Mazda Team Joest: Hattrick heroes
Mazda Team Joest has enjoyed a series of triumphs in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with both cars topping the podium in a string of impressive victories.
The first came on June 30 at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen (at Watkins Glen), where the Mazda cars finished in first and second place, recording the manufacturer's first-ever win in the series. Just one week later and the team was at it again, this time at the SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Acura at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on July 7. A race littered with incident and yellow flags eventually saw the two Mazdas come out on top, again finishing first and second.
But perhaps the most exciting victory came on August 4 at Road America, where the 2.40 hour sprint race climaxed in frantic style on the final lap. Mazda driver Harry Tincknell (in the number 55 car) went head-to-head with Dane Cameron in his Acura Team Penske car for the victory and, despite nearly conceding first place as he went wide in turn five, Tincknell managed to take the checkered flag by a margin of only 0.227 seconds. The sister car, piloted by Oliver Jarvis, came home in an impressive third to complete a hugely successful few months for the team.
You can watch the last few dramatic laps of the Road America race above, and discover more about Mazda’s incredible motorsport history here.
Red Dot: Best of the Best for Mazda3
The 2019 Mazda3 hatchback has claimed the prestigious Red Dot: Best of the Best prize at the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019 awards. Red Dot’s highest accolade is given to products whose designs are considered visionary and groundbreaking. The new Mazda3 was acclaimed for its less-is-more approach to design. Yasutake Tsuchida, chief designer of the car, explained: “Beauty through subtraction is the key principle behind the Mazda3’s design. But it’s more than just minimalism. Coming up with such a pure design requires much effort and refinement through trial and error.”
Red Dot’s international jury selected fewer than 100 products—from more than 5,500 entries from 55 countries—for the Red Dot: Best of the Best prize. Previous Red Dot prizes for Mazda’s Kodo—Soul of Motion models were awarded to the Mazda MX-5 RF (2017), MX-5 soft-top, Mazda CX-3 and Mazda2 (all 2015), the previous-generation Mazda3 (2014), and Mazda6 (2013).
“I purchased my Mazda MX-5 in April 2018 and over the last year I have been modifying it. We regularly attend car shows all across the U.K. and hope to expand to Europe next year.”
“I live an active lifestyle between surfing, snowboarding, and mountain biking, so it was amazing to find a family-friendly car that would allow me to do the things I love, while at the same time be a responsible dad.”
“I fell in love with the Mazda CX-3 at a glance and knew that it was the car for me. It’s a thrill to drive while also having excellent safety performance.”
“After setting my eyes on the RF I knew I had to have one. Since I got one, it has endured endless hours of driving across the U.K., a world record attempt and created priceless memories.”
“A fun and reliable sports car that doesn’t break the bank, the Mazda MX-5 certainly lives up to its hype! Driving it brings a sense of occasion to every journey, whether it’s family or car parts in the passenger seat.”
More Awards Success
Mazda has continued its winning streak claiming several top industry awards again. Aside from the 2019 Mazda3's Red Dot: Best of the Best award, the competition’s highest accolade for products whose designs are considered visionary and groundbreaking, the Mazda3 also took first place in CarGurus’s Best Used Car category.
The Mazda CX-5 came out top in Good Housekeeping’s Best Crossover SUV category as part of the Best New Cars of 2019 awards. A Good Housekeeping Car Award winner for two years in a row, the CX-5 remains Mazda’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S.
Great American Mx-5 Drives
In celebration of the Mazda MX-5 Miata’s 30th anniversary, Mazda Stories traveled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to drive each generation of car on the roads that helped inspire its design. You can read that story here. But you don’t need to travel to the U.K. for a great time in your MX-5—here are some unparalleled drives in the U.S. to inspire your next road trip.
1. The Beartooth Highway (above) straddles Montana and Wyoming, touching the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The Beartooth climbs to 10,947 feet at the West Summit pass, which is often closed during winter months. Check conditions before you travel.
2. The Tail of the Dragon is a legendary road in North Carolina that boasts 318 merciless corners in only 11 miles. Perfect Miata territory.
3. California’s State Route 33 is one of the Golden State’s hidden gems. As deserted as it is beautiful, the mix of winding road and stunning scenery is intoxicating.
4. Colorado’s Mount Evans hosts the highest paved road in North America, and offers the perfect challenge for machine and driver.
2019 mazda CX-5 Signature Diesel arrives on U.S. shores
The long wait for the arrival of Mazda’s diesel engine to the United States is finally over. The 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in April, much to the delight of Mazda fans everywhere. Available from summer, the car is powered by the Skyactiv-D four-cylinder 2.2-liter diesel engine and delivers 168 horsepower with 290 lb-ft of torque.
It will be available in four color options: Jet Black, Snowflake White Pearl, Soul Red Crystal, and Machine Gray Metallic. Hailing the new engine, the new President of Mazda North America Operations (MNAO), Jeffrey Guyton, said: “As Mazda continues our climb toward premium, we will offer more powertrain choices that premium customers expect.”
Puget Sound Miata Club
Did you know that the first Miata car club in the U.S. was founded in Seattle in 1989? Established by six people who had each put in an order for a brand-new Miata, the Puget Sound Miata Club was the first to join the Miata Club of America and is officially considered to be the first Miata club in the country.
The Puget Sound Miata Club currently has about 150 members, and hosts drives throughout the Pacific Northwest, exploring the back roads of Washington, Oregon, and Canada. Highlights of an incredibly busy schedule include the club’s annual detailing day, where members get their cars washed, buffed, and ready for summer driving, and an annual end of year party in either November or December. This year, the party will see members simultaneously celebrate 30 years of both the Miata and their wonderful club.
SUCCESS FOR MAZDA AT THE 2019 IIHS SAFETY AWARDS
Mazda had two wins at the prestigious Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Awards earlier this year. The IIHS announced in May that the 2019 Mazda3 hatchback and sedan (when equipped with front crash prevention and specific headlights) had both earned its Top Safety Pick awards for the second year running.
In June it was also revealed that the Mazda6 (when equipped with specific headlights) had received the same accolade, following an impressive performance in all six IIHS crashworthiness categories.
The models join the 2019 Mazda CX-3 and 2019 Mazda CX-9 as Top Safety Pick winners (when equipped with front crash prevention and specific headlights), while the Mazda CX-5 won the coveted Top Safety Pick Plus award (when equipped with specific headlights).
Jeffrey Guyton, President of Mazda North America Operations, said: “Mazda designs its vehicles with the driver in mind. Taking an active approach to safety gives the driver more peace of mind, which makes driving more fun.”
As our Readers’ Garage illustrates, Mazda drivers are passionate about their Mazdas and more often than not, their enthusiasm is shared with friends and family, as is the case for Gary Kirkham from New Braunfels, Texas. Gary’s a Mazda MX-5 Miata fan – he’s owned three, all purchased new, all in racing green – and his passion for the car has been passed on to his granddaughter Reese as these photos he sent to us show. “My Miata was always her ride of choice,” he says. “In fact, it was a milestone day when she could safely ride in the front seat with her car seat facing forward. And that day in May when she took Grandpa for a ride was special for both of us.”