Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

YouTube star Broadbent races highly-modified 700bhp Mazda MX-5

One-time Praga Cup champion and YouTube star Jimmy Broadbent will dovetail a season of competition in his wild Mazda MX-5 with GT racing in the Nurburgring-based NLS series this year.

Jimmy Broadbent

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Broadbent, who took the 2022 Praga title alongside Gordie Mutch, gave his 700bhp MX-5 Mk1 its racing debut in the Classic Touring Car Racing Club’s Classic Thunder series last weekend at Donington Park – the same venue where he first competed in a standard MX-5 three years ago.

“I bought this car in 2014 for £700, and it was my little runaround,” said the 32-year-old, who drove the car last year in Time Attack, where contestants compete against the clock. “And since then, it’s gone insane.

“It started off having a ‘stock’ engine, built to make 340bhp, which is still quite a lot on an MX-5 with a little bit of aero.

“Now we’ve switched over to a 2.3-litre [Nissan] SR20, which makes just shy of 700bhp. And, with this aero as well, it’s been pretty serious.”

Mated to a six-speed sequential Quaife gearbox, the turbocharged engine was built by Dave Yandell, while Carbon Repair UK manufactured the car’s vast diffuser that works in conjunction with the front splitter and flat floor.

“I’ve only driven it on a handful of occasions – it’s quite a temperamental car,” added Broadbent. “We spent a lot of the winter just trying to iron all those things out.

Jimmy Broadbent, Mazda MX-5

Jimmy Broadbent, Mazda MX-5

Photo by: Mick Walker

“We’re putting horsepower into a chassis that was never meant to see more than maybe 200bhp at the most, and we had to really do a lot of work there.

“The plan was to just make it fast. Maybe an MX-5 isn’t the right place to start but there’s no other MX-5 like it.

“I want people to see this car and go, ‘Do you remember that mint MX-5?’ That’s exactly what you want because racing should be spectacular.

“The only problem is coming out of tight corners, because you’re trying to put down multiple hundred horsepower.”

Broadbent qualified third in a 42-car field but suffered engine failure while running fourth in wet conditions.

Having raced a BMW 330i alongside fellow YouTubers Misha Charoudin and Steve Brown in NLS last year, Broadbent will graduate to a BMW M4 GT4 for the 2024 series, which begins this weekend.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Sharp cuts clear for early GB3 lead as Barwell bags British GT brace
Next article How a racing newcomer has stormed British GT with "two little sponges"

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe