David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/20/12 10:23 a.m.

When it comes to fanatical fans, Mazda has to be up there. They're the number-one manufacturer among our readers, and no brand boasts more activity among road racers. So it should be no surpise that Orlando's Classic Mazda hosts a pre-Sebring party the weekend before the big race.

This year's party featured some impressive machinery, including Dyson Racing's Mazda MZR-R Lola B09/86 LMP Coupe, a SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 (not a show car but the real thing) and Freedom Autosport's MX-5. Free barbecue was served, and a ton of door prizes were handed out—Mrs. Editor came home with a $50 BP gift card.

Then there's the attendees, including Mazda racers Sylvain Tremblay, Tyler Cooke, Spencer Pigot and Gerardo Bonilla. John Doonan and Jim Jordan, both Mazda execs as well as friends of GRM, also made the trip. The Lorax even made an appearance.

The price to attend? Zero. Not a thing.

So we cruised over with our 1992 Miata, and somehow got a front-row seat. Wondering if motorsports really benefits new car sales? We hear they sold five vehicles that evening.

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