April 2014

  Mazda SKYACTIV-D Prototype driver Joel Miller doesn’t just espouse STEM education, he lives it. Stepping into the cockpit with the knowledge that his mechanical engineering degree from University of California, Riverside, gave him, he has an edge that other drivers don’t, and one he puts to use each and every session. “Engineers talk a […]”

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Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda driver Matt McMurry has a pretty clear goal: Break the 55-year-old record for the youngest driver to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Arizona native McMurry, the 16-year-old son of sports car racer Chris McMurry, is off to a good start in accomplishing that goal this […]”

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A Busy Time On and Off the Track

April 29, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif.) Mazda and Motorsports are synonymous. Mazda doesnt just race. Mazda uses racing to help develop better products and to support the grassroots motorsports enthusiasts for whom driving is a daily highlight, and a track day is the ultimate vacation experience. Mazda Motorsports operates from a bottom-up philosophy where 9,000 of its racing customers buy over $8-million in Mazda parts each year. Mazda rewards them by paying prize money, the ultimate pay-for-performance in racing.

Mazda Motorsports is not a story. Mazda Motorsports is a wide variety of stories that cover the latest in automotive technology, business, along with amazing, often inspiring, people stories.

RACE WHAT YOU SELL — Mazda is using their latest SKYACTIV Technology to power a Mazda Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Mazda has the smallest displacement engine in the class, a true David and Goliath story. The next chapter for this story is May 2-4, at Mazda Raceway. Race what you sell translates into improved Quality, Durability, and Reliability (aka QDR). Over the years, Mazda has made direct improvements in street cars from lessons learned on the track.

RACE GREEN The fuel in the Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype is a RENEWABLE, SYNTHETIC DIESEL (not a bio-diesel). The fuel is produced by Dynamic Fuels from waste food products and is approved for use by the U.S. Military. Mazda is the only race team in the world using this fuel.

INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEERS AND SCIENTISTS Earlier this year Mazda introduced a new national educational outreach program designed to encourage the nations middle and high school students to consider studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Called Racing Accelerates Creative Education (R.A.C.E.), the program is visiting schools near each of the 2014 TUDOR Championship events. The curriculum of this turn-key, interactive learning forum is designed to provide stimulating, real-world examples of why it is important to know science and math. Mazda utilizes their racecar, race drivers and race engineers in the interactive presentation. Prior to the May 2-4 races at Mazda Raceway, the Mazda team will making two more STEM presentations:

Monterey Monterey High School Tuesday, April 29th

San Jose San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation Wednesday, April 30th

THE MOST POPULAR RACE CAR AT ANY GIVEN ROAD COURSE Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is the all-time best selling two-seat roadster with sales of over 900,000 units. With thousands of used MX-5s for sale at affordable prices, the MX-5 has become the most road-raced car in America. Mazda Motorsports has sold over 2,500 Spec Miata racing kits.

OPERATING MOTORSPORTS AS A BUSINESS Its easy to hire a professional team to race your products just pay them. Getting people to spend money BUYING cars and parts requires a completely different approach. The products must be great capable of winning. And there must be great customer service. Mazda Motorsports has a full-time staff of motorsports parts and technical professionals who assist club racers in buying the right parts, and with guidance on vehicle set-up. This is racers supporting racers. The result is Mazda North American Operations has sold over $75,000,000 in parts since 1991.

DEVELOPING THE MOTORSPORT HALL OF FAME OF 2064 Racing is where sport, technology and commerce come together. Many young drivers succeed at one level of the sport but often, because of a lack of financial resources, struggle to move up. Thanks to the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder, the Mazda Road to Indy, and the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy, over three dozen racers have been promoted to the next level with Mazda scholarship money. Mazda is developing the next generation of road-racing superstars. In 2013, 10 of the 33 racers in the Indy 500 had Mazda on their racing resume.

IF IT TURNS LEFT AND RIGHT, THERE IS LIKELY A MAZDA IN THE RACE The list of professional series where you can find Mazda cars or Mazda-powered cars competing includes:

  • TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (Prototype Class)
  • Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (Street Tuner)
  • Pirelli World Challenge (Touring Car, Touring Car A, Touring Car B)
  • Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich® Tires
  • Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge
  • Cooper Tires Prototype Lights Powered by Mazda
  • Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
  • Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires
  • Atlantic Championship Series

This is in addition to the dozen plus club racing classes in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA) where Mazda cars and engines compete.

ICONIC MAZDA RACEWAY Mazda North American Operations doesnt have a company picnic. They have a company track day. Thats the type of people who work at Mazda. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Laguna Seca was a favorite track of Mazda racers and fans. At the end of the millennium, as the raceway was entering its fifth decade as one of Americas premier sports car circuits, Mazda entered into a naming rights agreement with the Sports Car Racing Association of Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), operators of the track, which is a Monterey County recreational area, and made a substantial investment to bring the track up to 21st century standards. The track has been Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since the year 2000. The 2014 schedule is as follows:

  • May 2-4 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered By Mazda
  • May 16-18 Ferrari Challenge
  • July 11-13 ENI FIM Superbike World Championship
  • Aug. 8-10 Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion
  • Aug. 15-17 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
  • Oct. 10-12 SCCA National Championship Runoffs

SAVING LIVES OFF THE TRACK Mazda Motorsports is promoting awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, and formed a strategic partnership with Project Yellow Light in 2012. With hundreds of teenage race drivers Mazda is uniquely positioned to have teenage racers take this message to their peer group. Mazda funded Project Yellow Light Scholarships are being awarded to high school and college students who produce the best public service videos. The 2014 scholarship winners will be announced in early May. Details can be found at


RACE TO THE SHELTER Since 2007 Mazda has worked with multiple animal welfare organizations to actively promote shelter animal adoptions using Mazda racecars as billboards. The company has also helped raise money for shelters. Mazda has multiple activities planned with the SPCA for Monterey County in 2014 starting this Thursday, May 1st, with a MX-5 Cup racer visit to the shelter.

THE UNITED NATIONS OF RACING Racing is a global sport and the top U.S. series attracts talented racers from around the world. At the first races of 2014, over two dozen racers from beyond the U.S. borders chose to come to America and race with Mazda power. Racers from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, Italy, Norway, Colombia, the Philippines, Argentina, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Jamaica are represented on the grid between multiple Mazda series.

CALIFORNIA CONNECTIONS Racers with California connections competing at Mazda Raceway this weekend include:

  • Joel Miller, Born in Hesperia, California, Graduated from UC Riverside. Driving the #07 Mazda SKYACTIV-D Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
  • Kenton Koch, Lifetime resident of Glendora, California. Driving the #12 ALARA Racing Mazda MX-5 in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich.
  • Joey Bickers, Lives in Moorpark, California. Driving the #29 CJ Wilson Racing Mazda MX-5 in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich.
  • Drake Kemper Lives in Toluca Lake. Driving the #99 Skip Barber Racing School Mazda MX-5 in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich
  • Steve Bottom Lives in Newport Beach. Driving the #44 Steve Bottom Racing MX-5 in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich

AFFORDABLE AND FUN SHOWROOM STOCK The Mazda2 is a B-segment car. Horsepower snobs may not think much of a 100 hp econobox, until they drive a great one that is set up for the track. The fun factor of the car amazes everyone who gets it onto the track. A DIY racer can buy a used Mazda2, add a MAZDASPEED B-Spec kit plus safety equipment and be ready to race for under $15,000.

RACING AT HOME MAZDA SUPPORTS iRACING PROGRAM Announced earlier this year, iRacing competitors competing in the 2014 iRacing MX-5 Cup season beginning April 29th will be eligible to compete in the annual Mazda Club Racing Shootout held each fall. The shootout winner earns a Mazda Motorsports scholarship for the following year’s Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich® Tires. Complete details are posted at


9,000+ RACERS, 9,000+ STORIES You cannot stereotype a racer. Mazda has racers from all walks of life. People who race Mazdas are contractors, lawyers, doctors, engineers, students, retirees, and many more. We have racers too young to have a license for the street, and some who are AARP members. Mazda racers are in 44 of the 50 states. Pretty impressive when you realize that only 37 states have road-racing tracks.

MEET A FEW MAZDA RACERS Among those 9,000 stories, we have recently been inspired by:

  • Liam Dwyer A U.S. Marine who lost his leg in combat. Liam will begin his professional racing career with Mazda at the May 3rd Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Race at Mazda Raceway.
  • C.J. Wilson Mazda racer, Mazda team owner, Mazda dealer, who spends most of the year as a starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. C.J. is developing his own farm team with an eye on becoming a full-time racer after his baseball career wraps up.
  • Natalie Feneroli An 18-year-old high school student racing in the NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge.
  • The Prather Family Kent and Jesse Prather are father and son. Both have won SCCA Championships in Mazda MX-5s. They have one particular MX-5 that has won five championships, in three classes, after it completed 180,000 miles on the road. Jesse built the Mazda motors for over 20 of the cars that competed in the 2013 SCCA Runoffs.
  • Patrick Gallagher, Dalton Kellett, and Kenton Koch All balancing a full race schedule with a full schedule of university engineering classes.
  • Julia Ballario, Michele Bumgarner, and Vicky Piria – While Indycar may not have any women racing full-time in 2014, the Pro Mazda Championship, a part of the Mazda Road to Indy, has three competing this season.
  • Michael Johnson Seeking to be the first driver to win the Indy 500 racing with hand controls.
  • We have many many more compelling stories.

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED

Mazda is a leading player in all aspects of sports car racing with an emphasis on endurance road racing. Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals. Thousands of Mazda-powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the worlds largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. Via the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy, Mazda supports racers at all levels of the sport from club racing up to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship where it races with production SKYACTIV Technology.

Mazda remains the only Asian car company to score an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1991). Mazda has had a naming rights agreement at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since 2000.

Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.Operations in Mexico are managed by MazdaMotor de Mexico in MexicoCity.

Consumer information can be found at

www.mazdausa.com, with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com. Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazda Motorsport), Twitter (@mazdaracing), Instagram (MazdaMotorsport) and www.mazdamotorsports.com

Buttonwillow Raceway Park was the host for Rounds 7 and 8 of the Western Conference Majors Tour. With the Western Conference having had an early start to the season, in January, championships are on the minds of many drivers with only four races remaining. As they hit the 15-turn, 3.020-mile circuit running clockwise, the fights for the Western Conference Majors, and perhaps even the National Championship Runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in October, were beginning to take shape.

David Ferguson brought his brand-new Prototype 2 Veracity Racing Data/Mazda/Hoosier Van Diemen RFS-03/Mazda to Buttonwillow, and it let him down in the first qualifying session as he worked out the kinks. Ferguson started next to last for the 30-minute timed race on Saturday, and then picked his way through an early incident. With three laps to go he had written off any chance at a victory, still eight seconds behind Paul Decker.

Traffic fell in his favor, however, and Ferguson began to reel in Decker. Knowing the track, Ferguson decided on the back stretch of the last lap that he was going to make his move in the left-handed corner known as “Phil Hill” – and then pulled it off for the first Mazda P2 win in the Western Conference.

Ferguson, from nearby Paso Robles, Calif., repeated the win in Sunday’s 16-lap race. He was one of three Mazda drivers to sweep the weekend, including Mike Anderson in Formula Mazda. At the start on Saturday, Anderson narrowly split two formula cars that had spun and were facing the wrong way in Turn 1. On Sunday, Anderson just walked away from the field to take the win.

Chris Emanuel inherited the win on Sunday in Formula Atlantic when the No. 43 Damon Racing/Mazda Pro Formula Mazda of Vince Gaddini’s day ended on lap 13. Gaddini, the Saturday winner, appeared to have the field covered when a different class car went off track in front of him. Gaddini, slowing to avoid him, stalled and ended his day, and Emanuel’s No. 36 Airguard/Hawn Racing/CER Inc. Swift 016a/Mazda went on to win.

Elliot Skeer was the third Mazda double winner, taking Spec Miata on both days. Each time he used patience along with his quickness to take the win in Spec Miata driving the No. 77 Rush Motorsports Mazda Miata.

Mark Drennan put his Miata in the front early, opening up a gap while Charlie Hayes’ Miata and Skeer’s No. 77 Rush Motorsports Miata worked together behind him. That gap closed as the minutes counted down.

Hayes had gotten in front briefly on the penultimate lap, but Drennan led across the stripe as they saw the one-to-go sign. Drennan admittedly made a mistake as the trio worked through the opening turns and dropped a wheel into the dirt, allowing Skeer to push Hayes in front down the back straight. Skeer and Hayes came into the corner side by side, with Skeer on the inside. That gave Skeer the run he needed to the checkered flag, stealing a win after running third for most of the race. Hayes finished second, Drennan third.

Skeer ran second or third for the early stages of Sunday’s race behind Drennan and Hayes, who led the first 14 laps, officially. Skeer was solidly second after lap 12, when Drennan pulled off course with a bad rear wheel hub. By then, Tyler Vance was coming quickly and into the mix. Skeer used the opportunity to pull around Hayes and stretched out two car lengths for the final two laps to take his win. Hayes and Vance completed the podium.

The SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour continues May 24-26 at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., with a Memorial Day doubleheader weekend. The SCCA Majors Tour has two events next weekend, including the Mid-States Conference Rounds Seven and Eight at High Plains Raceway and the Northern Conference opener at Blackhawk Farms Raceway.

SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour
Rounds 7 and 8
Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, Calif.
April 26-27, 2014

Round 7 Mazda Winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
E Production Aaron Downey Rossmoor Calif. Mazda RX-3
Formula Atlantic Vince Gaddini Auburn Calif. Mazda PFM
Formula Mazda Mike Anderson Anza Calif. Formula Mazda
GT-3 Mike Henderson Alpine Calif. Mazda RX-7
Prototype 2 David Ferguson Paso Robles Calif. Van Diemen RFS-03/Mazda
Spec Miata Elliott Skeer Carlsbad Calif. Mazda Miata

Round 8 Mazda Winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
Formula Atlantic Chris Emanuel Huntington Beach Calif. Swift 016a/Mazda
Formula Mazda Mike Anderson Anza Calif. Formula Mazda
GT-3 Mike Henderson Alpine Calif. Mazda RX-7
Prototype 2 David Ferguson Paso Robles Calif. Van Diemen RFS-03/Mazda
Spec Miata Elliott Skeer Carlsbad Calif. Mazda Miata


U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer Prepares for Team Debut SALINAS, Calif. In four visits to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Freedom Autosport has earned four double-podium finishes. And for the past three years, the team has finished 1-2 with their Mazda MX-5s. When Freedom Autosport returns to the track next weekend, they hope that history […]”

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April 25, 2014 – CJ Wilson Racing today announced that its official test and reserve driver, Elliott Skeer, will make his IMSA Continental Sports Car Challenge Series debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next month. The 19 year old from Carlsbad, California will replace the injured Marc Miller alongside Tyler McQuarrie in the #3 CJ […]”

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“I was an adrenaline junkie and maybe I raised him to be an adrenaline junkie. You just like living on the edge. Life seems more thrilling when you’re going fast,” says Craig Duerson of how he and son Hayden got into racing. The two are racing together in the Cooper Tires IMSA Prototype Lites powered […]”

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  The SCCA Solo season is in full swing and two back-to-back Championship Tour events featured a plethora of Mazda winners. First up was the College Station, Texas, Tour, followed a week later by the San Diego Tour. The Tire Rack SCCA Solo College Station Championship Tour, held on the Texas A&M University Riverside Annex, […]”

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Hello everybody! Thanks for taking some time to read about my first blog on my journey through the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich. I got into the series by winning the NASA Teen Mazda Challenge West, which resulted in being invited to the Mazda Club Racer Shootout. I was very fortunate to have won […]”

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The Miata is one of the most popular and successful cars in autocross and SCCA Solo. Light and nimble, it’s a great car for maneuvering around a tight course marked out by traffic cones. Early cars can also be quite inexpensive, and Craig Naylor’s Street Touring S Miata is a perfect example. “I bought the […]”

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  Slick conditions and cool temperatures affected all eight race groups that took to the track to contest Round 7 of the SCCA Eastern Conference U.S. Majors Tour at VIRginia International Raceway, part of the SafeRacer National Club Racing program. Add one part water to the unseasonably cool temperatures from Friday, and those were the […]”

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The late, lamented Formula Atlantic Championship, in its final iteration, used Swift 016/Mazdas powered by the MZR engine as its racecar. When the series folded under economic pressure, many of the cars were left orphaned, with only SCCA Club Racing as an option. However, Formula Race Promotions, which already had series for F2000 and F1600 cars on the East Coast, created the Atlantic Championship Series. In 2014, the Series will expand to include five full event weekends with two races each, comprising a 10-round Championship calendar presented by Hoosier Racing Tire.

Furthermore, for competitors racing with the MZR-powered cars, Mazda will offer a year-end championship fund. The first pair of races at Road Atlanta were dominated by Mazda-powered cars, with Daniel Burkett winning both events.

“We’re happy and thrilled to welcome Mazda to the revived Atlantic Championship Series and into the Formula Race Promotions family,” said Chip Robinson, Formula Race Promotions race director. “Manufacturer support and recognition, along with a contingency, furthers the progress of bringing back a professional atmosphere and Championship for Atlantic cars.”

Competitors taking part in the contingency program will need to brand their cars with Mazda signage and register with the manufacturer. In addition, to be eligible, a competitor must use Mazda power for the course of the season.

“The Swift .016 Mazda-MZR Atlantic cars has been a favorite of both drivers and fans since 2006,” noted John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations. “We’re happy to see so many of these cars back on track for 2014. Mazda supports racers who race with Mazda power and we’re pleased to post contingency prize money to the Atlantic Championship Series.”

The Atlantic cars will join the F2000 and F1600 Series on all their race weekends in 2014.

Similar to the business model behind F2000 and F1600, Atlantic drivers and teams can expect hefty amounts of track time, reasonable entry and registration costs, a controlled spec tire from Hoosier, and a dedicated and hard-working Series staff at every event.

Mazda’s payout structure for year-end points

Position Payout
1st Mazda $5000
2nd Mazda $3000
3rd Mazda $2000
4th Mazda $1500
5th Mazda $1000


2014 Atlantic Championship Schedule

Date Venue
April 11-13 Road Atlanta
May 16-18 Watkins Glen International
June 6-8 VIRginia International Raceway
July 4-6 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 30-Sept. 1 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park




As the most-raced vehicle in the U.S., a new version of the Mazda MX-5 is certainly big news. While Mazda isn’t quite ready to reveal the next generation of MX-5, it did confirm development details of the next MX-5 Miata roadster. Making its world debut during a press conference at the New York International Auto Show, the vehicle’s all-new SKYACTIV®-CHASSIS bared its sports car soul and affirmed that the future model would be lighter, stronger and with a physical footprint more in tune with its first-generation predecessor than with its heavier, larger current-day cousin.

“This SKYACTIV-CHASSIS expresses a deep-dive chronicle – complete with beginning, middle and conclusion – of the passion, challenges and triumphs being poured into the next-generation MX-5 Miata,” said Robert Davis, senior vice president, U.S. Operations, Mazda North American Operations. “The dedication of the R&D and Design teams to honor the vehicle’s dynamic heritage and globally-recognizable features is evident from the chassis’ structural blueprint, and will undoubtedly translate into what we believe will be a remarkable production car.”

With the fourth-generation MX-5, the soul of the sports car is not only revisited, but reinvented. With no richly layered, character line-laden sheet metal to hide beneath, the SKYACTIV-CHASSIS lays out a narrative of MX-5’s continuing story with a perfectly arranged table of contents. This chassis is the first time SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY has ever been shown in a front mid-ship engine rear-wheel-drive design. Also, its compact configuration showcases an engine closer to the vehicle’s center, a center of gravity which itself is lower than that of any previous generation. And not only lower but decidedly leaner, with a weight reduction goal of more than 220lbs., all with the goal of continuing to achieve the highest standards of body rigidity and collision safety performance.

This unwavering determination to keep the MX-5 faithful to its roots of being compact, light and fun-to-drive also is a further evolution of the brand’s Jinba Ittai signature – the oneness between a car and its driver. An early example is that of engineers painstakingly researching the optimum driver position for behind-the-wheel excitement and comfort as further proof that a driving experience intertwined with a history of courage, creativity and conviction is the Mazda way.

More information on the next-generation MX-5 Miata will be announced at a later date closer to the vehicle’s launch.

If things had gone a bit differently in his life, instead of racing in the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Presented by Fresh From Florida, 18-year-old Tristan Nunez might have spent the middle of March preparing to compete in the Sony Open tennis tournament in Miami. But, fortunately for him and Mazda race fans, […]”

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With an overflowing paddock and trailers parked outside the gate, the first SCCA U.S. Majors Tour event at Thunderhill Raceway Park opened Saturday under blue skies for Rounds Five and Six of the Western Conference Majors Tour. The event featured the usual format of 30-minute timed races on Saturday and 16-lap or 40-minute races on […]”

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The Sports Car Club of America is beginning to release information about the 51st National Championship Runoffs, the first held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the first one on the West Coast in 46 years. That includes the race schedule, which puts GTL, Spec Miata, F Production, P1 and STU and Touring 3 on […]”

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Dalton Sargeant is about as fresh as a racer gets. That’s fresh as in new, by the way. The 15-year-old high school student from Fort Lauderdale had his first two car races in the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda events during the 12 Hours of Sebring week, and walked away with two […]”

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Prime weather conditions on Saturday greeted a record number of racers at the opening day of the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Mid-States Conference doubleheader weekend at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, but it wouldn’t last. Sunny skies and good air allowed each of the 142 registered entrants to get the most horsepower out of their machines […]”

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Jesse Prather explains what a good set of double-adjustable shocks can do for a racer and help him or her tune the car. Adjustable shock absorbers, or dampers if you prefer, are fairly commonplace at all levels of racing. Most are double adjustable for compression and rebound, some are adjustable for compression only, and the […]”

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