liaco and Llyod Macatigos. It is nearly identical to the one-make MSCC Miata Spec Series race car, differing only with minor changes to the suspension and chassis to preserve its tires for the eight-hour endurance race. However, its powertrain — 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine and six-speed Skyactiv-Drive manual transmission — are completely stock, proving once again the unbeatable combination of performance, reliability, and durability of the sportscar.

As a visual bonus, Team MSCC Mazda Miata took on an eye-catching livery for the race. Dubbed “Imagine,” this transformed the MX-5’s award-winning design into a rolling work of art, thanks to its digitally printed vinyl wrap. The use of contrasting colors is meant to exude a sense of power, motion, and energy — attributes that are apt for the most-raced car in the world. Its race number, #55, is a homage to the Mazda 787B which won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“In endurance racing, a car must not only be fast, but also be reliable and fuel-efficient. We kept the engine and transmission stock in the Team MSCC Mazda Miata,” said Mazda Philippines President and CEO Steven Tan.

With a field made up of powerful and tuned race cars, the Team MSCC Mazda Miata lined up in 11th place after qualifying. When the race started at exactly 8 a.m., the team immediately put on the pressure, using the MX-5’s nimble and superior handling to its advantage. Moreover, thanks to its fuel efficiency, it not only climbed up the leaderboard, but also managed to build a large gap to the rest of the field.

“Powered by Shell V-Power fuel and Shell Helix Ultra lubricants, we were able to maximize its performance, reliability, and speed over the grueling eight hours. Under the supreme driver team of Angie King, Tyson Sy, and Gaby dela Merced, the team not only finished first overall against more powerful competitors, but broke the number of laps recorded for the eight-hour endurance challenge,” underscored Mr. Tan.

The Mazda MX-5’s overall victory at the 2022 Makabayan Endurance Race Challenge is just the latest race win for the venerable sports car in the Philippines. It won the 8 Oras ng Pilipinas and 12-Hour Kalayaan Cup in 2019, and the 12-Hour Kalayaan Cup in 2021.

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