Mazda announced that they will take part in Britcar 24-hour race for the third time in 2010 and they will compete with two Mazda MX-5 2.0i Soft-top Sport Tech production models. The entry is in celebration of 20 years of the Mazda MX-5; the world’s best-selling roadster and of hitting 100,000 MX-5 sales in the UK. They also have a special driver in the team, a Midlands 17-year old girl called Jade Paveley who’s also the youngest driver on the grid.
Jade is no stranger to race tracks and competition having raced karts since the tender age of 14. Her ambition is to secure a seat in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and become the first female winner in that series, BTCC champion Matt Neal is coaching Jade in pursuit of that goal.
Jade passed her driving test in July this year, just days before her first race in the Britcar series in a Mazda MX-5 at Snetterton in Norfolk. Despite limited time behind the wheel of a road car Jade performed well and was picked by Mazda as one of the drivers for the Silverstone 24-hour race.
“The 24-hour race is a big challenge and completely different to anything I have done before,” commented Jade. “The car is capable of winning its class at Silverstone as it does not eat its tyres like some of the competition, the fuel consumption is frugal and it handles extremely well on the limit. At Snetterton we could hold and, in some cases, beat the faster more powerful cars through the corners which was simply down to the MX-5’s excellent handling and poise.
“I have been doing a lot of night driving to get used to the limited visibility at speed and some invaluable coaching from Matt Neal. I certainly feel confident that we can produce a good result for Mazda at Silverstone. I have been getting fit for the challenge and believe I am now fitter than I have ever been and am really looking forward to the race,” added Jade.
Earlier this year we saw the UK Mazda MX-5 race cars secure the ‘champions title’ in Italy,” comments Graeme Fudge, PR Director, Mazda UK. “Now, with a strong driver line-up, combined with the durability, reliability and handling of the race-prepared Mazda MX-5, the Britcar 24-hour race will be a true test of our roadster’s ability. Our race teams have high hopes for success although with 24-hours of non-stop racing anything could happen,” highlights Fudge.