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Mazda Mania MX-5 Festival
Sun 3rd Jul 2011
organised by Central Scotland

Car Count : 78
[ show pre-run info ]


Sunday 3rd July 2011

Back in February this year I received a call from Stuart Gray, the Media and Marketing Manager for Knockhill Racing Circuit, to tell me about their plans to bring back the MX5 racing series to Scotland on 2nd & 3rd July. After a 6 year absence it would be good, also, to get the MX5 Owners Club involved, in fact we could hold a ‘Gathering’ at Knockhill and Knockhill will donate trophies for different Mks of car. ‘Oh dear’, I thought, ‘we’ve just had a Gathering in 2010 just down the road at Lathalmond and this years is going to be held up in Speyside’.

Stuart told me that the Scottish Motor Racing Club has big plans to bring more and more MX5 racing to Knockhill over the next few years. They were expecting about 80 racing MX5s to be coming this year. Okay, I put it to the two Central Scotland ACs, Ian and Richard. I then found myself with the task of trying to set up an open track session plus the Mazda Mania meeting.

I made enquiries with Knockhill to organise a Track night and spoke with Gemma Hobbs in the Knockhill Circuit Office and was given a date, Saturday 2nd July. We were told how much it would cost and when we would have to go confirm numbers by and putting a deposit down.

Ian Ness posted details for Future events and almost immediately it became pretty obvious that we were going to struggle to achieve enough numbers to make it viable for us as a Club to run.
In the end we only had about 8 people who wanted to go on track so it was with great reluctance the event was pulled.

Back to organising the Mazda Mania Weekend, it was decided that the Club would make it a Sunday only event. Numbers started to roll in, soon we had 10 cars, then 20 and then 30 and it stayed around that number for a while and I was beginning to think that numbers might stall at that as CS had hosted the Gathering last year. We needed to do something to boost numbers so I arranged to meet Ian and Richard up at the circuit to check out what was on offer to us. In the end it was Ian and I who met up there as Richard was stranded over on the West Coast and couldn’t make it.

We met Ian Forrest, the Circuit Manager and ex BTCC driver, where we were shown the area reserved for us, the whole of Paddock 3, just after the hairpin. ‘Great’ we said, ‘S**t’, I thought‘ how are we going to fill this? After our visit Ian, as Website Administrator, ‘jazzed up’ the future event and added Knockhill links etc.

I kept in touch with Stuart up at Knockhill by letting him know how many cars we had coming, 30 turned to 40 and before long we had 57 cars ready to go. I was still thinking of ways to spread out in the paddock to make it look full.

The morning of the day dawned awake since 4 o’clock I just had to put some chilled bottled water in a cool bag, the generator, fuel and flags were loaded in the boot the night before.

I set off in bright sunshine and arrived at Knockhill about 07:50 and was told at the gate that we weren’t getting Paddock 3, my heart sank, this was supposed to be a great viewing area and it had been taken away from us. Richard, Ian and Drew all arrived just after me and we thought that this was going to be a disaster. We managed to trace Stuart Gray and he told us where we could set up our Club site, down by the skid pan, so in we went and started to set up the two shelters while Drew went off to get some cones and tape so we could define our site like a big beach towel.

So shelters up (feet firmly bolted to the ground), flags up, banners up and DVD on, (that’s what the generator was for), we waited as gradually our area began to fill up with all Mks which we attempted to get parked in groups. ‘Oh dear’, soon we ran out of space so we improvised and took some of the skid pan barriers down so we could get cars parking up on that.
In the end we had a total of 78 MX5’s of all Mks that day. What a turnout, and the Knockhill weather did not disappoint either, it was a belter of a day, The viewing position for the racing was superb, end of pit straight where the track turns in to Seat Curves and down to Leslie’s, lots of 3 and in some cases 2 wheeled moments. In the morning we had 2 Mk1 races and 1 Mk3 race. There were 49 Mk1s and 15 Mk3s taking part.


At half time the circuit was cleared and the Marshall’s all came in for a well deserved lunch, it must have been hell out the in overalls in that sun. We had been given a driver’s brief by Stuart Gray before we were led out on to the circuit for a 3 lap cavalcade which end to end took up the whole of the 1.3 mile circuit. Then it was back to our stand to park up for the afternoon’s racing of which there were 3 more MX5 rounds included.

Earlier in the morning Stuart had told me that someone from Knockhill would be down later to judge the cars in the various categories as long as someone from the Club could point out which ones were ‘modified’ and which were ‘unmodified’

The various races went on and the sun still beat down on us. By now some had given up waiting and had gone home, either to watch the Wimbledon Men’s final or just to escape the sun. We still had a good turnout when Stuart arrived to carry out the judging himself and after a good look around the cars the results are as follows:

  • Best Unmodified Mk1 - Pauline Smith

  • Best Modified Mk1 - Richard Sawko

  • Best Unmodified Mk2/2.5 - Gordon Thomasson

  • Best Modified Mk2/2.5 - Richard Nicol

  • Best Unmodified Mk3/3.5 – Derek Blyth

  • Best Modified Mk3/3.5 - Ian Ness

  • Best in show - Richard Sawko

Once judging was over it was a case of getting the trophies to the worthy winners where photographs were taken.

Best Mk1, Best Modified Mk1 and Best in Show
Best Mk2/2.5 and Best Modified Mk2/2.5
Best Mk3/3.5 and Best Modified Mk3/3.5

When all was done it was a case of dismantling the site and returning it as we had found it.

Many thanks to Knockhill Management for giving us what turned out to be a fantastic site and for donating the trophies and also to all who turned up to help with setting up and dismantling the site.

And to have cars from as far as Norwich and Inverness come to this event can only mean we can have even more Mazda Mania next year.

Haste ye back.

Report by: Gavin

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Your Comments
3rd Jul 2011 17:53 :: Gordon T
What, no report yet?  No photos of the WINNERS amongst us? 

Great day out, and burnt to a frazzle!

Roll on another Scottish summer!

3rd Jul 2011 19:14 :: Morven
Thanks for a great day out - i loved going round the track! and enjoyed catching the sun! thanks everyone :) hopefully see you again soon! M :)

3rd Jul 2011 19:47 :: Ken & Julie
Fabulous day out... Thanks a million.. Totally burnt but so worthwhile.... Thanks for making us so welcome... Already looking forward to the next event....

3rd Jul 2011 20:37 :: marshall and heather
burnt to a crisp but well worth it had a great day, now driving heather mad by yapping about our great day out

3rd Jul 2011 21:02 :: Daniel
Fantastic day, thanks to everyone, never seen so many 5's in one place before! Defo can't wait for next event. Mabey we could go a tad faster on track perhaps?? ;)

3rd Jul 2011 21:04 :: Pauline
Thanks for a great day out. Really loved going round the track and meeting everyone.

3rd Jul 2011 21:08 :: del
Great day out, my first time at MX5 Scotland event and what a surprise it was to find out 'lucy' (my car) won the best unmodified MK3 in show. Nice to meet some of the club members and I look forward to joining in another event soon. Well done to all the organisers of the event.

3rd Jul 2011 22:13 :: Jacqueline & Ian
Wow what a fantastic day, and also wall to wall sunshine at Knockhill :-)

Many thanks to Gavin for organising it all and to Knockhill for donating the trophies. Now, wonder where I put that after sun cream.

3rd Jul 2011 22:17 :: Kevin and Josh
thanks for a great day, especially to whoever was in charge of the weather!

4th Jul 2011 05:49 :: HelenM
Thanks to all the organisers for a fantastic day out. The racing was superb and the cavalcade round the track huge fun. My day was made when one of the Mk3 racing drivers offered - would I like to sit in his race car? - of course I did!

4th Jul 2011 06:54 :: Richie
Excellent day and great number of cars - weather to match. Shame it was such a slow cavalcade!

4th Jul 2011 07:08 :: Richardn
Great Day out. Thanks to Knockhill for the trophies, and Gavin and eveyone else who helped, and everyonr who turned up and made it a success

4th Jul 2011 12:27 :: Snowcat
Aah! Aah! Suuunbuuuuurn!

It's days like that which make me wonder why I've been away from M5S for so long. Thanks again for making an old wanderer feel so welcome. 8-)

Managing to "sneak" a few parade laps was the icing on the cake! First time I've actualy been out on the real circuit and was decidedly bricking it despite the fact we were barely crawling. X-D

4th Jul 2011 14:28 :: Ian
Hi Snowcat

Always good to seen old members returning to the fold. Glad you had a great day despite the sunburn.

4th Jul 2011 16:44 :: Gavin
Thanks to everyone who turned up at our area. Skin still soaking up the Aftersun cream. Report should be up soon.

4th Jul 2011 18:18 :: Rossnmo
A lot of fun on and off the track.
The racers were really friendly and seemed willing to put up with a constant stream of questions from interested enthusiasts.
Not sure which cars had the most modified engines. The Mx5's on the track or the Mx5's in the car park.

4th Jul 2011 19:46 :: Susan
Fab day out yesterday - even the sunburn was worth it ;-) Recommend a look at the photobox on Knockhill's website. Some good ones on there of us doing the laps!

5th Jul 2011 07:04 :: CJ
Thanks for a really brilliant day. Made to feel welcome and everyone so friendly. Weather was a bonus and the ride around the track was great.

5th Jul 2011 08:37 :: Gordon & Moira
Just recovering from the sunstroke and slight detour on way home (won't need sat nav says M!)Not been through Dunfermline for a long while!
Well done Gavin. We were hoping it was going to be you leading the cavalcade!
Fantastic day nonetheless.

5th Jul 2011 20:13 :: Anita
Had a brilliant time at my first event on Sunday.  Ended up with borderline sunstroke and a forehead that could fry an egg, but hey ho!  Looking forward to the next event. Many thanks to all the organisers  :-)

6th Jul 2011 08:55 :: tom currie
Gavin and all the team.

Many thanks for a great day at the races. Was fantastic to see so many cars for one event.


6th Jul 2011 21:12 :: robert craig
thanks for a great day
gavin and the team
hope to to meet you all again soon

15th Jul 2011 17:14 :: David McAllister
This was going to be my first event but the day before my little 5 broke down :( shes fighting fit again and I hope theres more events like this in the future!

looks like I missed a great day!

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