At the end of September, Long Road Racing will be receiving 50 Mazda MX-5 road cars to produce into the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup race cars.
The following outlines the process for which we transform the MX-5 road cars into the Mazda MX-5 Cup race cars:
To start the build of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup car, we will assign a bar code to each MX-5 road car to track the movement of each car through the production process. This tracking system enables our team to track progress of build, the parts being installed in final assembly, and the personnel that are hands-on during the production of the MX-5 Cup car.
After the car has been stripped down, it is then moved to our fabrication department. The car is placed on a rack where the underside of the build begins. We remove the OEM radiator to allow for future installation of a racing radiator to handle the high revs a race car must sustain over a long period of time. We have developed a radiator that is designed to increase the cooling efficiency in more extreme racing conditions, while still utilizing the Mazda OEM parts (e.g., cooling fan, shroud, and coolant overflow bottle). Next, we remove the Mazda open differential to replace with a Mazda limited slip differential. The limited slip differential increases the car’s ability to efficiently apply the engine’s torque to the rear tires. This increase in efficiency translates into higher exit corner speeds.
While still on the rack, we begin the cage preparation process. This prep allows for the team to remove seam sealer from the car, prep the chassis for welding, and remove non-critical studs and tabs. The ability to prep the interior makes for easier cage installation, and a higher quality paint job once the cage is installed. Finally, before the car is moved to one of two welding bays, a quality inspection tech performs a quality examination to ensure the cars are being prepared equally.
The cage install is another critical step in the build process. With our FIA certified cage being CNC bent and laser cut, we have developed multiple jigs to ensure that every cage is identically installed in every car produced. This is another step towards creating race cars that are evenly matched to allow for the racing talent to be the differentiation.
After the task of welding the cage in is completed and the car has passed another quality check, the car is moved to our paint department. The car is painted in our show car quality paint booth utilizing OEM quality paint. After being sprayed, the car goes through a bake process that cures the paint and ensures that the paint is both durable for racing’s stress, and its finish represents the quality of the build.
Finally, the car is moved into one of seven assembly bays. Here race components from many top brands are assembled to the car, such as: cooling lines; performance exhaust; brakes; shocks; and radiators. The brakes, transmission, differential, engine, and cooling systems all receive top performing and tested fluids that are designed to withstand the harsh environments of motorsports. To continue the build, the electronics are added; doors and steering column are reintroduced to the car after being altered for the racing environment. Lastly, we install racing wheels and tires.
After passing another quality check, the car is moved to our set-up plate. Here we corner balance and check the alignment of the car before signing off that the car is now an identically produced and prepared Mazda MX-5 Cup car.
Mazda is committed to producing a high quality, identically prepared race car to enable the best competition and value motorsports has to offer.
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Development
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Driver Safety
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Braking
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Parity
2016 MX-5 Cup: Primed for Teams and Individuals
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: How it Drives
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: What Racers are Saying