First Victory for Mazda 3 Axela in CTCC Guiyang Round
The MZRacing Beijing Ruisu Racing Team is a club team supported by Mazda China and in this year’s CTCC Super Cup they have entered a 335hp 2.5 liter naturally aspirated engine equipped Mazda 6 Atenza and Mazda 3 Axela, along with a Mazda 3 Axela 5-door and a 4-door Mazda 6 sedan mounted with limited 1.6 liter engines.
Driving the 5-door Mazda 3 Axela in the Production Class, Guangzhou born Dèng Xiǎo Wén (22-years old) was chosen to join the Beijing Ruisu Team after he became 2015 China Rally champion and has a proven track record. On the other hand, 16-year-old Beijing born Hè Zé Yù was brought up through Beijing Luisu’s racing school and is the veritable “fair haired boy” of the team. Both of these young drivers are bursting with energy and enthusiasm. Official qualifying was held on the 29th and was unfortunately met with rain that made it difficult for the two Mazdas to achieve their full potential and they qualified 14th and 15th within the 21-car pack. However, the 30th was blessed with dry conditions and in the first race Dèng’s Mazda 3 managed to avoid getting embroiled in a serious crash that occurred immediately after the start and steadily climbed up the order to complete the race in 8th place. On the other hand, Hè was handed a drive through penalty due to a jump start and placed 14th. The CTCC adopts a reverse grid system where the top 8 finishers from race 1 have their positions inverted for race 2. This meant that in race 2 held on Sunday afternoon, Dèng’s Mazda 3 Axela began from pole position. Last year’s China Rally Champion, Dèng carried out some image training for the most efficient standing start with his engineers as he headed into race start. Then when the lights turned green he shot out of the blocks with a superb starting dash. From then on, with every lap he pulled away from the fierce pursuit of rivals to the rear and didn’t once relinquish his position before passing the checkered flag in 1st. This resulted in Mazda’s first CTCC victory. 22-year old Dèng carried the Mazda 3 to the finish line without a single mistake and this composed drive is well deserving of praise. Teammate, Hè got off to a good start from 14th on the grid and early into the race had risen up to 6th place, ultimately finishing in 8th. Taking on the challenge of the CTCC from the 2015 season, the MZRacing Beijing Ruisu Racing Team has continued to carry out tough battles with manufacturer teams and after 1 year and 6 months has achieved its first victory.
Following his win, Dèng stated, “I’m really happy to have brought Mazda its first victory in the CTCC. I think this win will be a really big step for me and I really want to thank Mazda and the team.” The 23-year old CTCC rookie stated that his dream is to appear on the world stage as a driver in international motorsports series. We look forward to seeing how his future unfolds.
The two Mazda vehicles that competed in the Super Cup class were both mounted with 2.5-liter NA engines and in this year’s CTCC were competing against work teams from Kia, Honda, etc. that sported 1.6-liter turbo engines. The high revving NA engines were not well suited to Junchi International Circuit, that sits at 1500m above sea level. The Mazda 6 Atenza driven by Sūn Zhèng struggled to find the pace and finished 6th out of the 9-car pack in both race 1 and 2. That being said, the stylish Mazda 6 Atenza flying around the track was sure to have impressed the race fans of Guizhou Province. The Chén Chāo driven Mazda 3 Axela unfortunately incurred suspension and steering damage in qualifying and was forced to retire in the first race. However, he was able to compete in race 2 and finish in 7th.
Photo by MZRacing