The Spirit of Mazda: Tom Fowler

Helpful and committed, Tom Fowler and OPM Autosports are always working to move the sport forward.

The thing about Spec Miata is it has a lot of cheerleaders. Those who have championed the class sing its praises as both a driver development tool and a way to get into racing inexpensively and competitively. So finding someone who has supported the class since the beginning isn’t that difficult.

But there are those that have gone above and beyond in their backing of Spec Miata. Tom Fowler, owner of OPM Autosports with his wife, Tracy, is one of those people, and for supporting the class and its competitors from the beginning with both integrity and a continuous desire to improve, he is this month’s recipient of the Spirit of Mazda award.

“He’s one of the most stand-up, honest people you’d ever know,” says Tracy Fowler of her husband. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody say anything negative about him. He loves racing so much and he loves Mazda so much…a lot of his joy, because he’s so busy and doesn’t get to race as much, is bringing new people in and seeing the young kids that are getting involved.”

Tracy says Tom is the person that everybody goes to for advice and help, and he’s happy to give it. He’s helped out with SCCA drivers schools for years. He’s served as a member of the Spec Miata Advisory committee for SCCA and now runs OPM Autosports, a prep shop that currently houses about 40 Spec Miatas and also did  some World Challenge Touring Car racing in a Mazda3. But the Fowlers are also keeping an eye out for what’s next.

“We’re always trying to get our customers to stay in a Mazda, to look at what the future brings, to try and develop the things that need to happen so we can get some different classes and cars, such as SM5. We try to move in a forward direction, but also keep it where the old one still thrives,” Tracy says.

“I’d rather have a customer do well than us do well. They are our family,” she continues. “Having them have a good time, having them move forward, having cars that worked for them, having different classes to go into. It’s wonderful to see them grow with the cars, with the classes and keep changing what they do.”

For Integrity and Continuous Kaizen, Tom Fowler is the recipient of the Spirit of Mazda award.

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