|The lack of body roll is readily apparent in the Mazda 2 race car. We were very pleased with the car's handling.
The racer version of the car was a nice surprise. The car was stripped and prepped with a really nice all inclusive cage built by Tri Point Engineering. The seat was replaced with a Sparco racing seat with head protection and Grand Am spec window and center nets keep the driver well contained. A six point harness holds the driver in place. Tri Point also worked with Mazdaspeed on the kit specs and calibration of the suspension.
|The Mazda 2 racer could easily be rotated to bring it down to the apex with little scrubbing of speed. The car could use a limited slip diff as we experienced some inside wheelspin in a few of the turns.
The engine was bone stock with a really small diameter, thinwall stainless exhaust with no muffler at all. The suspension mods were very simple, specially valved non adjustable Bilstien coil over struts and rear shocks with rear race springs with adjustable spring perches. The stock front bar is retained and an additional rear bar stiffens the rear twist beam, in all some very basic and simple suspension.
|The Mazda 2 is a small car and once the cage was in place, the seating area was pretty confining. The driving position was very comfortable though. The car was equipped with Grand Am Spec center and secondary window nets which made things feel more confining. Although the cage legs are pretty far back in front of the dash the cage did have some extra bars to protect the driver's legs from footwell intrusion.
The brakes stay stock with the exception of some race compound pads and lightweight 15” alloy wheels which are used with BFG R1 DOT race radials. These tires should provide long life and grip through many heat cycles, especially with a car of this size and weight.
|The rest of the cage is well built and overall the car felt really safe.
All in the Mazda B Spec racer is a very simple affair. Would it prove to be a good race car?
Buckling in, the first thing I noticed is that the cockpit with a cage was a very tight fit. There seemed to be very little room and the car was actually a little hard for a fat, old and stiff guy like me to get into. The very close window net made this seem more so. However the upright seating position gave pretty good visibility and the steering wheel position was to my liking. Best of all the pedal gap was largely corrected in the race car and maybe I was getting used to it as well.
|A Sparco seat provided good head protection and was comfortable enough for bigger drivers. Six point harnesses were also used.
|The cage has good side impact protection.
|A 10 lb halon system helps make the car even safer.
|Lightweight alloy wheels and sticky BFG R1 DOT race tires provide long lasting grip on a light car.