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…
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.