Ten outstanding Mazda racers and aficionados await your vote for the Spirit of Mazda
Across the spectrum of motorsports – racers, mechanics, and the volunteers who make a race weekend run smoothly – there are many who embody the Spirit of Mazda. Mazda Motorsports seeks to recognize those who go above and beyond in their quest to be the best they can be.
The Spirit of Mazda has seven basic principles. They are:
Integrity – We keep acting with integrity toward our customers, society and our own work.
Basics/Flawless Execution – We devote ourselves to the basics, and make steady efforts in a step-by-step fashion.
Continuous Kaizen – We continue to improve with wisdom and ingenuity.
Challenger Spirit – We set a high goal, and keep challenging to achieve it.
Self-Initiative – We think and act with “self-initiative.”
Tomoiku – We learn and teach each other for our mutual growth and success.
One Mazda – We think and act with the view of “Global” and “One Mazda.”
The nominees for the June Spirit of Mazda award are:
An automotive coatings professional, David Bednarz is also an ace F Production racer in a Miata. He is a regular at the top of the F Production ranks, and scored a top-10 finish in the 2017 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ana Broyles started doing High Performance Driving Events in 2014 and quickly moved into competition. She was the Washington DC Region SCCA’s 2015 rookie of the year and is currently running SSM. She’s a technician at BMW of Sterling and has also worked tech inspection for NASA Mid Atlantic.
After retiring from a career in the automotive industry, Mike Burke moved to Asheville, N.C., where he became a huge supporter of the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. Not only does he volunteer on an athletic committee, his cars – formerly Spec Miata, now a 2006 MX-5 he runs in Touring 4 – are named after the UNC Asheville mascot.
You may know Nick Leverone, owner of Flatout Motorsports and race car builder. You might also know Nick Leverone, one of the fastest Spec Miata or Super Touring Lite drivers in the country. Either way, whether he’s building cars, preparing cars or driving, it’s always top-notch.
Larry Mason won Formula Mazda in the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference in 2017, but he’s raced a huge variety of open-wheel cars, including Indy Lights. He’s also an accomplished journalist, triathlete and a certified personal trainer. As such, he’s a big proponent of monitoring heart rate for racers.
Tim Meek is an OPM longtime employee, responsible for transportation, tires and fuel. You won’t see a driver thanking the rest of the OPM Autosports team without mentioning Meek.
The late Ann O’Malley was Dave Wheeler’s wife and the office manager at Advanced Autosports. But more than that, she was “track mom” to all of Advanced Autosports’ drivers and crew, taking care of them during the race weekend. O’Malley passed away earlier this year.
Dr. Joe Tobin
Dr. Joe Tobin is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hips, knees, shoulders and hands. He’s also a Spec Miata racer who runs among the very best in the Southeast’s racing.
Steve Strickland has been racing for many years, most recently a Touring 4 NC MX-5. His business, ST2 Services, helps keep the motorsports world moving and working. That includes getting Mazda parts to tracks around the Southeast, as he’s been working with Mazda Motorsports to provide parts support.
The racing bug bit Chris Windsor when he helped a friend set up the suspension on his Spec Miata and hopped in it for a few laps. Fast forward a few years and the Windsor Customs prep shop – where Chris does pretty much everything – is one of the bigger operations in the DC area, and he’s fielded cars in everything from SCCA to MX-5 Cup to Grand-Am.
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