2004 Pro Formula Mazda prototype completes first on-track test.
20, 2003. Hethel, UK. Turning wheels around Lotus’ Hethel test track, the 2004
Pro Formula Mazda prototype had a successful debut, covering over 100 miles
on its maiden voyage and impressing test driver, and UK Formula Ford Champion,
Wesley Barber with its acceleration and drivetrain, who compared it favorably
to an F3 car.
Diemen and Star Mazda personnel spent the first hour working on engine mapping
and drivability for the Mazda “Renesis” rotary engine which will power both
the Pro Formula Mazda and the new Mazda RX-8. Once mapping was complete the
remainder of the test was spent working on the handling dynamics for the new
chassis, with the crew adjusting ride heights, sway bars, and spring rates.
Despite temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit the prototype was able to put
up decent performance numbers, with cornering forces exceeding 2.5 G’s.