Young Mazda racers are promoting distracted driving awareness.
Racers in all three rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy will be carrying the Project Yellow Light message at this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, becoming ambassadors for highway safety. Over the past decade, Mazda Motorsports has established a leadership position in the development of young driving talent by creating the industry-unique Mazda Road to Indy and Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy. Through its relationship with Project Yellow Light, Mazda Motorsports is continuing this leadership through the use of peer-to-peer communication to discuss and combat the dangers of distracted driving.
“With so many teenage race drivers competing with Mazda, we saw that we had both a responsibility and an opportunity to highlight the dangers of distracted driving,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations. “While young drivers may not always listen to their parents’ advice or direction, we have professional racers in our programs who, being the same age, can explain the difference between right and wrong with the credibility of a friend. This is a great way for our racers to become local heroes in their communities.”
Project Yellow Light began as a scholarship competition for high school and college students designed to bring about change. Participants are given a clear mission: encourage their peers to develop and embrace safe driving habits. Since 2012, Mazda Motorsports has been the scholarship sponsor. The 2015 awards will be announced during the May 1-3 race weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Scholarship details can be found at www.projectyellowlight.com
Julie Garner, founder, Project Yellow Light, remarked, “Mazda Motorsports was the first major supporter of Project Yellow Light, and their racers have been fabulous. Ben Albano and Tristan Nunez have taken leadership roles in promoting safe driving. Now, with the Mazda Road to Indy racers, we can expand that message, both here and abroad.”
Thanks to a turn-key presentation, developed by Mazda Motorsports, Project Yellow Light, and students at California State University, Fullerton, Mazda Road to Indy racers have an educational message they can take to high schools near where they live and where they race.
Michelle Kish, COO, Andersen Promotions, had the final word: “The Mazda Road to Indy racers are an incredible group. I have no doubt they will embrace this opportunity that will promote both road safety and our sport.”
Mazda Motorsports encourages all young racers, fans and anyone who operates a motor vehicle to learn more about the program, and participate in helping to spread the word that distracted driving kills.