Mazda has set a total of 40 international records with two Mazda RX-8s during a 24-hour record attempt on the 12.3km oval at the automotive proving grounds in Papenburg, Germany earlier this month.
Two 231ps Mazda RX-8s were used, one in the FIA Category A (Special Vehicles) and a second in the FIA Category B (Mass Production Vehicles). The two cars drove more than 5,000km during the 24-hour attempt with average speeds of 212.835 and 215.934 km/h.
The only difference between the two Mazda RX-8s used in the attempt and all other Mazda RX-8 production models was added safety equipment – both had special body-contour seats, five-point seat belts and a roll cage. The Category A Mazda RX-8 was outfitted with an additional fuel tank and 19-inch wheels.
The cars were piloted by 15 automotive journalists from 11 countries, who completed the tough, 24-hour test on the 12.3 km high-speed oval, pausing only for necessary pit stops and to change drivers. The record drive attempt was supported by the tyre manufacturer Kumho and Aral, which provided high-octane Aral Ultimate petrol.
The two Mazda RX-8s drove their rounds at consistently high speeds and without incident. Nonetheless, not everything went according to plan. An hour after midnight it began to rain heavily, but neither the drivers nor the tyre supplier Kumho panicked. The tyre pressure was lowered, which resulted in an improvement of their hydroplaning resistance capacity. Despite the rain, the average speed of both cars remained high.
At 12:20pm on Sunday 3 October, Mazda Motor Europe engineer Shoji Tokuda dropped the chequered flag and waved his two Mazda RX-8s into the pit. Both cars set a total of 40 international FIA records.