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Javelin Sprint Series Croft Circuit 20th September 20.

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

This is the first competitive event the Mazda 2 DJ is taking part in this year, due mostly to Covid19, time in development and pre-testing.

Croft Circuit is located up in the North East of England near Middlesbourgh, my home town! It is an exceedingly fast track with a notoriously technical final section. The plan was to maximise the fast sections, keeping my foot on the go pedal and rely on the excellent chassis and new tyres to carry speed through the bends, braking as late and as little as possible into the technical elements of the Jim Clark esses to keep the forward momentum.

With stage one of project "daily racer" now almost complete, the new brakes, suspension, tyres and a few power upgrades really paid dividends with me and the car producing some very competitive times, out classing some well known performance cars from Renault, Volkswagen and Toyota. Considering the car started life as a smart little eco box, it does feel wonderfully at home on a race track.

The day started very wet and slippery with other competitors sliding off circuit into the gravel or in a couple of unfortunate cases the barriers. Never good to see a car being towed back to the pits after an off. As the day progressed the sun broke through and the track started to dry, offering more grip and greater confidence for the drivers including me to get on the power earlier and the brakes later. this lead to the whole field seeing their times reducing.

My personal goal, besides trying to win my class, was to better my own personal best time set in my previous car a mk3 Yaris,

Yaris time to beat 1.53.25

Mazda 2 time on first attempt straight out the box a 1.52.57

which was great sign of things to come and further proof of just how good the Mazda is from factory..

From behind the wheel, the combination of the whole setup felt great. The car let me push to the limit i wanted to be at and with very technical parts of the circuit the car never felt out of control, you could feel how it was balance beneath you and play with the yaw while still in a corner. At one point as the track was drying so I tried a tighter line in one corner, the rear of the car wanted to come round but I could feel it happening so was able to correct that and save it.

The suspension setup is a brilliant blend of road and track, not over stiff so it hurts your back while travelling to and from the circuit yet firm enough to truly impress with the way it turns into a corner, just point the nose of the car to the apex and it's on point. We could have done with the rear Anti-roll bar this weekend but it's not arrived yet so as the rear of the car sometimes wanted to step out so I dialled it out by lowering the tyre pressures at the back. You can really throw the car through the corners and its fully in control.

The brakes from Black Diamond are just epic especially with the heavy breaking zones at the end of the straights into Tower bend and into Sunny Inn, you could just stand on them and they would scrub the speed off so quickly its amazing. The whole system of discs, pads and fluid worked brilliantly with no fade dispute the repeated abuse giving massive confidence in their performance all day.

The new Yokohama Advan sport which are a performance road tyre widely available at most tyre garages, felt good. Gripping well off the line and dealing with the damp early morning conditions well and performing better still as the temperature rose with the drying of the track surface, showing no scrubbing or damage due to abrasion. A all round good tyre in my opinion.

The engine and gearbox didn't miss a beat, the gears going straight in with no crashing against the shift gates, so no missed gears. The car was barely even trying ,taking track life in its stride.

Even with the power upgrades fitted to my car it was still the 2nd lowest powered car taking part yet it bettered its on paper performance figures to out sprint a Toyota Celica, Clio182 and MX5 1.8 nb.

In conclusion, I can honestly say this little car is so much fun and will hold it's own on B-roads and track days ,it's a little warm hatch that encourages you to work hard to get the best out of it and as you do, it puts a huge smile on your face and makes you a better driver.

As we are competing there are few other things we are going to look into as we want to bring our times down next year, there just niggles really but it's just for our track work

2021 will see stage 2 of the project daily racer come to fruition, this will include finishing off the exhaust system and custom mapping for the car to maximise the output of all the upgrades to that point and maybe some more track focused tyres.

Thank you to all our parts suppliers and supporters that sent me some great messages of encouragement. We do this because it's our passion and we are passionate about the brands we endorse so "Thank You ❤ & Be Safe"

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