Plenty of Mazdas (including the Protege, Miata, RX-7, and— depending on how strictly you define a Mazda— Ford Probe) have taken the win on laps at a 24 Hours of LeMons event, so the fact that the Hong Norrth 1994 MX-3 wore Mazda badges didn’t shock anyone. No, what shocked everyone was the crazy series of lead changes during the race’s last hour, with a Saab 900 Turbo, BMW 325i, and Honda Prelude slugging it out with the Mazda for the checkered flag.
With less than an hour to go and a massive 20-lap lead, it appeared that the RBankRacing Saab team was ready to start clearing space for their second LeMons overall-win trophy… but then the transmission failed. The Southern Region 2010 season champion Magnum P.U. Prelude took the lead for a time, but soon the race became a battle between the Hong Norrth MX-3 and the Road Warriors’ “Falcon XB” E30. The Mazda was a bit quicker around the Carolina Motorsports Park short course than the BMW, but its fuel tank was nearly empty and the Hong Norrth driver had to take it easy on the throttle to make the juice last until the checkered flag; the Road Warriors closed the gap to just under a lap but ran out of time. Congratulations, Hong Norrth!
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