Mazda Motorsports Weekend Highlights: A Weekend of Race Wins, Club Championships, and Autocross Excellence

September 9, 2013 (Irvine, Calif.) It was a busy week for Mazda Motorsports with competition at Mazda Raceway, Miller Motorsport Park, and the Lincoln Airpark. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted the penultimate rounds for both the Rolex Grand-Am and Continental Tire Challenge Series, plus rounds 11 and 12 of the Cooper Tires UF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Meanwhile the 8TH Annual NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires was taking place at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.  Earlier in the week it was the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Mazda Motorsports Director John Doonan managed to visit all three venues and summarized the week.  “Mazda is a grassroots company.  We value our customers at all levels of the sport.  To see hundreds of Mazdas competing in Solo competition, where many of the cars are daily drivers, was fantastic.  The Spec Miata race at the NASA Championships was a great battle, and the weekend was capped with a clean sweep at our home track.  The SpeedSource team drove the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel to its eighth straight race win and the Freedom Autosport team scored their third 1-2 finish at Mazda Raceway in three years.  To do all of this with production technology allows us to showcase Mazda quality, durability, reliability, and performance like no one else.”

Mazda entered the Grand-Am race at their home track seeking their eighth straight win and the possibility of clinching the 2013 Grand-Am GX Manufacturers Championship.  The SpeedSource #70 Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel, driven by Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long scored the win, but with the BGB Motorsports Porsche a close second, the championships will not be decided until Lime Rock on September 28.

In the Continental Tire Challenge ST race, it was a repeat of 2011.  And 2012.  The Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 team once again scored a fantastic 1-2 finish after another fierce battle with BMW and Honda.  Andrew Carbonell passed his Freedom Autosport teammate Tom Long on the final lap to win the first race of the season for the #26 Mazda MX-5 started by Rhett O’Doski. Long co-drove with pole winner Derek Whitis in the team’s #25 entry to finish second.  The Freedom Autosport team has scored a total of eight podium finishes, including three straight wins, in four years of racing at Mazda Raceway.  The win closed the gap in the ST manufacturers championship to just seven points with one race remaining.

Tom Long, who spent a combined four plus hours driving in the two races noted; “To have the opportunity to podium today at Mazda Raceway feels incredible, and to make it twice in one day with the Mazda MX-5 and the all new Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel, makes it all the sweeter. Mazda success at Mazda Raceway has a proven track record, and I’m honored to be a part of it again this year!”

In the Mazda Raceway USF2000 doubleheader, a series rookie, Alex Baron, won the Saturday afternoon race, with series points leader Scott Hargrove taking the Sunday morning win.

In Utah, the 2013 Mazda-powered NASA National Champions were:

  • Matt Schultz, Spec Miata
  • Dennis Holloway, PTC Mazda RX-8
  • Jason Kohler, PTE Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Walter Carlos, PTF Mazda MX-5 Miata

In addition to the races, NASA recognizes time trial winners.  The 2013 Mazda-powered Time Trial winners were Sonny Watanasirisuk in TTD and Jason Kohler in TTE.

In Nebraska, Mazda was pleased to congratulate the following SCCA Solo National Champions

  • Jim Hunter, C Street Prepared Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Sue Eckles, Malcolm C Street Prepared Ladies: Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Drew VanderPloeg, D Prepared Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Bartek Borowski, E Stock Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Carter Thompson, Super Street Modified Mazda RX-7
  • Kyung Wootton, Super Street Modified Ladies Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Eric Sienkiewicz, Street Touring FWD Mazda3
  • Jeff Hurst, Street Touring Xtreme Mazda RX-8
  • Jordan Towns, Street Touring Xtreme Ladies Mazda RX-8

The 2013 ‘Season of Finales’ continues with:

50th Annual SCCA Runoffs
September 16-22 @ Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin)

200 Mazda racers will be competing in over a dozen classes in the largest club racing event in the country.  With 72 entries, the Spec Miata race is set to break the all-time record for largest race at the Runoffs.

Coronado Speed Festival
September 20-22 @ Coronado Air Station (San Diego, California)

  • SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup

International Sports Car Weekend Presented by Continental Tire
September 20-22 @ The Circuit of the Americas (Austin, Texas)

  • American Le Mans
  • Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda

Grand-Am Championship Weekend
September 26-28 @ Lime Rock Park (Lime Rock, Connecticut)

  • Rolex Grand-Am (season finale)
  • Continental Tire Challenge (season finale)

NASA Club Races
September 27-28 @ Sonoma Raceway (Sonoma, California)

  • NASA Teen Challenge Spec Miata (season finale)

Oak Tree Grand Prix
October 3-5 @ Virginia International Raceway (Alton, Virginia)

  • American Le Mans

The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston
October 4-6 @ Reliant Park (Houston, Texas)

  • Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires (season finale)
  • Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda (season finale)
  • Pirelli World Challenge (season finale)

Skip Barber Racing School Weekend
October 15-19 @ Lime Rock Park (Lime Rock, Connecticut)

  • Skip Barber Summer MAZDASPEED Challenge Series
  • Skip Barber Summer Formula Series

Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda
October 16-19 @ Road Atlanta (Braselton, Georgia)

  • American Le Mans (season finale)
  • SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup (season finale)
  • Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda (season finale)