Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 Fight Hard Battle in Front of 300-Strong Mazda Cheer Squad
Approximately 2 weeks following the May 24th opening round at Guangdong, the Beijing Luisu Team brought their four machines to the Shanghai F1 Circuit. This time around the Mazda 6, which competed in the opening round within the same category as works teams, the Super Production Class, was transferred to the Super Cup class, for 2.0-liter club team cars. The 6 has had its 2.0-liter gasoline engine re-tuned to produce a maximum output of approximately 300 hp. Its driver is Macau-born Ryan Shinron. In addition, the increasingly popular young ace driver, Sun Jon, competed behind the wheel of a Mazda 3 in the Production Class, for mass production vehicles of limited modifications. He was joined by one more Mazda 3 and a Mazda 3 Sedan, acting as a back-up vehicle, making it 4 entries for the team. However, the resource strapped Beijing Luisu club-team found themselves encountering setback after setback. Their #20 ace car suffered a crack in the engine mount during Saturday morning’s practice runs and barely made it to the qualifying session. To make matters worse, at around the same time, the Mazda 6’s auxiliary equipment began to experience issues, which caused the engines to overheat. The team then worked throughout the night in order to enable the cars to compete in the next day’s final race.
The morning of race day was overcast and humid. In spite of this the main grand stand was almost completely full. Cheering squads for both works teams and club teams all gathered at the circuit. The Mazda fans also connected through the Internet and as many as six tourist busses travelled from Shanghai city to bring the squad to the venue. Wearing matching T-shirts, the Mazda cheer squad numbered an amazing 300 people. Perhaps that should be expected with a city like Shanghai, which boasts a municipal population of over 20 million people. In the first heat of the race, #20 Sun started from 24th within the 30 Production Class cars and managed to amazingly raise his position up to 14th. However, perhaps due to a recurrence of trouble within the engine mount, the car would not start and was unable to compete in the 2nd heat. The #34 began from a pit start for heat 1 but became entangled with another machine when exiting and crashed out. Due to damaging both the left-side body and its steering, it was forced to retire and could not compete in the second heat either. In the Mazda 6, after having emergency repairs carried out on its engine, you could almost hear Shinron say, “I’m somehow managing to stay on the course,” as he caressed the engine into an 11th place finish. While the #20 Mazda 3 and #21 Mazda 6 battled through the race despite the hardships, the Mazda cheer squad unwaveringly and fervently cheered them on.
Photo by MZRacing