Mazda Fan Festa 2019 Held Under Fine Autumn Weather
Fortunately, although rain was forecasted both days were blessed with fine weather. This year saw a great deal of contents related to the 30th anniversary of the Roadster. The opening ceremony began with an opening declaration from former roadster development chief Yamamoto, followed by a talk show with Takao Kijima, Nobuhiro Yamamoto, Masaru Nakayama and Shigeki Saito. In front of a large crowd of roadster fans, the venue was treated to talks relating memories to numerous episodes in the car’s development, talks about their bonds with customers, and all those present enjoyed interacting with the fans even after the stage talk had finished. On the first day, a parade run was held for the first 250 roadster owners who participated, free of charge. Roadsters full of personality lined up on the home straight of Okayama International Circuit. Running the racing course during the beautiful sunset would become an unforgettable memory for these roadster owners.
On the same day, the 30th anniversary book, limited quantities of the “30 Years of the Mazda Roadster” signed by previous development chiefs were on sale in in the MZRacing booth. It sold out almost immediately. The MZRacing online store is still accepting orders, so if you haven’t got one yet, please check it out >>> “Mazda Roadster 30 years” purchase page
At the talk show held with active racers on the main stage, 8 drivers currently competing in the Super Endurance Series, and the All Japan Gymkhana Championship PN-1 class champion Yohei Ogura, the All Japan Dirt Trial Championship SC-1 class champion Kazuya Sakata talked about this season’s and their aspirations for next year.
In pit 17, a racing rotary course was held. In front of the 787B, 767B, and R26B engines that won glory Le Mans, Takashima, who was involved in the development of the RX-7, and Mazda staff explained the racing rotary in great detail. Stories and episodes relating the trials and tribulations delighted the crowd. Over the two days, many rotary fans gathered to fill the pits and listen to Mr. Takashima’s precious stories.
On the course, the final round of the Roadster Party Race was held, and General Manager, Mazda Design Division, Ikuo Maeda, finished 3rd in the series. In addition, race events such as vehicle demonstration runs and circuit trials from cars active this season in the Maz-Tai, , S-Tai, and legend car demonstration runs by the 787B and 767B were held. When the 787B and 767B began to warm up, their sound reverberated around the circuit and many people gathered in the pit. When the 787B passed the home straight, cheers and applause welcomed the high pitched, beautiful rotary sound. On the morning run of the second day, a red flag was presented during the demo run due to trouble with 767B, but in the afternoon the problem was solved, and it started running again. Many people gathered from early in the morning to see the orange machines gloriously run around the circuit alongside the beautiful rising sun and the autumn leaves.
On the mini circuit side, a “Be a driver” experience exhibition was held. Users and fans deepened interaction with Mazda technical staff through the latest CX-30 exhibition, a MAZDA3 test drive experience, car acoustic experience, and driving position lectures. In particular, MAZDA3’s acoustic experience, drew attention to the position of the speaker, and many were surprised by the deep bass around the space, along with its sound insulation. In addition, at the KidZania booth many enjoyed the Mazda Monozukuri process that included polishing and casting, which was a hot topic on the Internet at the Tokyo Motor Show. There were some parents and children who drove their roadsters from quite a distance, and all were brimming with smiles after the experience.
The event ended with an all-Mazda parade run by Mazda car owners. This year, there were more participants than usual, and so many Mazda cars lined up so far that the back of the last corner could not be seen from the home straight. Numerous Mazda cars, such as RX-7s, Roadsters, Demios, and CX-s8, were seen on the course and interacting.
The next year’s event is scheduled for November 21-22, 2020. See you next year!
Mazda Fan Festa 2019 in Okayama digest video (YouTube 2’29 ”)
Text and Photos by MZRacing