Mazda sure knows how to pick ’em. In the US, Mazda PR reps never let us forget that the full name for the famous corkscrew-having NorCal circuit is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. On August 1 in Japan, they’ll be the official sponsors of the Hakone Turnpike, a road leading to one of the birthplaces of drifting.
Groundbreaking for the road began in 1962 and for most of its life it was known simply as the Hakone Turnpike. It took the pioneers of drifting from the hubbub of civilization to remote mountain passes along Lake Ashi, the legendary winding touge where drifting began.
It’s known for its breathtaking views of Mt Fuji and Sagami Bay, but just google 箱根ターンパイク and you’ll find as many images of tricked out Japanese sports cars as you will of the road itself.
In 2007, Toyo Tires got the naming rights and even built an observation deck rest area at the top. That partnership has run out, leaving Mazda to fill the void.
Mazda’s always been known as the sporty marque, so next time you’re driving your Miata or RX-7, you can imagine yourself heading to Hakone.
Images: Mazda, Nissan, HinoSamurai