It’s been 37 years since factory-backed Brock Racing Enterprises livery was seen on the tracks. The weekend, BRE livery will ride again at The Mitty, where the Datsun race team of yore will be the honored racing legend this year. But instead of a Datsun Roadster, 510 or 240Z, it’ll be on a Mazda. The idea was a joint effort between Peter Brock and John Morton and Mazdaspeed, and you can read the genesis of the project in the press release below.
When the admiration is mutual, and the partnerships are among good friends, it’s easy to make fun things happen quickly. Racing legends Peter Brock and John Morton will fly their famous #46 red, white, and blue pattern on a “classic” Japanese car at Road Atlanta later this month. However, the difference is that this time it won’t be on a Datsun sedan. This time it will be the most popular convertible ever sold or raced, the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
For many years, the annual Walter Mitty Challenge has been a favorite vintage race weekend on the East Coast. Mazda teamed up to sponsor the event with Classic Motorsports/Grassroots Motorsports and HSR in 2006. To add a dash of the new and modern, Mazda brought its popular SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup series to the vintage race weekend.
Each year, a racing legend is honored at the Mitty — for 2010, that honored legend is Peter Brock of Brock Racing Enterprises, aka BRE, fame. At this point, it’s not clear if the idea came from Mazda, from Classic Motorsports, HSR, a BRE fan, or elsewhere, but someone simply said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a BRE Miata in the Playboy race to honor Pete?”
With Mazda, good ideas can turn into reality with a few quick phone calls. The Mazda design team sketched up a proper BRE graphics job for the MX-5. The MAZDASPEED team called John Morton to verify his interest. Since John had also scored more than a few race wins with Mazda during his career, that connection was strong, and his desire to race remains strong. Finally, Pete and Gayle Brock were shown the sketch and pitched the idea. Then, amazingly enough, everybody said yes.
Peter Brock — “It’s been some 37 years since a factory supported car in BRE livery sat on a racing grid. Seeing the new MX-5 in our traditional colors almost brings tears to my eyes. It’s wonderful that Mazda, a company that really loves, understands and supports racing of all kinds, has seen fit to honor our team’s great racing history with this new spirit of competition”.
If only Nissan hadn’t pulled their auto racing support. And strangled their Motorsports Division. And stopped building affordable enthusiast’s cars.
[Images: Mazda, Gary Savage]