Twenty 2014 NASA Champions will compete Sunday as part of the Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires race to crown the Grand Champion.
Mazda Motorsports and the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) will run the first Mazda Race of NASA Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday in conjunction with the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda.
The race will feature NASA Champions from the association’s two championship weekends that were held at Road Atlanta and Sonoma Raceway in 2014. All of the crowned champions are eligible regardless of what type of race car they drove to win in their respective classes. The winning drivers will be competing against each other for the title of NASA Grand Champion. The 21 competitors will be driving identically prepared Mazda MX-5s on a shared weekend with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“Wow, what a great opportunity for every one of our 2014 NASA Champions,” said Ryan Flaherty, NASA National Chairman. “This is almost like the old IROC Series (International Race of Champions), but for amateur racers. I want to thank our great partners at Mazda as well as our friends at the SCCA for helping to make this race possible. This great event is just one more example of how Mazda offers great opportunity to the grass roots racer and how hard work, combined with talent, can put our drivers on a bigger stage.”
John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports, is the catalyst for this unprecedented amateur racing event.
“Over the past few years, the NASA competitors have been extremely impressive at our annual Club Racing Shootout,” said Doonan. “We expect the NASA champions to have a great battle in the identical MX-5 cars.”
The Grand Champion will be eligible to compete in the Mazda Club Racer Shootout for a $100,000 scholarship to be used to fund a full season of racing in the 2016 Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup.
The 45-minute Mazda Race of NASA Champions will take the green flag Sunday, May 3 at 9:10 a.m. PT.
2015 Mazda Race of NASA Champions Entry
HometownNASA Championship(s) Won
|Craig Ames||Laguna Nigel, Calif.||Western States Champion, ST1|
|Ben Anderson||Minneapolis, Minn.||PTD Eastern States Champion|
|Paul Arnold||Franklin, Tenn.||Eastern States Champion, FFR Challenge|
|Edgar Cabrera||Queens, N.Y.||Eastern States Champion, GTS3|
|Jeremy Croiset||Las Vegas, Nev.||Western States Champion, Honda Challenge 2|
|Sandro Espinosa||Atlanta, Ga.||Eastern States Champion, Spec E30|
|Larry Fraser||Atlanta, Ga.||Western States Champion, Spec E30v|
|Chi Ho||Orlando, Fla||Eastern States Champion, TTC|
|Tristan Littlehale||Novato,Calif.||Western States Champion, Spec E30|
|Michael McAleenan||Saratoga, Calif.||Western States Champion, GTS2|
|Ricky Johnson||Tacoma, Wash.||Western States Champion, GTS3|
|Tommy Lo||Sunnydale, Calif.||Western States Champion, TTE|
|Ronald Nielsen||Gainesville, Ga.||Eastern States Champion, TTF|
|Jay Pellegrini||Covington, La.||Eastern States Champion, Spec Z|
|Eric Powell||Orlando, Fla.||Western States Champion, PTD, TTD|
|Matt Powers||San Rafael, Calif.||Western States Champion, GTS4|
|Cory Rueth||Manchaca, Texas||Eastern States Champion, Spec Iron|
|Dave Schotz||Chandler, Ariz.||Eastern States Champion, PTB; Western States Champion, TTC|
|Dan Williams||Scottsbluff, Neb.||Eastern States Champion, 944 Spec|
|David Ziegler||Baltimore, Ohio||Eastern States Champion, ST3|