13 Sep
13 September 2019

Manfeild set to be MX-5 central

DESCENDED from classic 1960s’ icons, dedicated to a pure driving experience … the world’s biggest-selling roadster, with a cult following.

Motoring buffs need no more clues than these to pinpoint the subject of this adulation.

The Mazda MX-5 is a budget baby two-seater that’s won more than one million owners in 30 years of production over four generations, enduring recipe of top-down fun and a pure driving experience proving particularly popular in New Zealand.

Little wonder the Mazda MX-5 Club of New Zealand’s activity on Manfeild’s Circuit Chris Amon on September 22 has drawn a full house of 50 attendees.

Event co-ordinator and instructor Keith Jones says the fun and educational aspects of an annually-staged day aimed at sharpening owner proficiency has pulled involvers from all around the North Island, including a core who come every year.

Undoubtedly the venue’s glowing reputation and being the home of the nation’s biggest motor-race, the New Zealand Grand Prix contested each February by Toyota Racing Series, has enhanced the appeal to participants from Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Kapiti Coast, Wellington and Marlborough.

“Manfeild is the most interesting track in the North Island from a driver perspective, with its combination of fast straights and complex corner combinations,” Mr Jones says.

A day that “lets you find out how much of a fun car the MX-5 is to drive and improve driving skills” starts with gymkhana, braking, cornering and slalom exercises then progresses, after a briefing, to laps of the track.

It’s a great blast for a group that established in 1990 and has 15 regional branches and adds shine to the reputation of a car loved for being cheap to buy and run, robust and up to being driven daily, in sun or rain.

“The MX-5 isn’t the quickest car out there,” says a Manawatu owner who has already confirmed attendance.

“But there’s something really satisfying about driving a car that’s so eager to play along and exists simply to make people grin.”

Manfeild events and marketing manager Stephanie Dench has no doubt the club will enjoy the facility – because the car already does, being the home circuit for a race category for the first-generation NA model.


“We know the club will have a lot of fun.”


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