We re­port on the MX5OC Spring Rally and re­veal the first de­tails of the re­vised MX-5 mk4

The MX-5 Own­ers Club Spring Rally at Good­wood was blighted by a nasty chill: the cars were smokin’ hot though…

Total MX-5 - - CONTENTS -

GOOD­WOOD RACE CIR­CUIT can def­i­nitely be glo­ri­ous when the sun is shin­ing, but for late April’s MX-5 Own­ers Club

Spring Rally, the com­bi­na­tion of sin­gle-digit tem­per­a­tures and an evil wind con­spired to freeze ev­ery­one to the bone mar­row and force some folk into pre­ma­ture de­par­ture. As a con­se­quence the Spring Rally’s quick-wit­ted or­gan­is­ing team sen­si­bly brought for­ward the tim­ing of some of the events and ac­tiv­i­ties be­fore the au­di­ence packed up and headed for home!

It was such a shame. The Good­wood Mo­tor Cir­cuit, with its retro looks and in­her­ent sense of style, is a crack­ing venue for a car event, and the as­sem­bled MX-5S seemed just as much at home in the pits and on the cir­cuit as the clas­sic As­ton Martins, Jaguars, Fer­raris etc that are the more reg­u­lar Good­wood fare.

And as ever, the turnout from MX5OC mem­bers was fan­tas­tic; the plethora of cars parked on both sides of the track stretched pretty much as far as the eye could see. The va­ri­ety was ex­tra­or­di­nary, too. There were low-mileage mk1s as shiny and fresh as the day they trun­dled out of the show­room, sit­ting on the same stretch of cir­cuit as a ratty old daily driver painted matt black. By hand. An­other ropey old mk1 had a beg­ging bowl taped to the bon­net with a re­quest for con­tri­bu­tions to the ‘new hood fund’ – a few tat­tered scraps of vinyl hang­ing limply from the hood frame proved there was def­i­nitely a need for a re­place­ment, while the mea­gre con­tents of the beg­ging bowl re­vealed that a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to fi­nanc­ing the project might be re­quired…

Catch­ing a lot of at­ten­tion was a bright yel­low mk4, which was a wrap and not paint: the gen­eral feel­ing from the con­ver­sa­tions that we over­heard near the car was that Mazda needs to be more ad­ven­tur­ous with the stan­dard colours on the mk4, be­cause it wears the yel­low well. An­other crowd-pleaser was a grey mk1 on air sus­pen­sion that was lit­er­ally sit­ting on its un­der­body when parked – one passer-by tried slip­ping a credit card un­der the front spoiler, but there was no clear­ance. At all.

Less dramatic but also grab­bing some stares was a mk1 rally car cam­paigned by – if the stick­ers on it were to be be­lieved – Messrs. Clay­don and Cham­pion. Al­though largely a stan­dard car, its nose-mounted spot­lights and chunky mud flaps lent the lit­tle Mazda a tough, pur­pose­ful de­meanour: we might have to catch up with this un­usual com­pe­ti­tion car and its oc­cu­pants later on.

Al­though there was to be no play­time around Good­wood’s fa­mous curves, se­lected MX5OC mem­bers did get to cir­cu­late for some ‘demo’ laps un­der­taken at gen­teel pace. It meant that there wasn’t quite the ex­cite­ment and thun­der you might wit­ness at the Good­wood Re­vival or the cir­cuit’s Mem­bers’ Meet­ing race events, but you did at least get a sense of how much fun it would be to par­tic­i­pate in an Mx-5-only track­day here.

Head­ing home there ap­peared to be more hoods up than down in the East Sussex lanes around Good­wood, fur­ther ev­i­dence that even the hardi­est MX-5 driv­ers were find­ing the weather con­di­tions a hazard to hap­pi­ness. But to the or­gan­is­ers from the MX5OC we’d like to say thanks for the fun that we did have (be­fore we froze), and hope you have bet­ter luck with the weather gods for the Na­tional Rally this Septem­ber.

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