Exclusive: how the Mazda Furai died
Back in 2008, Mazda's incredible race concept disappeared without trace. Here's what happened
Posted: 19 Feb 2015
As we've been shooting, I've spotted the Furai's central exhaust spitting a thin cone of blue flame on downshifts. It's this I want to capture on our last run. Ticehurst, duly instructed, heads off at pace, and Lee and I jump into the tracking vehicle and barrel after him, leaving the fire and support crews at the end of the runway. We catch the Furai over the crest of the runway (the tarmac at Bentwaters rises in the middle, something that's about to take on significance) and track it down towards the far end, Brimble snapping furiously. As Ticehurst begins to slow for the turn and drops down through the gears, things start to go wrong. The Furai is making a noise less Le Mans racer and more... fatally wounded elephant. "That doesn't sound good," mutters Lee, face pressed to camera as we track the Furai around its turn.
Then, as the Mazda straightens, Lee and I spot the same small lick of fire deep within the engine bay at the base of the bulkhead. Priceless concept. Flames. Ah.