It started, as most interesting things do, with an email devoid of both overview and detail.
"Mate, Mazda's got an ice race in Sweden for journos. You want to come do it with us?"
The "us" of which they spoke turned out to be the Australian car - apart from Russia, we would be the sole non-European car in the field of 20 MX-5 roadsters, and thus representing the Rest of the World, which includes the UAE. So, in a roundabout way, The National was flying the flag for the entire Middle East. And Asia and Africa, too.
But with the thermometer struggling to lift its liquid over -30 Celsius, the MX-5s have been modded with roll cages, racing seats, racing suspension and a limited-slip differential. Curiously, the roof doesn't fit over the roll cage, so they will be left off. Oh yeah, this is not going to be warm.