Mazda called it the 50-hour project. The idea behind the project was to demonstrate that racing a Mazda2 is affordable. The math behind 50-hour part was to build a Mazda2 into a Spec B car in 25 hours on the floor of the Performance Racing Industry Trade show one week, then enter it into the 25-Hours of Thunderhill presented by the U.S. Air Force the next weekend.
“Our Mazda2 is an affordable car with track performance that will bring a surprising grin to your face,” said John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports. It’s not a straight-line demon, but the Mazda2 with a B-Spec kit is amazing in the turns. Our goal at PRI is to show how easy it is to build, and to allow a diverse team of Mazda racers a chance to race it one week later.”
Long story short, they did it. The car was finished in time to race and the car was good enough to complete the race. The team finished 13th out of 25 cars in E3 and 37th overall.
The list of drivers was impressive. Professional road-racers Tom Long and Charles Espenlaub topped the list, with former Import Drag Racing Champion Ed Bergenholtz, 2011 MX-5 Cup Rookie of the Year Scott Shelton, 2011 Star Mazda Champion and 2012 Indy Lights Champion Tristan Vautier, and 2012 Skip Barber Racing School MazdaSpeed Challenge Champion Kenton Koch all sharing duties behind the wheel.