Mazda Announces MRT24 Shootout Racers

Twenty-Three racers have an opportunity to seek a $100,000 Mazda scholarship for the 2016 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup.

The Mazda Road to 24 Shootout is the single largest prize in grassroots motorsports. Launched in 2006 as the Club Racer shootout, the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout has annually promoted one talented club racer into the professional ranks. The $100,000 scholarship package supports a drive in the 2016 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup. For 2016, this will be in the all-new MX-5 Cup car, which officially went on sale on October 1.

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.

John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports, noted: “Our annual shootout has become a signature event for Mazda Motorsports. This year, faced with dozens of worthy candidates, we worked with our key partners at the SCCA, NASA, iRacing and other industry experts to identify those racers with the greatest potential to succeed on the professional level. This promises to be our best-ever shootout, as none of the eligible racers have raced a fourth-generation MX-5. Only a handful of racers have even tested it. That will quickly change as we have more than 70 deposits from racers ready to compete with us in the 2016 MX-5 Cup.”

To advance to the next level, the 23 semi-finalists will submit a business proposal and a short video presentation from which the finalists will be selected. It is anticipated that there will be six to eight finalists. The finalists will be announced the week of October 19, and the final shootout will be at Carolina Motorsports Park, in Kershaw, South Carolina, on November 8-10. The racers will be tested on the track for their driving skills and in the garage for their technical understanding of the sport. This is a winner-take-all competition; there is no second place.

The semi-finalists for 2015 are:

Club/Series Racer
NASA PTD West Champion Joshua Allan
NASA PTE West Champion Ben Anderson
Formula Car Challenge Champion Michael Avansino
SCCA Runoffs Formula Mazda Joseph Burton-Harris
At Large Nominee Bruno Carneiro
NASA Spec Miata Champion Mark Drennen
iRacing Champion Richard Eklund
NASA Teen Challenge (West Coast) Mason Filippi
SCCA Runoffs Spec Miata Champion Jonathan Goring
NASA PTE East Champion Jason Kohler
NASA Teen Challenge (Rocky Mountains) Ethan Loree
At Large Nominee Alex Mayer
iRacing Champion Glenn McGee
Formula Car Challenge Champion Tazio Ottis
Formula Car Challenge Champion Hunter Pickett
At Large Nominee Eric Powell
NASA Race of Champions Matthew Powers
At Large Nominee Matt Reynolds
At Large Nominee Will Rodgers
At Large Nominee Michai Stephens
NASA Teen Challenge (Texas) Deriann Taylor
NASA Super Unlimited Champion (West) Jon Van Canegham
Toyo Tires Spec Miata Championship (Canada) Cal Vandaalen

Additional information about the Mazda Road to 24 shootout, and 2016 MX-5 Cup race car, can be found here on Mazda Motorsports will be providing live social updates from the Carolina Motorsports Park event on Twitter at @mazdaracing and with hashtag  #MRT24.