A weekend to remember for the Mazda MX-5

It was a weekend to remember for Mazda Philippines and its venerable MX-5 sportscar as they wrapped up a spectacular 2022 motorsports season at the Clark International Speedway.

On Saturday, November 26, the final round (Race 7 and 8) of the Manila Sports Car Club (MSCC) Miata Spec Series saw veteran racer Allan Uy clinch the inaugural championship of the country’s first one-make sportscar series after beating out Angie King and Paul Perez.

Uy, who amassed a large lead in points early on in the racing series, sat out Round 3 of the four-round racing series. This forced a winner-takes-all title showdown with King in the final round.

Children from Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Mabalacat, Pampanga were given joyrides on the track aboard the Mazda MX-5 Spec Series racecars. With them are Mazda officials led by Mazda Philippines president Steven Tan (seated) and Bermaz Executive Chairman Datu Sri Ben Yeoh Choon San (standing, white shirt).

Despite a strong charge from King, who had to win both races to have a shot at the overall championship, Uy drove a calculated 12-lap race in the morning to seal the victory. Uy won Race 7 with King and Perez finishing second and third respectively. Already guaranteed of the overall title, Uy finished the season in style by being first once more in Race 8 with Tyson Sy in second and Angie King in third.

In the Rota Masters Class, Joey Almeda won Race 7 with Toti Turalba in second and Lito Ignacio in third. With Ignacio the only one running in Race 8, he managed to pick up the class win.

Mazda Japan’s Hironori Tanaka and Hidetoshi Kudo, together with Mazda Spec racer Angie King chat with Steven Tan (behind the wheel).

Meanwhile, in the GT Radial Novice Class, Kirk Baltazar took the top step in Race 7 with Javier Toledo and Enzo Celestino in second and third respectively. In Race 8, Aaron Guevara won with Diego Dela Cruz finishing second and Javier Toledo in third.

In terms of the class championship, Uy also won the Shell Pro Class ahead of Angie King and Paul Perez. In the Rota Masters Class, Windy Imperial clinched the class championship over Lito Ignacio and Joey Almeda. Finally, in the GT Radial Novice Class, Jamal Almario won over Kirk Baltazar and Diego Dela Cruz.

Between the morning and afternoon races, 10 children from Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Mabalacat, Pampanga were given “taxi” rides aboard the MSCC Miata Spec Series race cars with the MSCC drivers. Mazda Japan executives Hidetoshi Kudo and Hironori Tanaka, who flew in from Hiroshima, Japan to watch the final round, also drove around the circuit with a child passenger, making it a memorable and touching experience for both driver and the children.

The following day, Team MSCC Mazda Miata was crowned as the 2022 Petron Makabayan Endurance Race Challenge overall race champion after completing 188 laps over eight hours of nonstop racing.

Driven by 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 had a field of 33 cars all 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 8 hours—a new record for the endurance race. It finished two laps ahead of the second-place car.

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 an homage to the Mazda 787B which won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In both the MSCC Miata Spec Series and the Makabayan Endurance Race Challenge, the MX-5 used a showroom stock 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine mated to a 6-speed Skyactiv manual transmission. This proved once more the unbeatable combination of performance, reliability, and durability of the sportscar. It also emphasized the versatility of the MX-5. Not only can it be used as a platform for real grass roots racing, but it can also be used in a head-to-head track battle against more powerful and purpose-built track cars.

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