October 2014

Jonathan Bomarito Returns to the No. 70 Mazda for the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Season. A driver with extensive history and success in Mazda-powered open-wheel cars and RX-8 sportscars will return to the Mazda SpeedSource team for the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. From 2010 through 2012, Jonathan Bomarito amassed 13 podium finishes and […]”

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A turn-by-turn breakdown of the Sonoma Raceway with a filled out track map, turn-by-turn description, and voiceover onboard footage from the BEHIND THE ZOOM team. The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) heads to Sonoma Raceway for its Western States Championship next week on Nov. 7-9. Just like with its Eastern States Championship in September, the […]”

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Jonathan Bomarito Returns to No. 70 Mazda for 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Season October 29, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif.) — It was confirmed today that Jonathan Bomarito, a driver with extensive history and success in Mazda-powered open wheel cars and RX-8 sportscars, will return to the Mazda SpeedSource team for the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar […]”

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Cooper Tires expands prize package to more than $50,000 for pre-season Mazda Road to Indy races. The quest for supremacy in the Mazda Road to Indy will see its now traditional pre-season start with the fifth annual Cooper Tires Winterfest in February, offering all three levels of the ladder system a jumpstart on their 2015 […]”

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Registration for the BEHIND THE ZOOM ROAD ATLANTA webinar is open.   

Professional race car drivers Tom Long and Randy Pobst will host a BEHIND THE ZOOM Web forum tonight, Oct. 28 from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM EST. Exclusive to Mazda competitors, this forum is designed to accompany the BEHIND THE ZOOM feature on Road Atlanta to assist you with your preparation for the prestigious Atlanta Region SCCA American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) event next weekend. Everyone is encouraged to participate as advice and tips will be transferable to all tracks that you or your friends and family compete at. Q&A is encouraged!
To register, click the registration link in today’s eNewsletter sent to Team Members.

About the Drivers: 
Tom Long is a Mazda factory driver and a professional driving coach.
Randy Pobst is a four-time World Challenge GT champion, two-time Rolex 24 at Daytona winner and factory driver in an MX-5 for Freedom Autosport in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Street Tuner class.

What You’ll Need: A computer, an internet connection and desire to learn from the pros.

The BEHIND THE ZOOM campaign is a series of segments where 12 Mazda factory drivers and champions break down many of the main tracks and venues where you race.

A turn-by-turn breakdown of the famed Georgia track with data, track maps, a setup guide and videos. For competitors in SCCA’s Regional-only classes such as Improved Touring, the American Road Race of Champions is the biggest event of the year, crowning unofficial national champs in those categories not eligible to compete at the Runoffs. To […]”

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In our effort to continue our open communication with our customers, I wanted to provide you with an update on the investigation into the Spec Miata rules infraction that was identified during the most recent SCCA Runoffs.  All of your e-mails, phone calls, thoughts and input we have received have been very valuable and appreciated. […]”

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2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup Club Racer Shootout Rules

Background: The heart and soul of MAZDASPEED is club racing, and supporting those racers who have invested in our product. The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of the complete set of skills required to succeed. These skills include speed, consistency, racecraft, technical feedback, and off-track business and PR skills. History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if he or she is lacking in multiple areas. All previous shootout winners submitted above average business plans. The business plans will be used to filter the pool of all eligible competitors to our finalists. Only those finalists will be invited to attend the on-track driver portion of the competition.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Any driver winning a recognized (Full MAZDASPEED contingency paying) club racing national championship with the SCCA or NASA with Mazda power.
  • NASA Teen Challenge Spec Miata Champions.
  • The Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED MX-5 Winter and Summer series champions.
  • Formula Car Challenge National Champions.
  • Recognized Mazda-powered Club Champions from Canada – as nominated by Mazda Canada.
  • Identified iRacing MX-5 Cup Champions.
  • Note:  Drivers with significant professional motorsports experience are not eligible.

Mazda’s Objectives:

  • Discover and retain a fast and consistent racer able to win professional championships, improving the odds that the shootout winner reaches his or her dream of racing at a top-level series, while illustrating to the (potential) racing community that Mazda’s development system has the most talented racers, encouraging more drivers to race Mazda’s.
  • Partner with the shootout winner in a 12-month co-op marketing effort to 1) build his or her brand and network, increasing his or her odds of partnering with another entity to help climb the ladder, and 2) drive additional engagement within the Mazda community.
  • Deliver on our passion to help those ambitious and deserving drivers fulfill their dreams.

Timing: 
October 23rd               Rules posted for all eligible competitors
October 26th               Optional conference call with competitors to answer questions
November 9th             Business plan, bio, and video submission deadline
November 18th          Conference call with competitors to announce finalists
November 19th           Finalists announced in conjunction with the Los Angeles Auto Show
December 1st/2nd    On-track shootout among finalists at Buttonwillow Raceway Park
December 4th              Conference call with competitors to announce winner
December 5th              Press release announcing winner

Required Format:  The business proposal must be submitted via e-mail as a PDF that does not exceed 2MB in size.  Entries must be submitted to MAZDASPEED@MazdaUSA.com by 6:00pm (PDT), Sunday, November 9, 2014.

Required content:  The written proposal is two parts as follows:

  1. Racing bio; two-page max. To highlight your racing career, noting which other top drivers you raced against during the past three seasons, if applicable. Provide a copy of your final championship points standings for the last three seasons, if applicable.
  2. Social media and website marketing co-op plan with Mazda; four-page max. To build both party’s brands, and what your proposed strategy is with Mazda during the next 12 months to achieve your three-to-five year goals; consider including exhibits, such as a current, real business plan you aim to present, social media marketing or newsletter example, etc.

These two documents should be submitted as a single PDF with the file name: 2014_Mazda_Prop_YourName.pdf

There is a required video, four-minute maximum in length.  To highlight your Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-related objectives  that will help you accomplish your three-to-five year goals related to your desired racing ladder (e.g., network with Prototype Lites racing team manager by attending SEMA) and professional skill set (e.g., participate in Toastmaster’s weekly to enhance communication skills).

Video to be posted to YouTube with the title “2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout: Your Name” and link emailed along with your written proposal.

Second year of dual championships sees new tracks hosting the Eastern and Western States Championships. The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) has chosen Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and VIRginia International Raceway for its second annual, twin 2015 NASA Championship presented by Toyo tires events. In 2014, NASA decided to enhance what had been traditionally a […]”

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Racers chase richest prize in club racing – a ride in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Mazda has announced the date and some of the finalists for the single largest prize in club racing, the Mazda Club Racer Shootout. Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one talented club racer to the professional […]”

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Racers Chasing a $75,000 Prize, the Biggest in All of Club Racing.

October 22, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif.) The Mazda Club Racer Shootout is the single largest prize in club racing.  Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one talented club racer to the professional ranks.  The $75,000 prize funds a drive in the 2015 SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.

The heart and soul of Mazda Motorsports is club racing, and supporting those racers who have invested in racing a Mazda.  The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of skills required to succeed.  These skills include speed, consistency, race craft, technical feedback, and off-track business, marketing and PR skills.  History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if they are lacking in multiple areas.

John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, noted: “Our shootout has become a signature event for Mazda Motorsports. Without exception, every driver who won the shootout proved to be competitive in MX-5 Cup, with several developing solid professional careers.  Each year we tweak the competition.  This year marks the inclusion of iRacing simulation racers and a new set of business criteria for the judges.”

In past years, typically a dozen to 18 racers qualified for the first level of the competition.  Each has won a recognized championship over a minimum number of competitors.  The next step is for the racer to submit a business presentation and video, which will be reviewed and scored by a team of motorsports and marketing professionals.  From those proposals, the finalists will be selected and advance to the winner-take-all shootout.

The final shootout will be at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on December 2nd where the racers will be tested on the track for their technical skills.

The 15 currently identified semi-finalists for 2014 are as follows:

Club/Series Racer
Skip Barber Racing School (Summer Series) Sam Adams
NASA Eastern States Championships (PTE) Ben Anderson
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (Formula Mazda) Mike Anderson
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (T4) Danny Bender
NASA Eastern States Championships (Spec Miata) Alex Bolanos
Canadian Touring Car Championship – B-Spec Champion Normand Boyer
iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 3) Steven Diem
NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (West) Joey Jordan
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (Formula Atlantic) Conner Kearby
iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 2) Evan Maillard
NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (Rocky Mountain) Zachary Munro
Toyo Tires Spec Miata Championship (Canada) Aaron Pettipas
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (E Production) Matt Reynolds
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (Spec Miata) Erik Stearns
Skip Barber Racing School (Winter Series) Jim Wilby

There are a few remaining slots that will be identified between now and November 9th:

Club/Series Season concludes on:
NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (Texas) November 2nd
Worldspeed Formula Car Championship November 9th
NASA Western States Championships (Spec Miata) November 9th
NASA Western States Championships (TBD) November 9th

Additional information about the Mazda Club Racer shootout can be found at www.mazdamotorsports.com

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 world’s 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 Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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 Motorsports), Twitter (@mazdaracing), Instagram (MazdaMotorsport) and www.mazdamotorsports.com

SCCA Solo competitor took his RX-8 where few others dared tread – right into the Street Prepared category. Marc Monnar didn’t listen to the naysayers. If he did, he never would have built an RX-8 to compete in the Street Prepared category in SCCA Solo. If he did, he would have ended up with a Street […]”

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Mazda Motorsports addresses the recent controversy regarding engine head modifications in Spec Miata at the SCCA Runoffs; will work with sanctioning bodies to make sure rules are understood and enforceable. To:              The Spec Miata Community From:         Mazda Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations Re:             Spec Miata engine rules Over the […]”

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Mazda racer Jason Cherry, whose brother is on the autism spectrum, seeks to raise funds through his racing. My name is Jason Cherry, and in 2014 I raced an MX-5 in the TCA class of Pirelli World Challenge. My initial introduction to the professional racing world was my debut in the World Challenge Series at […]”

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Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires champ beat drivers from throughout the Americas in a shootout to move on to world-wide competition. Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires champion Kenton Koch, of Glendora, Calif., will advance to the next stage of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy after winning the Americas shootout […]”

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You’ve met Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda Rookie of the Year, Aaron Telitz, but now he embarks on a new adventure as a Team USA Scholarship recipient. The Mazda scholarship-supported driver will represent the U.S. competing in the UK at the Formula Ford festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy. As he anticipates the […]”

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I’m Kenton Koch, the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires champion. The Mazda ladder and scholarships helped me get here. 2014 was an extremely successful year for me. I was able to accomplish something that four years ago I thought would never happen – I was able to win the 2014 Mazda MX-5 […]”

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Mazda Racers Shine at Racing’s Biggest Club Event October 13, 2014 (MONTEREY, Calif.) — Mazda club racers added five more championships to the cumulative Mazda tally at the 51st annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs this past weekend. Making this years’ competition even sweeter for the Mazda racers was the venue, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Having […]”

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Daniel Bender wins Touring 4 in an MX-5, followed by two other Mazda drivers. Leading a Mazda sweep of the podium, Daniel Bender, of Northbrook, Ill., notched his first National Championship title in convincing fashion at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Tom Wickersham, of San Ramon, Calif., came home second, […]”

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Matt Reynolds wins the National Championship as Mazdas fill the podium. Mazda swept the podium in E Production at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with a pair of Miatas and an RX-3 running up front for the entire race. Matt Reynolds, of Boerne, Texas, earned his first National Championship, while […]”

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Five Mazda drivers on pole for National Championship races. The grids are set for the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs and its 24 races to crown champions in 27 different classes. Five Mazda drivers will be starting their respective races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from pole. Racing begins at 8:30 a.m. Pacific, and live […]”

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The qualifying picture begins to emerge as some competitors overcome hardships to make their race. Eric Prill topped the second qualifying session for F Production by nearly half a second in his MaxtonsFight.org/JPM/Hoosier Miata, an eternity around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The bad news for his competitors? He felt that he left some time on […]”

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132 Mazda Racers Looking to Score Gold in Racings Biggest Club Event

October 7, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif.) — Now in its 51st year, there is no bigger road racing club event than the annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Mazda racers have scored 81 Championships at the Runoffs since 1977. Making this years’ competition even sweeter for the Mazda racers is the venue, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This will be the first time since 1968 that the Runoffs have been held on the West Coast, and the first time ever at Mazda Raceway.

“Club Racing is what has grown Mazda Motorsports for over two decades,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports. “Key to that growth has been the MX-5 Miata and partnerships with the SCCA and Mazda Raceway. To bring them all together on the 25th anniversary of the Miata makes this a very special week for us.”

Of the 531 cars entered in the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, 132 are Mazda cars, or Mazda-powered cars. This is a 25% market share, the largest of any car company.

The 132 cars are entered in 15 of the 27 classes including two Mazda exclusive classes, Spec Miata and Formula Mazda. Spec Miata is tied for being the largest class with 46 entries.

The Mazda racers hale from 23 states and one Canadian province. Leading the charge is 55 entries from California. Also represented is Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The lone Canadian lists his home as British Columbia.

Interesting storylines at the Runoffs include:

  • Danny Bender, who is a Mazda sales consultant. Danny will be racing a MX-5 in the Touring 4 class.
  • James Wilson who will be DRIVING his street legal Mazda2 B-Spec racecar from Austin, Texas to Monterey, California.
  • Jesse Prather, who in addition to building his own racecar, built the engines for over a dozen other Mazda competitors. Among his customers is his dad Kent. The MX-5 that Kent will be racing had 319,765 road miles on it before it became a racecar. The car has since won five Runoffs championships, three with Jesse, and two with Kent.
  • Professional racer Andrew Carbonell, taking a break from his Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge duties to race in Spec Miata, where he learned his racecraft.
  • Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype racer Tom Long and 2014 MX-5 Cup Champion Kenton Koch will be at the Runoffs, as driver coachs to several Mazda club racers.
  • Old school racers Aaron Downey and Gary Bockman, racing Mazda RX-3’s, among the oldest cars in the field.
  • Spec Miata is typically the largest race at the Runoffs. In 2013, Spec Miata set the all-time record for the Runoffs with 63 starters.
  • Mazda racers Jim Drago, Mark Drennan, Jason Godfrey, Dan Harding, Kyle Kaiser, Michal Karpinski, Matt Reynolds and Ken Sutherland are entered in two classes each.
  • Past Runoffs Champions competing this year include Jon Brakke, Jim Drago, Marc Hoover, Alan McCallum, Jesse Prather, Kent Prather, Rob Warkocki, and Darryl Wills. Jesse Prather and Darryl Wills are both seeking to become the first-ever four-time Mazda-powered champion at the Runoffs.
  • Mazda pays out more prize money than any other car company at the Runoffs, typically over $50,000.
  • Mazda racers who win a SCCA championship are eligible for the Mazda Club racer shootout, a $75,000 prize.

The racing takes place October 6-12, 2014 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. Monday, October 6 is a test day followed by three days of practice and qualifying October 6th – 9th. There is an exclusive Mazda Motorsports team dinner on Wednesday, October 8th for the Mazda racers and their teams. The weekend concludes with 24 races over three days, October 10th – 12th (eight races per day). Tickets are available online at www.mazdaraceway.com

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 world’s 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 Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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 Motorsports), Twitter (@mazdaracing), Instagram (MazdaMotorsport) and www.mazdamotorsports.com