Tag Archives: Asia

Will I ever get to Marshal Macau Grand Prix?

It’s no secret, I’d really like to volunteer for the Macau Grand Prix.

I’ve been wanting to marshal there since 2013 and so far to no avail… I have made contacts but it seems the rules in place favor locals because of the following three criteria:

  1. You must speak Cantonese to work the race.
  2.  You must participate in the training several months before.
  3. You must have a worker permit for Macau or Hong Kong.

I’m zero for three, naturally… but I still want to do it! I’ve visited the Guia International Street Circuit before and am absolutely in love with the place… and for whatever reason I feel confident one day this will happen for me even though I’ve been rejected since I started asking about it back in 2013…

So I thought it would be appropriate to list several reasons “WHY” I’d like to marshal at the Macau Grand Prix.

Reason #1: I really miss Asia!

I started my marshaling in Singapore. I loved coming back to marshal in Malaysia for many years. I even participated at the Korean Grand Prix as part of the Singapore GP visiting team. I really want to go back!

Reason #2: It’s a really unique event!

Macau Grand Prix is one of two International Motorsport events that don’t involve Formula 1! (and I’ve already done the other one: New Zealand Grand Prix) Macau is also unique because it’s the only major event in the world of Motorsport that features Open Wheel Racing… GT (Touring Car) Racing and Moto Racing on the same weekend, on the same circuit… you don’t see that too often these days. I want to see it in person.

Reason #3: The Guia Circuit is Amazing!

I have been to Macao and Seen/Driven on the Guia Street Circuit. It is spectacular. It is challenging. And it is very unique. I want to experience it in race trim. I want to see how the local marshals handle the incidents there. I want to hear the roar of the race cars going by at a million miles an hour. I want to be a part of it!

Reason #4: I want to check out the MX-5 Miata Scene in Hong Kong

Let’s face it, there’s no direct flights from the NYC metropolitan area to Macau. I would most likely burn some American Airlines miles to fly their Cathay Pacific partner to Hong Kong. And while in HK I totally expect to take advantage of the opportunity and organize some amazing Miata activities. The Miata club of Hong Kong is very active on facebook and I have no doubt I can work some contacts to enjoy a meeting with those enthusiasts in order to share my experience on this blog. I want to do a Hong Kong Miata meet as much as I want to marshal the Macau Grand Prix… it’s a must!

Reason #5: Foodie Tour!

I miss proper Chinese food. I miss the Cantonese food of Hong Kong. I want to sample some more of the Portuguese influence in Macau. I crave the food and the food culture that strives in this area of the world… I miss it so much… and the Macau Grand Prix would be a perfect opportunity to immerse myself back into that goodness full-on. I totally need this in my life right now (end of November).

So what stands in my way?

It’s not uncommon to have difficulties establishing the right contacts to get anything done in Southeast Asia. I was rejected for my very first volunteering attempt at the Singapore Grand Prix… but they reconsidered and it launched this amazing hobby of mine. I was rejected in Malaysia and now Sepang is one of my most favorite places to work at and Kuala Lumpur has that feeling of HOME that one day I want to make a reality (and move to live there). I’m sure once I find a key to the door of Macau it will become a place I will come back to. Even if it’s a one-time event, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the hell out of it and all the opportunities that surround that event/location.

Will Macau ever happen?

…stay tuned.

Mazda Badge Engineering or… Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM)

Leaving the restaurant after celebrating my dad’s birthday my sister noticed a new Fiat 124 Spider in the parking lot and commented: “Hey, that’s a nice Miata!”

Funny that…

I explained the concept of Fiata to her and thought it would be an excellent topic to research and share in this blog. I like Mazda’s. I like their badge engineering efforts with other major companies. And having lived in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia I’ve been exposed to some of their other popular OEM agreements with Ford primarily, but also Suzuki, Nissan and most currently Toyota.

So here’s my attempt at explaining some of the “shared” platforms between Mazda and others.


Mazda & Fiat

Mazda Roadster / Mazda MX-5 – Fiat 124 Spider / Abarth 124 Spider

This is my favorite tie up because obviously the MX-5 started my relationship with Mazda and at some point I would love to buy a Fiat just for variety’s sake.


Mazda & Ford

Mazda BT-50 – Mazda B-series – Ford Ranger

Mazda Tribute – Ford Escape

I almost bought a Ford Escape once to replace our family’s aging Ford Explorer. Tribute would have been an option before I decided to focus my search on CX-7 & CX-5

Ford owned a big chunk of Mazda so there were lots of badge engineered vehicles. They go so far back I can’t even find pretty pictures to display here, so I’ll just list them all:

  • Ford Escape – Mazda Tribute
  • Ford Explorer – Mazda Navajo
  • Ford Courier – Mazda B-series
  • Ford Ranger – Mazda BT-50
  • Ford Probe – Mazda MX-6
  • Ford Fiesta – Mazda Soho (Africa)
  • Ford Fiesta – Mazda 121 (Europe)
  • Ford Fiesta – Mazda 2
  • Ford Fiesta – Mazda Demio
  • Ford i-MAX – Mazda 5
  • Ford i-MAX – Mazda Premacy
  • Ford Ixion – Mazda Premacy
  • Ford MAV – Mazda Premacy

 

Mazda Demio – Mazda2 – Ford Fiesta

Mazda Premacy – Mazda5 – Ford Ixion – Ford MAV

Mazda Premacy – Mazda5 – Ford i-MAX

It’s worth noting that Mazda uses different model names based on the market. Therefore a Demio is also Mazda2 which replaced Mazda 121 of the past.


Mazda & Toyota

Mazda Demio – Mazda2  – Scion iA – Toyota Yaris iA

This is the most recent relationship with the world’s largest car manufacturer which started off as a Scion brand that Toyota decided to fold into the parent company and now it’s the Yaris replacement. An odd scenario considering how many Yaris & Echo’s Toyota sold on it’s own over the past many years of making the little cars. Why outsource this production to Mazda now?


Mazda & Suzuki

Mazda AZ-1 / Autozam AZ-1 / Suzuki Cara

The Suzuki – Mazda relationship stretches back many generations. Including their famous AZ-1 / Cara project which was marketed under Mazda’s Autozam nameplate. Besides Autozam Mazda also launched Eunos which was originally one to market the Roadster in Japan known as MX-5 Miata everywhere else. Amati and efini brands which were meant to be the luxury divisions of Mazda much like Lexus was to Toyota, Acura to Honda or Infiniti to Nissan. Ford had it’s Lincoln brand and Cadillac did the trick for GM long before.

The list of Mazda – Suzuki mini-micro kei car collaborations:

  • Suzuki Every Wagon – Autozam Scrum – Mazda Scrum
  • Suzuki  Carry – Autozam Scrum – Mazda Scrum
  • Suzuki Wagon R – Autozam AZ Wagon – Mazda AZ Wagon
  • Suzuki Kei – Mazda Laputa
  • Suzuki Alto – Mazda Carol
  • Suzuki Lapin – Mazda Spiano
  • Suzuki Jimmy – Mazda AZ Offroad
  • Suzuki Vitara – Mazda Proceed Levante
  • Suzuki Ertiga – Proton Ertiga – Mazda VX-1

 

Autozam Scrum – Mazda Scrum – Suzuki Every Wagon

Autozam Scrum – Mazda Scrum – Suzuki Carry

Autozam AZ Wagon – Mazda AZ Wagon – Suzuki Wagon R

Mazda Laputa – Suzuki Kei 

Mazda Carol – Suzuki Alto

Mazda Carol – Suzuki Alto

Mazda Spiano – Suzuki Lapin

Mazda Spiano – Suzuki Lapin

Mazda AZ Offroad – Suzuki Jimmy

Mazda Proceed Levante – Suzuki Vitara

Mazda Proceed Levante – Suzuki Vitara

Mazda VX-1 ~ Suzuki Ertiga ~ Proton Ertiga

I could be wrong but it seems to me that Mazda rebadged every Suzuki made on the Japanese market. Which is interesting…


Mazda & Nissan

 Mazda Premacy – Mazda5 – Nissan Lafesta Highway STAR

Mazda Bongo – Nissan Vanette

Mazda Bongo – Nissan Vanette Truck

Mazda Familia Van – Nissan AD Expert

The Mazda Nissan relationship seems very interesting in that Mazda builds the Lafesta minivan for Nissan, along with the commercial Bongo rebadged to Nissan’s Vanette models. But Nissan provides the rebadged AD Expert marketed by Mazda as a Familia Van… Mazda’s Familia in Japan is marketed as Mazda 323, Mazda Protegé and more recently Mazda3 or Mazda Axela and none of the Mazda models look anything like the Nissan version… but, whatever works!


Mazda & Kia

Mazda Sentia – Kia Enterprise

This luxobarge was a rebadged Mazda for the Korean market before Kia/Huyndai started getting all fancy with their own big car designs.

Besides this product there was also Kia Pride which was a rebadged Ford Festiva just like Mazda 121 and Mazda Soho.


Mazda & Holden

This is going way back but Mazda used to sell Australian Holden’s in Japan as Mazda Roadpacer – rebadged from Holden Premier. Apparently Holden shipped the whole car minus an engine where Mazda shoved a rotary under the hood and put it on the market. It was not terribly successful.

 


Mazda & Isuzu

The next Mazda pick-up truck will be a rebadged Isuzu. Currently Isuzu and GM have a partnership where Isuzu’s rebadged D-Max trucks sell as Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.

 

I will update this page as I find more Mazda collaborations out there.