Mazda MX-5 Cup 2016 to the test: we get behind the wheel of the Miata racing

Barcelona. Mazda returns to to cite us in barcelona to introduce a new product but do not, on this occasion, is not a model-enrolled, nor a conceptual model. The Hiroshima want us to know the initiative “Friends of MX-5”, a program that you can take a run in a video game to run with a Mazda MX-5 Cup real and that is precisely what we have done in the circuit of Castellolí, to test the Mazda MX-5 racing, know first-hand of a Miata lightened, with a good list of new ingredients in its cycle and with some other horse more. As you already know (“25 years of the myth, 25 years of Mazda MX-5: a face-to-face between the first and the last generation”) new Mazda MX-5 I have fully conquered, do you have managed to amaze me even more of the racing version?

In the test of the Mazda MX-5 Cup, we’ll go with Johnny herbert, former F1 driver and recently now after a “run-in” with Fernando Alonso.

Half a day. After a quick meal between the airport and the plane we arrived at the hotel. Sun in Barcelona, the beach to the brim and a time margin until our first appointment with the brand, a press conference in the Mazda Space, that’s pretty local that the brand has in the Born district that has turned Barcelona into the epicenter of the presentations of the brand. A quick look at a book about the three generations of the Mazda MX-5 (“History of the Mazda MX-5: 25 years of a myth”), a bathroom fast in the pool and we set off, I’ve been browsing in the social networks and it seems that in the Mazda Space is waiting for us a myth: Mazda 787b.

Mazda has prepared for the occasion, to present to us the program “Friends of MX-5”, to the three generations of the Mazda MX-5 and yes, indeed, it is the 787b. How nice, what a spectacular and what a wonder able to eat dinner, later, at the side of such an icon. I walk around about three generations, that Mazda MX-5 Na (the first generation), white, Nb, Nc, a photo more to the 787b, a tweet, a photo on instagram… starts the press conference and oh! Surprise, Johnny Herbert, the british driver who won Le Mans with the 787b almost 15 years we are going to accompany you during the day…

And yes, just match the days after the scandal with Fernando Alonso. What a good account we will with him, with Johnny Herbert, later.

you are Not alone. Next to Johnny Herbert, we find the very Yamamoto[San, father of the program to the MX-5, the charge end (obviously with a whole team behind it) that the new MX-5 go so well. In addition, also be found with us the pilot of Mazda Tom Long and Evan Maillard, a top in this virtual racing of iRacing.

What is that of “Friends of MX-5”?

Mazda wants to encourage the large community of fans of the Mazda MX-5 with this program you can learn more details in the social networks of Mazda.

By far the star dish is the test of the Mazda MX-5 Cup I can’t ignore what brought us here, the start of the long a program to motivate, to move, to the community of fans of the Mazda MX-5 with a competition in which the fastest in a simulation game will be able to get to get behind the wheel of the Miata racing, the Mazda MX-5 Cup in the real Laguna Seca circuit.

For this competition, Mazda has prepared a championship in iRacing, a championship in which the best will qualify to participate in a race with the Mazda MX-5 Cup now real and to be held in Barcelona, giving way to his time, the most rapid to a second call already in Laguna Seca.

what A good claim is not?

it’s Not every day dinner accompanied by a 787b 😀 #mazda #mazda787b #787b #car #cars #carporn #race #racecar #sport #sportcars #barcelona #travel #friendsofmx5

A photo posted by Mario Herraiz (@herraizm)

The truth is that this is not the first time that we see the possibility of making the leap from the screens to a car of real racing, a famous (and non-patriotic) is the case of Lucas Ordoñez with Nissan.

Talk of the iRacing, the race car, the important role of the community, “miatera”, of the relationship between the brand and the followers of this model… and Mazda leaves us with one spectacular fact: 65% of the race cars in the US are… yes, Miatas. Awesome.

Give a good account of the dinner in the own Mazda Space, tornándonos every few minutes to appreciate again the Mazda 787b and we retired rather soon. Morning touch and make our way to the circuit of Castellolí to test, among other experiences, Mazda MX-5 Cup.

A brief review of the ingredients of the cocktail “Mazda MX-5 Cup”:


Because you have been counting carefully all the details of the Mazda MX-5 Cup, but by way of brief review it should be recalled that this Miata has the maximum torque of the engine of 2 liters cubicaje, an engine with a new ECU, a new intake and a new exhaust system, getting between 15 and 20 horses from the 160 horses original.

All internal has been lightened, there is a roll cage, buckets, instrumentation and steering wheel-competition. In addition there is a new adjustable suspension, its brakes are at the charge of Brembo, there are some new rims with slicks and improves the refrigeration of the mechanical assembly.

Made the presentations is the time to check out as it unfolds…

If the street car, of series, is already well…

Mazda_MX-5_cup_2016_Claves_DM_3A MX-5 Cup thrown from the pit lane and a thunderous melody invades the surroundings of the pit. We wait impatient for our turn in one of them that Mazda has arranged a breakfast and a few simulators with iRacing. Yamamoto San is actually running on one of them.

Are little more than the 9 a.m., an hour before Barcelona we said farewell with rain, but luckily, now in Castellolí, the sun shines and the tarmac is dry. A croissant quickly and we started with the photos.

BrmmmmmmMX-5 #mazda #mazdaMX5 #mx5 #miata #mazdaMiata #sport #sportcars #sportscar #car #cars #carporn #sound #exhaust #race #cup #friendsofmx5

A video posted by Mario Herraiz (@herraizm)

The group of Spanish journalists we are the first to get behind the wheel of the Mazda MX-5 Cup. During the rest of the day we expected another circuit, smaller, with the street car and a track slider in which to test our ability to skidding, but before we have that enfundarnos the helmet, and go through the roll cage of this Mazda MX-5 and getting behind your steering wheel in alcantara.

A MX-5 Cup more on the pit straight with an exaggerated roar. Sounds great.

While the first to come out to the track I’d like to try out some of the details of a unit parked in one of the boxes. I fixed it with more detail in the above-mentioned roll cage, welds, anchors… fingering your interior, those seats, new instrumentation… it looks amazing.

call Me, I have to put on the helmet, it’s my turn.


I tuck the legs for the cage, I put in the bucket, pull the harness and I hope to give me the green light. A car is going to be the “hare” with a rider of the mark behind the wheel, I feel like in this racing version of the lever it also has that characteristic tremor that has the street car, which has from the first generation.

Insert first and there it is, the good touch always, that tare hard, those short routes…

I speed up, I raise the clutch, I head the fine of the pit, pedal to the background, again the metallic melody of your exhaust… that delight.


To the good development of series now joins an adjustable suspension and some slicks that embroider the whole, transmitiéndonos even more confidence.

The lack of isolation is felt to pass through the gravel by the wheel arches, although any sound outside, but it is practically deafened by blow of the exhaust. The instrumentation is lit, insert a new gear, I see the first curve, nail the brakes and the Mazda MX-5 Cup, I returned to a pleasant strength and what is better, a brilliant step by curve. Obviously this has just started, but since then points ways.

To the feel of the osnest of the exhaust without ceiling any, of the lightened interior, good feel of the change, he now joins a strong leadership and a tare of suspensions that you screams that you throw yourself at every curve without hesitation, leaving us with a set easily controllable, with a behavior very neutral in the it really shows the good distribution of weights together all by kilos and kilos of fun behind the wheel.

We have the original concept of the Miata brought to a new level when added to the equation a suspension even more firm, a new melody and a great deal of confidence to the approach (and exit) each curve.

Insert one more gear to the are of the lights of the instrumentation. Sighs escape.


The roll cage, the seats, the steering wheel, the instrumentation… from the first second, you feel absorbed by the atmosphere of competition.

I don’t notice really big differences in performance regarding the Mazda MX-5 of 160 horses street, although, of course, it is easy to get carried away by the sound of the exhaust and think that we are going much faster. On the track the Mazda MX-5 still a car of sensations in more curve that eases infarction.

I love the feeling I get from the shift lever of the transmission at each change, that second in which the exhaust leaves of buzz when you insert the motion to return to shake up my ears instantly. The atmosphere could not be more “racing” and the feelings could not be more good.

it Is easy to carry and is really fun, how competitive? I don’t have references on the same track with a Renault Clio Cup, with a Ginetta… but I love how it goes this Mazda MX-5 Cup, I would like to see me in a grill full of Miatas roaring, peleándonos to win a position.

I go back to the pits, aminoro the motion, I indicate the point at which I stop, drop the harness, a team member of Mazda asks me, I answer lifted the thumb in and out, then turning me and go back to look at this Miata racing. I love.


During our stay in Castellolí we were able to talk distendidamente with Johnny Herbert on his statements about Fernando Alonso and Herbert stood firm in its stance, inviting Alonso to retire.

Johnny Herbert was found at the side of the car that I just download, the has also been lowered from an MX-5 Cup makes scant seconds, and after see me with the helmet in hand asking me also about what I have found this MX-5. The two praise quickly efficiency in the step-by-curve, the balanced balance of weights and your sound. “Put on your helmets,” they warn us, there is a need to track, yes, now as co-pilot.

Herbert shows me how slow it was rolling with the MX-5, how far I was rushing the braking, so soft that it slowed down and the little (compared to him) decision with which he was tackling the curves. It is always the same. You get off of the car in question, it puts the pilot of turn, and you get the corresponding ration of humility. By very fast I’ve shot and very good that you have gone. At the end of the lap with Herbert we again make reference to the firm cornering with a gesture rapid as we enter the pit lane. We shook hands, “see you later”. Me under the car and I take off the helmet while the next fellow performs the reverse process.

Yamamoto San observes the dance of journalists, members of the organization and MX-5 Cup. I want to take and exchange a few words with him through his translator. I ask for an MPS version, smiles and tells me it can’t tell anything, I praise the courage of launching the Mazda MX-5 RF, we exchanged impressions about the MX-5 Cup, I congratulate you for your work with this new generation of the Mazda MX-5 and ended up teaching him a few photos of my MX-5.

A pleasure to have shared a track today with Johnny Herbert. Yes, a pleasure even taking into account the statements of a few days on Fernando Alonso. We’ve talked about it (still firm in his stance and has cost him some upset with his wife), Carlos Sainz Jr and of course, about the MX-5 Cup. #mazda #mazdaMX5 #mazdaMiata #miata #cup #race #friendsofmx5 #car #cars #carporn #sport #sportcars #sportscar #friendsofmx5 #barqet

A photo posted by Mario Herraiz (@herraizm)

With the helmet still in hand, I turn the unit to stop that he had been “gossiping” before entering track. Drew the camera while supporting the case on the floor and do some photos of its interior. A few roommates with Yamamoto San and this comes to teach us part by part the car, humming all the details mentioned on its chassis, on its mechanics. Opens the trunk and shows us how you have relocated the battery, open the hood and teaches us new toolbar turrets.

warn Us from the organization of which the Spanish group has to move to the next point. As mentioned before by before we have a test of handling in a circuit smaller with the standard car, we also tested the simulator iRacing and did some “drift” in a track slip, but enough I have already spoken of the MX-5, “street”, at other times to keep reaching forward.

I don’t know if it will be the car more efficient on the track of its category, but I’m of Mazda MX-5, street is racing:

Mazda_MX-5_cup_2016_Claves_DM_30we Return to the airport, it is in the evening, the Iberia air shuttle is delayed and I use to read something before boarding or, better said, I’d like to hold a magazine while I’m thinking about the impressions with the Mazda MX-5 Cup.

The street car, the Mazda MX-5 to be “normal”, it seems to me an exceptional product, round. Is fun, it is perfectly valid in the day-to-day and has a good price. Bet for simplicity and is able to do that quickly you feel in communion with the car and this same idea, that ease, that, blessed, simplicity, find it on the race car along to a good tune, a few slick which can significantly improve the behavior, its sound and the possibility to enjoy all of this embraced by a cabin of racing, for that roll cage, buckets…

I say again that I don’t know how effective it will be against the chrono on a trackday or in a race that is not their own cup of the Mazda MX-5, in comparison to other alternatives, compared to other racing cars of between 40,000 and 60,000 euros… but in the you to you I have conquered this new generation of the Mazda MX-5.