March 2015

April 14 online seminar with autocross experts Karen Babb, Neal Tovsen and Rachel Kerswill will discuss ways to improve your autocrossing skills. MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development and MotorsportReg.com are teaming up for a free webinar on how to get quicker in autocross, and get quicker fast. With an all-star team of experts that includes multi-time SCCA […]”

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North American special trim level introduced at New York International Auto Show features some key performance goodies. Lighter, smaller, quicker and more nimble than its predecessor, MX-5 has adopted Mazda’s full suite of SKYACTIV Technology and KODO—Soul of Motion design. In the process, MX-5 has shed approximately 150 pounds from its predecessor, with a curb […]”

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6 Benefits to Working with a Solo Teammate Should you consider a teammate in autocross? We think so. Should you definitely go with one? It’s not for everyone, but like most things in life, there are trade-offs; it is what we make of them that should determine whether to partner-up. We learned of a team […]”

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Looking to make the leap from weekend warrior to professional racer? The jump may not be as big as you think. This feature is part of a special series running on racer.com about the SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires as Mazda Motorsports, racers and fans anticipate the 2016 […]”

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The first steps toward development of the ND MX-5 into a global spec racecar are underway, with the first public on-track test a little over a month away. The Japanese-market 2016 MX-5 is already in production, with the U.S.-spec version beginning to roll off the line in a couple of months. But development of the […]”

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English Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires rookie shines as new Dallara with Mazda power makes its debut. The changing of the guard in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires was readily apparent in the first of two races at the Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Peninsula Pipeline. The top level of […]”

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Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires sophomore took a pair of dominant victories at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Neil Alberico began his sophomore campaign in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with a pair of dominant victories for St. Petersburg-based Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing at the opener for […]”

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Young Colorado racer uses his Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda experience to take a pair of wins in the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Second-year Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda driver Jake Eidson scored a flawless victory for Pabst Racing in the opening round of the season in the […]”

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All three series of the Mazda Road to Indy kick off this weekend in St. Petersburg, each with a Mazda scholarship driver on his way up. The 2015 Mazda Road to Indy begins this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., along with the opener of the Verizon IndyCar Series. A host of young […]”

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The first in a new weekly series of Mazda Motorsports “BEHIND THE ZOOM,” by John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports Welcome to the first of a new weekly series here at MazdaMotorsports.com. Every Thursday, you will be able to read behind-the-scenes blogs from the Mazda Prototype program. Today, to kick-off the series, we have some […]”

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Number 7 in a countdown: Whether real or virtual, there is simply no substitute for getting laps to learn a track. Cyclists have a not-so-elegant acronym for the best way to get faster on a bike, and it’s short for time in the saddle. There’s no acronym for the auto racing equivalent, seat time, but, […]”

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Ops/Tech Specialist for Battery Tender® MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires honored for hard work. SCCA Pro Racing has announced that Mike Pasquale, of Watkinsville, Ga., has been named the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Pro Racing Worker of the Year for 2014. Pasquale, an Ops/Tech specialist for the Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich […]”

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Full second race of Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires from Sebring International Raceway is online now. This opening rounds of the Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires at Sebring International Raceway during the 64th 12 Hours of Sebring weekend showcased superb racecraft from the entire field. You can […]”

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Track near Palm Springs hosts Rounds Three and Four of Western Conference, with eight Mazda winners.

Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, a 17-turn, 2.68-mile track in Desert Center, Calif., hosted its first Majors races, Rounds Three and Four the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference. Saturday’s on-track events included 15-minute qualifying sessions, divided into seven race groups, for the 25 National Championship Runoffs-eligible classes what were present. Following the mid-day lunch break, those same seven race groups competed in separate 30-minute sprint races. On Sunday, each race was 20 laps.
As this was the first trip to the venue for the Majors Tour, new lap records were on the chopping block. A total of 13 lap records were reset over the two-day race weekend.
Dan Erickson, of Chandler, Arizona, took home a narrow 0.692-second victory over Doug Nelson in Formula Mazda on Saturday. Nelson was the better of the two drivers during the qualifying session, but Erickson drove his No. 6 Brawndo Formula Mazda to the eventual win. Larry Mason was the Sunday winner in FM.
Clement Lee, of San Diego, California, cruised to an atypically large margin of victory in Spec Miata on Saturday. Lee qualified his No. 33 RM Autosports Mazda Miata in third, but did what he needed to do to lead the field to the line.
On Sunday, Steven Powers, of Mesa, Arizona, turned the tables on Lee. After finishing second to Lee the day before, Powers came home first in his No. 145 Amerifirst Financial Mazda Miata. Lee finished the feature race in second.
Derrick Ambrose (Mazda2) and Mike Henderson (RX-7) were double winners in B-Spec and GT-3, respectively.
The next two rounds of the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference Championship will be held at Thunderhill Raceway Park on April 11-12.

SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour
Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, Desert Center, Calif.
March 21—22, 2015
Round Three Mazda Winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
Chuckwalla B-Spec Derrick Ambrose Vancouver, Wash. Mazda2
Formula Mazda Dan Erickson Chandler, Ariz. Formula Mazda*
GT-3 Mike Henderson Alpine, Calif. Mazda RX-7
Spec Miata Clement Lee San Diego, Calif. Mazda Miata

Round Four Mazda Winners

ClassDriverHometownCar

B-Spec Derrick Ambrose Vancouver, Wash. Mazda2*
Formula Mazda Larry Mason Burbank, Calif. Formula Mazda
E Production Anthony Jimerson Benicia, Calif. Mazda RX-7
GT-1 Richard Gray Moorpark, Calif. Mazda RX-7
GT-3 Mike Henderson Alpine, Calif. Mazda RX-7*
Spec Miata Steven Powers Mesa, Ariz. Mazda Miata

SCCA Southeastern Conference U.S. Majors Tour features dichotomous weather to test racers.

As the Southeast Conference of the U.S. Majors Tour hit the halfway point with this past weekend’s event at Road Atlanta, Saturday and Sunday were like two different events with very different weather, allowing drivers to display their skills in both warm and sunny conditions and in the wet.

Saturday’s 25-minute timed races were met with warm sun. In Spec Miata, Dillon Machavern (No. 24 Heritage Mazda Miata) held his position in the lead pack as he, Jonathan Goring and Danny Steyn broke away from the field in Spec Miata. Machavern rode in second for the majority of the race, then moved to the front with one to go. Ready to race, Machavern held on out front for the final lap, with Steyn a half-second behind at the stripe.

In Formula Mazda, Joseph Harris (No. 132 Formula Mazda) battled with Darryl Wills (No. 2 Hillenburg Motorsports Formula Mazda) until lap 15, when a car from a different class tried to sweep around the pair through a corner. Wills jumped on the brakes to avoid contact, but the move caused him to spin and Harris was left alone for the win.

For Sunday’s 20-lap races around the 2.54-mile, 12-turn track, a steady downpour provided drivers the opportunity for drivers to prove themselves in a limited-traction environment. Some drivers who shone on Saturday saw their fortunes reversed, as did some who weren’t able to grab victory the day prior.

Goring’s No. 18 Jonathan Goring Motorsports Mazda Miata nearly saw all the early work he’d put in erased with just a few minutes to go in the Spec Miata race, when a car slid off the end of the back straight and came to rest in the gravel trap. That brought out a full-course caution with the 40-minute time window winding down, and erased a five second lead for Goring. With a host of rivals in his mirrors, Goring again got away on the one-lap dash to the end. At the checkered flag, Goring was 1.109-second ahead of Steyn’s Miata, and almost two seconds ahead of Saturday winner Machavern.

With heavy rains falling, Nick Leverone piloted his No. 31 Flatout Motorsports Mazda Miata to the front of a field that traditionally features quicker and more powerful cars to take the Super Touring Lite win.

Conner Kearby (No. 56 K-Hill Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda) repeated in Formula Atlantic after spending the early part of the race chasing his father, Gaston Kearby. The elder Kearby was still in front on lap 13 when suddenly his machine failed to accelerate out of a corner, done for the day. From there, Conner was alone on the lead to the finish line.

Joseph Harris’ No. 132 Formula Mazda finished an impressive second overall, the only other car on Kearby’s lead lap. The win capped a sweep of the weekend in class for Harris.

Two more drivers were able to prove their ability to win in any condition. Ken Kannard won F Production in his No. 39 Northwest Cable Mazda Miata, and Michael Kamalian of nearby Marrietta, Georgia took GT-Lite in his No. 99 RevolutionSpeed.com Mazda Miata.

SCCA Southeastern Conference Majors
Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
March 21-22, 2015
Round Seven Mazda winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
F Production Ken Kannard East Troy, Wis. Mazda Miata
Formula Atlantic Conner Kearby Corpus Christi, Texas Swift 016/Mazda
Formula Mazda Joseph Burton Harris Cresson, Texas Formula Mazda
GT-Lite Michael Kamalian Marietta, Ga. Mazda Miata
Prototype 1 Jim Downing Atlanta, Ga. Peach/Mazda
Spec Miata Dillon Machavern Charlotte, Vt. Mazda Miata
Super Touring Lite Nick Leverone Mendon, Mass. Mazda Miata

Round Eight Mazda winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
F Production Ken Kannard East Troy, Wis. Mazda Miata
Formula Atlantic Conner Kearby Corpus Christi, Texas Swift 016/Mazda
Formula Mazda Joseph Burton Harris Cresson, Texas Formula Mazda
GT-3 William Wilson Englewood, Tenn. Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite Michael Kamalian Marietta, Ga. Mazda Miata
Prototype 1 Jacek Mucha Highland Beach, Fla. JM016CP/Mazda
Spec Miata Jonathan Goring Norfolk, Ct. Mazda Miata
Super Touring Lite Nick Leverone Mendon, Mass. Mazda Miata
Super Touring Under Thomas Lyttle Decatur, Ga. Mazda RX-7
Touring 3 Tyler Kicera Manheim, Pa. Mazda MX-5

John Dean and Sick Sideways leave Sebring with the Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires points lead. Just like last year, hometown favorite John Dean missed out on victory in the opening race at Sebring, but made up for it with the second. Dean took home the win in Round Two of […]”

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For the third time, the Mazda Motorsports Development driver wins in his debut in a category at Sebring. A year ago at Sebring, Kenton Koch stepped into an MX-5 Cup car for his first race in the category and won. He had performed a similar feat a year earlier in this Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro […]”

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Mazda Motorsports Development Driver takes first Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires win after moving from Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge. Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, Calif., drove his way to the front of the SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires field to take the Round […]”

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Great news for fans of the Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires championship:  You can listen to live coverage from Sebring  or watch Friday’s race on live streaming video.

To hear live commentary by the Radio Le Mans team, tune in to www.radiolemans.com at 7:45 am Eastern time.

The Friday race will have live streaming, and Radio Le Mans commentary, available on www.mazdalive.com and www.fanschoice.tv.

Atlanta Motorsport Group signs Mazda Club Racer Shootout winner as the 2015 Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires opens its season at Sebring. Kyle Loustaunau from Vacaville,Calif., leads the lineup for Atlanta Motorsports Group in the SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Loustaunau won a $100,000 […]”

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Beyond good tires and a competition alignment, shock and anti-roll bar substitutions make for a competitive package. When we discussed some general SCCA Solo Street class setup previously, along with some RX-8-specific tips, we noted that after the car, tires and driver, everything else is fine tuning with increasingly smaller gains. That wisdom came from […]”

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Team’s strong performance gains expected to continue in 63rd annual 12-hour race. If optimism was high within the Mazda Prototype team prior to the season-opening 24-hour race at Daytona, it’s only higher for this week’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring featuring the TUDOR United SportsCar Series. The 63rd-annual Sebring race takes the green flag […]”

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Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge champ moves to Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup with Mazda scholarship. In a bid to win the 2015 SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires championship, Sick Sideways Racing strengthened its driver line-up by signing 2014 MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge champion Drake Kemper from Toluca Lake, […]”

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Number 8 in a countdown of the things that racers must do to achieve greatness is to be student away from the track. The key to advancing in any sport – well, almost anything, really – is practice. Practice, though is harder to come by in motorsports. It takes an organization putting on a test […]”

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