We caught up with Kevin Anderson from Tech Sport Racing after the recent Pirelli World Challenge season opener at the Circuit of the Americas. The Huntington, New York Tech Sport Racing team is running a three car fleet of MX-5s in the TCA class. The team is expected to challenge for both the team and driver’s championships. Tech Sport driver Eric Powell scored a third and a fourth, to sit third in points after the first double-header.
MM: How did you get started racing?
KA: From my earliest memories, I loved cars and racing, and the passion never faded. When I became old enough to drive I immediately became involved with bracket racing at the local drag strip. But soon after, adulthood took over and working and earning money were the priority. It would be almost a decade before I started researching racing again. But this time I was reading about a new SCCA class that was only eligible to the Mazda Miata. It was a brand new class and I wanted to be involved. But I was not a member of the SCCA, and had never driven on a race track before. It was probably about five years later, around 2004, I decided to just go and buy a Spec Miata from a classified ad. Once I had the car, I had to get a competition license and race it. My first race was at Lime Rock and I battled hard with another new racer for last place. It was such a great experience, but I was humbled and a little discouraged at how fast the guys at the front were. I skipped HPDE, autocross and any other route that would have made more sense; instead I bought a car and showed up at an SCCA school/race weekend. I eventually became competitive.
MM: Why did you chose to race with Mazda?
KA: When I first started racing, the Spec Miata class was so intriguing. I stayed with Mazda all these years because of the level of support it has given me and how reliable and fun its cars are to drive. I have raced every version of the MX-5 and the RX-8, and they were all awesome.
MM: Tell us about the transition to your racing the RX-8.
KA: When people saw our old logo they thought that we were rotor-heads. I never really had a specific interest in the rotary; I was just more interested in going faster. I had several different versions of the MX-5 in Spec Miata and decided I wanted to go faster than the Spec Miata was capable. The competition in Spec Miata has always been incredible; there is no class better in club racing, but the RX-8 was so much fun to drive. It did everything the Spec Miata did, but better.
MM: What makes Tech Sport a special team?
KA: I believe Tech Sport is special because it truly is a family team. My partner Deborah Popolizio is also my wife and she handles so much of the logistics, but also serves as someone to discuss and plan ideas for the team. Debi is also responsible for the professional look of the team. My son Devin is now the crew chief for my car and helps with the prep of the cars before the events; my two daughters Tess and Mei work hard on race weekends keeping the cars and paddock clean and professional. We also have many team crew members that become part of the family on the race weekend. It takes a lot of crew to run all five cars during a World Challenge weekend. But the family atmosphere is what I love about our team.
MM: How has the transition been from the RX-8 to the MX-5?
KA: The transition was easy. I was able to reach out to some of the MX-5 Cup teams for information. There are so many great teams in the Mazda community willing to offer advice and help. Most importantly I do want to thank Kevin Copeland and John Dean for their help. The MX-5 is such a well-designed car by Mazda; it is a very easy car to figure out and make fast. As great as the RX-8 was to drive, I am so happy to be back in the MX-5.
MM: What are your plans for the next five years?
KA: We aim to win five more championships; to continue to grow and to earn the respect of the racing community. We will continue to run the MX-5 in TCA in Pirelli World Challenge, probably run one in TC. I have been on the edge of my seat waiting for years for the next Mazda to replace the RX-8. While Mazda obviously can’t comment on future cars, we want to be among the first teams to build and develop future Mazda race cars. The challenge of being one of the first teams to develop a car is so appealing to me. I expect it to be very satisfying.