Mazda 2 SKYACTIV-D Grabs Consecutive Victories at TSS Bang Saen
The two races for round 2 of the Thailand Super Series (TSS) were held over June 29th to July 2nd at the Bang Saen street circuit. Here the Mazda 2 SKYACTIV-D entered into the Super Compact Class by the official team of Mazda Sales Thailand, Mazda / Innovation Motorsport, grabbed victory in both races, more than demonstrating the “Mazda 2’s speed.”
The Super Compact Class is a popular category in Thailand. In addition to the Ford Fiestas, which have boasted formidable speed until now, Honda Fits and Jazz also compete in this class and the Mazda 2 is the only car racing with a diesel engine. The class is garnering a lot of attention from those who want to see just how competitive the Mazda 2 can be. The #43 Mazda 2 hatchback, produced in Thailand, was driven by veteran, Mana Pornsirichard (Thailand) who pushed aside his powerhouse rivals in qualifying, held on the 29th, to secure pole position. Riding on that momentum the #43 Mazda 2 went on to achieve an outstanding lights-to-flag victory in the first race held on the 30th. As for the #55 Mazda 2 of Michael Freeman (Australia), it unfortunately made contact with another car and received damage to the body, forcing an emergency pit for repairs. He ultimately passed the finish line in 12th place.
The starting grid for the second race, held on July 2nd, was decided through the results of the first race. The #43 began from 5th on the grid, while the #55 started from 12th. Immediately after the green light was lit, the #43 Mana amazingly passed five cars in one go to jump straight up to the top spot. From then on, the chasing competition could do nothing but watch as he went on to pass the checkered flag unchallenged. As for Freeman’s #55, it began from 12th on the grid and immediately leapt up to 7th place. From there he passed a further two rivals to finish the race in 5th. After the race, one of the top finishers received a penalty, which raised him up to official 4th place. With his two consecutive victories Mana has risen to the top of the driver’s rankings.
After the race, Mana stated, “The car was in perfect form and I was able to carry out a consistent race. However, I was given handicap weight for race two, which weighed down the body and, in combination with the heat, I struggled with tire grip in the second half. Corning was particularly difficult but I’m ecstatic that I could win. I will do my best in the next race.” Freeman continued, “After passing 5 cars at the start I lost a bit of engine power. Still, I was able to mark down a personal best time and get points with a 4th place finish so I can say I had a good weekend. This is an incredibly competitive class and I’m sure the other teams will improve by the next race so we will have to ensure that we are fully prepared as well.”
Photos provided by Mazda Sales Thailand