This year’s Mazda 3 celebrity race challenge played an important part of the Japanese company’s plans for the popular small car’s launch in Australia.
Following on from the carnage-riddled 2013 Mazda 6 celebrity race challenge, Mazda Australia this year opted to pit a bunch of celebrities against one another at Albert Park in the newly launched Mazda 3. This time around, there was far less damage sustained across the grid.
Former Socceroo Brett Emerton won the race with a massive lead over his opponents a day after TV personality and former Miss Universe Australia, Rachel Finch, rolled her Mazda 3 in spectacular style.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the conclusion of the second celebrity race (prior to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix) on Sunday, Mazda Australia’s marketing director Alastair Doak confirmed the new-generation Mazda 3 is the recipient of the largest launch campaign ever undertaken by the manufacturer.
“Obviously the Mazda 3 is the biggest selling car [for Mazda], it has been the countries biggest selling car numerous times and by default it means the size of the launch budget is going to reflect that” Doak said.
The idea to put the Mazda 3 as the celebrity race car was based on the success the brand had with the similar Mazda 6 event last year, Doak said.
“For Mazda 6 last year we got many millions of dollars in media exposure and that’s why we considered it for Mazda 3,” Doak said. “The timing worked even better for Mazda 3 given it went on sale in February and here we are in March.”
Last year’s race saw nearly all cars on the grid being written off after an incident prone weekend, but this year’s Mazda 3s survived mostly unharmed. Doak said the celebrity race showcases the Mazda 3 in its best light to the right audience.
“We are all about Zoom Zoom and having fun when you’re driving and I think this is a great way to demonstrate that and showcase the talents of the car.”
Since the launch campaign for the Mazda 3 started, more than 78,000 people have shown interest in the new car via Mazda’s website.
The company is currently clearing out stock of the previous-generation Mazda 3, which should be out of dealer showrooms by end of March.
The new model has seen strong demand for the high-end Mazda 3 GT and Astina.
Read: Mazda 3 Review.
Race 2 Results
Race 1 results: