Mazda MX-5 Fan Fest
The MX5 Parts team were incredibly fortunate to be invited to the Mazda MX-5 Fan Fest which took place at Sandown Raceway earlier this year. Mazda Australia and the MX5 Club of Victoria & Tasmania organised almost 700 MX5's, drivers, passengers, guests and dignitaries flawlessly culminating in a parade lap that flooded the 3.1km circuit in Victoria.
Mad Mike Whiddet & Steve Glenney delighted the crowds with passenger rides as well as a Speed Comparison of a standard ND MX5 vs. a modestly modified ND MX5 vs. the exceptional MX5 Cup Car. The handicap race was tightly contested with our very own Chris Gough racing the MX5 Parts daily-driver to an astonishingly close finish with all three cars separated by less than a second! The following video courtesy of Randy Stagno Navarra.
Mazda Australia spared no expense with a variety of activities including an opportunity to sign the One Millionth (1,000,000th) Mazda MX5 ever produced. The queues rarely abated all day as guests enjoyed face-painting, Scalextric racing, virtual racing challenges and and the privilege of seeing the latest edition to the MX5 model line-up - the Mazda MX5 RF (Retractable Fastback) as well as the heritage MX5's representing the NA, NB, NC and ND models which have been in production since late 1989. The NB model was in fact a rare SP Turbo whilst the heritage ND was the limited edition 25th anniversary model.
Takeo Kijima, one of the original team members on the NA MX5 project as well as the Programme Manager on the NC model MX5 delighted crowds with tales of the MX5's development and provided an insight into the ideology that has manifested the worlds most popular sports car. One of our staff was lucky (cheeky) enough to grab a selfie with Kijima-san...
Meanwhile, the Sandown Raceway parking lot continued to fill with MX5's from every state and territory in Australia. The reported number of MX5's that ultimately took part in the Parade lap was just over 670!! We had every intention of perusing the assembled devotees however the ever growing line-up of MX5's made the task insurmountable. We did however spot a number of limited editions including the NA LE, NA Clubman, NA Mariner Blue, NB 10th Anniversary (an amazing model with a Torsen Limited Slip Differential, Bilsteins and 6 Speed), NB Heritage, NB Titanium & NC LE.
Most notable for hosting the Sandown 500 in the Australian V8 Suprcars championship the track was rarely empty throughout the festivities thanks to the Herculean efforts of the MX5 Club of Victoria & Tasmania. One hundred (100) MX5's raced around the Victorian circuit in variety of specifications that included stock, modified & highly modified (turbo & supercharged).
The MX5 Parts team fielded both our one-of-a-kind Left Hand Drive NC racecar as well as our daily driver ND model. The Mazda MX-5 Fan Fest has been the most extraordinary event that we've ever had the privilege to attend and we're delighted to have been included for what will be remembered as the most amazing gathering of cars and enthusiasts.
Our most sincere thanks to the MX5 Club Of Victoria & Tasmania and our partners West End Mazda. We would also like to thank Mazda Australia, Mr Takeo Kijima, Mad Mike Whiddett and Steve Glenney for their time and commitment. Our partners have supported our efforts in the MX5 community from the very beginning and we'd like to thank West End Mazda and Goodwin Racing who have been instrumental in allowing us to deliver the best hardware for the best sports car ever made. Wish you were here Brian!
Many of the images and videos we've uploaded have been generously sent from friends and fans however our great friends from OtherSide Productions (Ben Sale) wasted little time in donning hi-vis gear in order to snap-up the amazing images of the MX5 Speed Comparison - thanks Ben. Vicki Jones Photography also provided some of the best images that captured the enormity of the event. THIS is a direct link to Vicki's excellent work.
A special thanks to Neil Choi, Randy Stagno Navarra, Gavin Newman and the MX5 Club Of Victoria & Tasmania for burning the midnight-oil - amazing effort guys.
It may take another 25 years before we can celebrate the Two Millionth MX5 but we're very patient and always keen. Zoom Zoom!