Giving young drivers a helping hand is what the Teen Mazda Challenge (TMC) has always been about, and the National Auto Sport Association is excited to announce it is expanding the TMC program nationally. The new TMC will add value and help drivers up to age 20 climb the ladder to success in racing and help them develop skills they need in their careers. The program also will deliver a suite of contingency prizes to help make racing more affordable. For the 2018 season, NASA and a few select sponsors will offer the following benefits for the TMC:
Mazda Motorsports will make each regional TMC champion eligible for nomination to the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, which typically is held each November or December. The grand prize is a scholarship valued at $100,000 applicable to a season of racing in the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires. The nominations will be based on regional points standings at the end of September. What’s more, each TMC regional champion will be eligible to collect $500 in Mazda contingency awards.
NASA Driver Advancement Scholarship
NASA will award each TMC regional champion complimentary entry fees for the 2019 Spec Miata racing season. This applies to any NASA region where there are TMC competitors. The significance of this benefit is that even if a competitor doesn’t win the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, he or she can return to competition in the Teen Mazda Challenge the following season to further develop his or her skills and get another opportunity to advance to the Shootout. These scholarships will be tallied after each NASA region has completed its full season of racing.
Toyo Tires Ron Cortez Memorial Award
In honor of TMC founder Ron Cortez, who passed away in January 2018, TMC regional competitors finishing in the three podium positions in their regions will be eligible for $1,000, $500, $300 in direct cash benefits to assist them with racing in the NASA Championships. This will be open to all TMC competitors in all regions who run the five required races that make them eligible to race in the Championships. These positions will be tallied according to regional points standings July 1, which will give drivers a chance to prepare for the Championships September 13-16 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. In addition, the top finishing TMC competitor at the 2018 NASA Championships will be awarded $2,500 regardless of overall finishing position.
Hawk Performance Benefits
The top five finishing TMC competitors at the NASA Championships will be eligible for $400 in product certificates that will assist them in purchasing brake pads for the season.
“The strength of this new program is to give young drivers coming out of the karting world a clearer path to racing in Spec Miata and, ultimately, a career in professional racing,” said NASA Director of Business Development Jeremy Croiset. “The skills they develop racing with NASA in the Teen Mazda Challenge will be invaluable to them as they advance their racing careers, and by expanding the Teen Mazda Challenge to all NASA regions nationwide, more young drivers will be able to climb the motorsports ladder.”
More details will be forthcoming as the season progresses.