Thursday 12 April 2012

Road - Wall of Death

This fotie is the the right way up!

It’s not a big news story in the great scheme of things, but this one tickled my fancy. Mazda handed over a new model Mazda2 to a guy called ‘Dynomite Dave’ who just happens to own a 31 foot diameter, 16 feet high, racetrack called the Demon Drome Wall of Death. Subtle, eh?

Apparently this WoD was built in America in 1927 and eventually found its way to Skegness where it was last used some time in the 1980s. Cornwall based Dave Seymour found it and refurbished it and it is now back in use.

Dynomyte Dave, his son Duke and daughter Alabama now stage regular shows in the Demon Drome on their 1920s Indian Scout motorcycles. Apparently, circulating (should that be revoluting?) the Dome generates forces up to 4g which pools the blood in their legs and gives them tunnel vision while hurtling around the wall. They can ride their motorbikes one-handed, standing up, side-saddle and even blindfolded. But a car is something completely different.

Considering that a Mazda2 will weigh some 5 or 6 times as much as a motor cycle, the mere thought of trying to emulate the two wheelers’ feats sounds really quite stupid. Then again, anyone who rides a Wall of Death as a daily job can hardly be called sensible.

Anyway, the 100 bhp, 1.5 litre motor was treated to a visit to Kent-based Jota Sport who  developed the race-winning MX-5 GT that currently campaigns in the British GT Championship. A bucket seat and full harness were fitted while a technician from Mazda deactivated the Mazda2’s electronic stability system and dual front airbag. The front foglamps were also removed to allow more flexibility in the bumper while the MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension were fitted with uprated bump stops. Apart from that, everything else was completely standard.

And then they handed the car over to Dave who took it for its memorable spin.

“That was incredible. Just amazing – I’m so stoked!” said Dynomyte Dave afterwards, “It was a bit tricky getting the Mazda up onto the vertical, but once it was there it was rock steady. Great fun. But I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. Not for a long while…”

And just to prove it, Mazda have put a wee video up on YouTube:

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