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Mazda RX-8 All-Star Line-up for Silverstone 24hr Race
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 12:51pm

Source: www.crash.net

Former Formula One driver Martin Donnelly will be out in action in the European Endurance Racing Club's Britcar 24 hour race at Silverstone in September, joining the Mazda RX-8 squad.

Mazda will be entering two Mazda RX-8s with both cars carrying the livery reminiscent of the rotary powered Mazda 787B that won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1991 and will have one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid.

The team consists of regular drivers Mark Ticehurst and Natasha Firman, who have notched up five wins and three second places from eight races so far this season. Joining Mark and Natasha will be former Formula One driver Martin Donnelly, sportscar and touring car specialist Ian Flux, ex-FIA GT driver and now Auto Express motoring writer Owen Mildenhall, freelance motoring writer Andrew Frankel, Autosport staff writer Marcus Pye and Tuscan champion Steve Guglielmi.

The race takes place on the Silverstone GP circuit on 10 and 11 September as part of the Production S1 Endurance Series. Starting at 4pm on Saturday the cars race around the clock finishing at 4pm on Sunday. Over the 24 hours the two Mazda RX-8s are expected to cover more than 2,000 miles, around 600 laps of the 3.94 mile circuit.

"We know the Mazda RX-8 is capable of running faultlessly for 24 hours," comments regular driver Natasha Firman. "We proved that in Papenburg last year, we now have to translate that speed and durability into race success here at Silverstone."

"We have had a 100% reliability record this year over eight endurance races. The Mazda RX-8 really is a great car in standard form, it is reliable and extremely good on the track, the only unknown is how Mark and I will adapt to 24-hour racing but we are both fit and really looking forward to the challenge. The team is incredibly strong with some outstanding drivers so we are very confident of a good result, we just have to stay out of trouble as it will be very busy out there with over 70 entrants."

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