MX-5 Thirtieth Anniversary – Throwback Thursday

This week is the thirtieth anniversary of the Mazda MX-5’s debut at the Chicago Motorshow. The MX-5 is always going to be a special car for me as  it shaped a lot of my outlook on cars. To this day I will always pick a lower powered, lightweight, engaging car over something with a big engine or high top speed. I will never forget my first drive in one – I had a Saturday job at the village garage and my first job after passing my driving test was running an errand round the village in my boss’s red Eunos Roadster.

A few years later I bought my first one by accident. Between my first and second year at university I had been looking at Ford Pumas, but my Dad heard of a little sports car for sale. It seemed like a good car and was a good deal, so I bought it. The silver MX-5 mk1 with a 1.8l engine was a big step up from the Rover Metro I had been driving before and over six years I drove it over 100,000 miles. Using it for track days, hooning around the shire, trips to Cornwall and Nurburgring and to racing circuits far and wide when I was official photographer for the Ma5da Racing series. I bought it as a student, then when I got my first real job used it to commute from my parent’s house near Kettering to Coventry. Then when I moved out and had my own place in Rugby. It was the car I owned when I met Jen. Unfortunately, like a lot of mk1 MX-5s, it got a bit rusty over the years and in 2011 failed the MOT so badly that I had no choice but to scrap it.

It took me all of a few days to decide on a replacement – another silver MX-5! However this one was different – I leased a brand new one! For two years track days were replaced by road trips all over the country from the Outer Hebrides to Cornwall. I loved how the newer MX-5 kept all of the character of the old one, but was reliable and comfortable – Jen even liked driving it!

When the lease was up, I was tempted by another MX-5, but after eight years I fancied a change, but I knew I wanted another small, lightweight car…

MX-5 – Throwback Thursday

I found this picture whilst looking for images of my old MX-5 to upload to my cars blog on Blatters, I thought it would be perfect for the #throwbackthursday hashtag on Twitter, but instead of keeping it on my Twitter account I thought I’d blog about it too.

This picture takes me back to 2007, while I was working as a web developer between finishing my degree and graduating. Most days I would head out for a blat around the Welland Valley on my lunchbreak. These were the days before I had a DSLR, so this was taken on my Dad’s Nikon FM2 and the slide scanned.

Evo magazine

A quick stop by Loch Glascarnoch

I’ve been a bit rubbish at blogging the last few months, my excuses are working on the 119 project, enjoying my MR2 and that I’m really busy at work. It was on a flight for work that I was reading evo magazine on my iPad and came across the image above, of my MX-5 next to Loch Glascarnoch on the A835 and a few words about my 2012 Scottish roadtrip.

I’d submitted the article a while back and almost forgotten about it. The word count I had to meet was quite restrictive, so there’s hardly any detail, but the full details of the trip are earlier in this blog.

Southwold Road Trip

MX-5 at the Harbour

This picture was taken at Southwold in Suffolk, the destination of the 2012 “Fish and Chip Run” an annual event of the MX-5 Owners Club Northamptonshire Area.

The day started off with an early start and a dash to the layby on the A14, where we would be joining the convoy, which was already at least 30 strong, increasing to over 100 cars as we headed east towards the Suffolk coast.

When we got to the harbour at Southwold we parked up and headed straight to Mrs T’s Fish and Chip Emporium, to get what is probably the best fish and chips I’ve ever had!

It was with fully bellies that we took a stroll down to the beach, dodging the MX-5s that had taken over the whole harbour area. Just before we left I was able to pull my car out in front of some boats and take this photo, without causing too much of a traffic jam!

The drive home, via meeting up with one of Jen’s friends near Thetford and the B664 (Uppingham to Market Harborough) was one of my favourite drives of the year, with flowing roads, hardly any traffic and perfect weather!

Wide Angle Pan – From the archives

I was discussing panning motorsport shots with a colleague, which reminded me of this photo which I took at Snetterton a few years ago, before they changed the layout. The Esses is one of the few corners on UK tracks where you are allowed to be positioned quite close to the apex, close enough to be using a wide angle lens anyway. I’d previously shown an image taken slightly tighter, on the blog post for the Ma5da Racing meeting at Snetterton, but I’ve always liked this one more. It breaks a few rules for instance the car has got more space behind than in front, but rules are merely guidelines and I think it works.

The full Ma5da Racing Snetterton 2010 gallery is available in my archive.

MX-5 Underground – iPhone

Black & White MX-5 by Lewis Craik

I dropped Jen off at the supermarket and was told “I’ll be back in 10 minutes”, so what else was I going to do when presented with an underground car park and my MX-5? This shot was taken and processed (and car returned to where I’d dropped Jen off) before she got back. Much more fun than shopping!

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to shoot here with my proper camera soon.

New MX-5

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog recently, mainly because of all the travelling I’ve been doing, and partly because of my new toy!

After my old MX-5 died, the logical choice was to get a new one and I’m enjoying it even more than I thought I would! I’m sure there will be even more pictures of it on this blog in the coming months…

Ma5da Racing: Snetterton

The qualifying sessions for the second round of the Ma5da Racing 2010 season (and first round of the 2010 MX5 Cup), which had been delayed from the previous day were held under grey, but dry, Norfolk skies, on what had been touted as the warmest day of the year so far. The two sessions for the Ma5da Racing Championship went first and passed without any major incident, at least from where I was standing at The Esses. This corner gave me the chance to get out my wide angle lens, which I rarely get to use for motorsports, but usually gives some great images.

I stayed at The Esses for the MX5 Cup practice session which was my first chance to see multiple mk3 MX5 race cars on the track at the same time, again the session went without too much trouble, until Kevin Dengate had a moment on the second of the esses and left a lot of dirt on the track. Paul Sheard eneded the session fastest, so took the MX5 pole for both races.

On my way back from The Esses, the heavens opened, luckily I was able to duck into the Rob Boston Racing awning to avoid the worst of te downpour, but for the drivers in the first Ma5da Race of the day the damage had been done, the track was very wet and with all of the drivers having qualified in the dry the first corner was somewhat chaotic. Rob Boston managed to get a good start and left all the chaos behind him allowing him to pull out a big lead (4s) which he kept until the chequered flag.

Next up was the MX5 Cup race, the first race for the mk3 MX-5 race cars, the track had dried off a bit for this race, although the skies were still grey. The mk3 part of the race was won by Paul Sheard, again by about 4s. As there were only 5 mk3 cars the numbers were made up with a few mk1s, and it was good to see Nick Gilfillan winning the mk1 part of the race.

I stayed Russell Chicane for the next of the Ma5da Racing Championship races, which was a close battle between Tom Roche and newcomer Phil House (although he was in one of the Rob Boston Racing cars), Phil did lead most of the race, but Tom managed to overtake near the end of the race. Seeing as I’ve posted images of Tom Roche leading races, here’s my favourite shot from the race, with Phil leading.

By the time the second MX-5 Cup race came round the sun had come out (Yay!!!), I headed back to The Esses for the race as that was where all the action had been for the previous race. The race went much the same as the first, with Paul Sheard leading, although Kevin Middleton was a lot closer this time around.

Paul won the race, however Nick Gilfillan wasn’t quite so lucky, after having pulled out a fairly decent lead, he had a big moment right in front of me at The Esses and gifted the lead to Mark Pierpoint.

As per the first meeting at Brands Hatch the race of the day, featuring both Tom Roche and Rob Boston had been saved for the last race of the day and the race did not disappoint. Not only were Rob and Tom swapping places ate the front, the battle for 3rd was also very closely contested between Jonathan Greensmith, Phil House and Chris Dawkins (finishing in that order) and there was close racing all the way down the field.