Mazda Motors UK have confirmed that they are to enter a single MX-5 based racer in the 2014 ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race of the Nürburgring. The car will be run by JOTA Sport, the ELMS team who also regularly run Mazdas for the manufacturer in the UK.
The effort is part of Mazda’s celebrations of 25 years of the MX-5 Roadster which also includes a meet at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this year.
Headlining the driving talent in the car will be Swedish racer Stefan Johansson. Johansson is one of the best known names in endurance racing with credits including Formula 1 and a run to sixth place in the Mazdaspeed 787B at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991. Wolfgang Kaufmann joins the team as the ‘Ring specialist and is a former lap record holder for production cars round the ‘Green Hell’.
Owen Mildenhall returns to the team as a semi-regular driver for factory backed JOTA run Mazdas. Mildenhall was one of four journalists who raced a JOTA MX-5 in the 2011 Britcar 24 Hours race at Silverstone. A year later he raced six rounds of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship in a JOTA run Mazda, taking 62.5 GT4 class points. The fourth driver will be Teruki Kato, an unknown name in the UK but winner of the ‘Roadster Party Race’ in Japan.
The official entry name will be Mazda Motor Sports Team JOTA when they run in the V3 class for unmodified soft top based 2.0 naturally aspirated racers.