The Mazda MX5 is a trackday favorite, and I’ve been fortunate to use the car on a variety of different tracks in a non-competitive environment. Turning up to a trackday with a fully prepared race car can seem a bit over the top but it is a good opportunity to gain valuable seat time. The main limitation of a trackday is that no timing or data logging is allowed which means you have to be realistic about what you want to achieve.
Staggered throughout the year, the TKM Festival, Kartmasters GP, and 0 Plate meetings all follow a similar format. These weekend events consist of an extensive qualifying and three heat format to provide you with a grid position for a pre-final. This is the point were weekends can be ruined or recovered as the result of the pre-final determines the starting positions for the grand final. The final is where it all counts and the title is decided. As you can imagine, with no long term championship to think about, the racing can be extremely physical with drivers often feeling they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
What is there to be gained? Prize money, TV coverage and oversized trophies were a regular feature of these type of races. In addition, the 0 Plate and Kartmasters GP events allowed the champion to run an exclusive, reserved number for the following year. This was either ‘0’ or ‘GP’. This is why you will see GP displayed in some of my photos… I won Kartmasters in 2009 for the TKM 4 Stroke class. Running an exclusive number always attracted a lot of attention on TV coverage however amongst other drivers it can make you a bit of a ‘target’.