This first-gen Mazda MX-5 has just broken a world record for the most hairpin turns performed in a 12-hour period.
There’s a record for everything in the automotive world. Each track has its own speed records, there’s the land speed record, there’s the fastest production car record (which Bugatti recently pushed to 304 mph thanks to a brand new Chiron). And then there are the more esoteric records, like how many hairpins you can pull off in a single night.
And by hairpins we mean hairpin turns in an Austrian mountain range.
In celebration of the Mazda MX-5 Miata’s 30th anniversary, Mazda’s German branch took a first-gen MX-5, modified it, and then brought it to the Kaunertal mountain pass in Austria. They closed the road and then started going back and forth over the winding mountain pass for the next 12 hours starting at 7 PM local time.
This was more difficult than it sounds. Not only was it pitch dark (necessitating some extra lights on the front end of the Miata), it was also raining. One false move up there and even the tiny roll cage that Mazda installed wouldn’t do much to save the driver.
Or rather, four drivers. Racecar drivers Cyndie Allemann and Jan Spieb were paired with rally car driver Niki Schelle and image test driver Stefan Novitzki to perform 2,900 hairpin turns over the 12-hour period. That's more than 1,400 turns over the previous record, with each turn being between 150 and 180 degrees.
We don't know much about what Mazda did to their Mk1 Miata, but stock it would have come with a 1.6-L 4-cylinder engine with 115 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque. That might sound woefully underpowered, but keep in mind that the first-gen Miata weighed next to nothing, so it's power-to-weight ratio wasn't really all that bad.
We can see it definitely has a new steering wheel and gear shifter installed, along with the aforementioned 4-pack of bright halogens, but other than that it appears to be mostly original.
Check out the video above to see the record attempt, although you’ll need to turn on the subtitles since it’s entirely in German.