This Weekend’s Race Action

SCCA Majors Western Conference embarks on its second race event of the season this weekend at Willow Springs International Raceway, which is one of the most historic race circuits on the West Coast. This track could be one of the most famous race tracks since it is a favorite of those in the TV and film industry, shooting everything from car commercials to big-budget films. Is it any wonder that there are 166 competitors set to compete? After a great showdown during the first event of the season at Auto Club Speedway, there shouldn’t.

In this weekend’s showdown, Mazda’s will yet again be leading the charge. While the track will be cold in the mornings, in the thirties (e.g., 33 degrees Friday as a low), it will heat up throughout the day, as will the action, undoubtedly.

Competition will be intense in E Production with eight registered racers: one BMW, two Honda’s, and five Mazda’s: Brandon Droese (’87 Mazda RX-7), Wayne Graham (’73 RX-3), James Hagerty (’84 RX-7), Kale Swifts (’90 RX-7), and SCCA Runoffs front-runner Tony Jimerson (’86 RX-7).
In STL, nine will do battle, four of which are Mazda’s: Wesley Mollno, David Vodden, Louis Wang, and Todd Launchbaugh. Their competition, Honda, Chevrolet, and Toyota.

Two Formula Mazda’s will do fly through the circuit: Mike Anderson, Formula Mazda National Champion, and Austen Charles.
Touring 4 has eight competitors registered, three of whom will pilot Mazda’s: SCCA Runoffs front-runner Tom Wickersham (2009 RX-8), Ali Naimi (2006 Miata), and Brandon Chappel (2006 Miata).

In Touring 1, we will be routing for the sole Mazda competitor, Marc Hoover (’94 Miata). Hoover will compete against a Corvette, Viper, and an S2000.

In GT-3, Mike Henderson (’95 RX-7) will do battle with another SCCA Runoffs front-runner, Guy Laidig (’95 RX-7). We have all the confidence in the world that the Toyota Paseo doesn’t stand a chance!

In STU, Eugene Rolfe (2000 Miata) and future 2016 MX-5 Cup car racer Dale Shoemaker (’99 Miata for this event) will put up strong showings against the five other competitors piloting a Cobalt, two Scion FR-S’, and two S2000s.

To no surprise, the largest class is Spec Miata – 23 competitors. Who will be the one to watch? Anyone’s guess. What we do know is the entire field will be fun to watch: Dakota Dickerson, Clement Lee, Steven Powers, Dean Busk, Neil Verity, Dave Tweedlie, Paul Perkins, Bill Nelson, Wesley Mollno, Allan Leukhardt III, Daniel Langon, Francis Hu, Justin Hall, Curtis Cong, Darwin Felix, Robert Edmison, Jorge Diaz, Devin Dahn, Sean Bradley, Tao Takaoka, Steve Bodeman, Todd Launchbaugh, and Michael Babcock.

Mazda wishes all competitors a fun and safe race weekend (even non-Mazda competitors, but not too much fun)!