New programs, better service and more contingency payouts on tap for the coming racing season
The 2018 racing season is already underway and Mazda Motorsports has put in place a number of improvements to better serve its customers and reward their loyalty. A big part of that will be the gift of time.
“By the end of January we should have completed the process of stocking competition parts in all five U.S. parts distributors,” explains David Cook, Mazda Motorsports Manager of Business Development, noting that the move will decrease shipping times and costs. “Starting in February, our call center will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pacific, including through lunch. It gives people a little more flexibility to call before or after the workday. By adding two hours of coverage, it should help eliminate any hold time issues. Plus, we’re adding Josh Smith to handle some of the calls.”
Mazda has parts distribution centers in Ontario, Calif. – where most competition parts have been shipped from – Scranton, Penn.; near Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago; and Dallas. And, for all of 2018, any UPS ground shipping on orders to the Continental U.S. of $1,000 or more (after discounts and before taxes) is free. In addition, Mazda Motorsports is looking at working with new and current vendors to bring new products for road racing, autocross and track day participants.
Of course, it takes money to pay for those parts, and Mazda competitors have long reaped the rewards that contingency money can bring. Mazda is expanding its contingency program to reward more than success. For example, some national-level autocross events, SCCA Match Tours and SCCA Championship Tours will pay down to sixth place, with all awards of at least $100.
“We’re going to pay deeper,” says Cook. “Many manufacturers pay just on achievement; they may pay just the podium, or just the winner. We pay much deeper because not only do we want to reward achievement, we want to reward loyalty.”
Other details on contingency for autocross, club racing and other programs can be found in the 2018 Mazda Contingency Awards Payouts and Requirements.
Mazda Motorsports is excited to see and support a new racing series in 2018, the Spec MX-5 Challenge. A collaboration between Atlanta Speedwerks and Winding Road Racing, the arrive-and-drive series using third-generation (NC) MX-5s will run Eastern and Central championships in 2018, with the winner earning a scholarship from the series to compete in the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires. Mazda itself will be contributing $25,000 in contingency awards to an MX-5 Cup team on behalf of the Spec MX-5 Challenge champion.
“We’re excited to see the third-generation MX-5 flourish with support from the community, specifically Atlanta Speedwerks and Winding Road Racing, with the goal of bolstering Spec MX-5 into a national class,” says Cook.
More details on Mazda Motorsports’ 2018 plans, including on the pro racing side, will be announced shortly. Check mazdamotorsports.com regularly for updates on programs and contingencies.