Mazda Motorsports is bringing parts, offering coaching and hosting a dinner for Mazda racers competing at the NASA Championship at Circuit of the Americas
The 2018 NASA Championship at Circuit of the Americas in Austin on Sept. 12-15 is expected to be one of the largest events in NASA history, particularly for Mazda racers given Toyo’s big prize money for the Spec Miata championship race. To make sure those Mazda racers have everything they need and then some, Mazda Motorsports is pulling out all the stops to support its competitors.
The support from Mazda Motorsports includes a parts truck on site, a dinner for Mazda racers, crew and families on Thursday night at the track, two Mazda pro racers on hand to offer coaching and, of course, contingency.
“For Mazda, grassroots racing is a pillar of our overall company strategy,” says David Cook, manager, Mazda Motorsports Business Development. “The racers represent the competitive spirit. They are not only brand advocates, they represent the Spirit of Mazda, especially the tenets of always improving and working together for mutual benefit. That’s why we want to support them in any way possible.”
Mazda Motorsports will be bringing its parts truck and specialists from California, with Josh Smith coming from the East Coast to lend a hand as well. Smith will also be the liaison with NASA for any tech issues that arise. Although surprises always happen, previous events have guided the Mazda Motorsports team on how to stock the truck, which will likely be parked in the upper paddock.
“With the exceptional turnout, particularly with Spec Miata, we’re hopeful we’ll have enough of the right parts,” says Cook. “We’re using our experience at these big championship events, plus what we’ve learned with Josh Smith and Steve Strickland in our support program initiative we’ve taken in the Southeast, in order to have the right parts.”
With the consolidation of NASA’s Championship for 2018, Mazda Motorsports is able to host a dinner for all Mazda competitors, their crew and families. For the past few years that has been a lunch instead. The dinner will be held on Thursday night, Sept. 13, in one of the suites at the track, scheduled for 7 p.m. Expect an entertaining program, plus some cool door prizes.
And for the first time, Mazda Motorsports will be bringing a couple of its pro drivers to the NASA Championship to offer coaching sessions to racers. Andrew Carbonell, who has a lot of experience in Spec Miata in addition to racing the Freedom Autosport NC MX-5 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge; and Joel Miller, who came up through the open wheel ranks and into Mazda’s prototype program, will be on hand to view video and data and give competitors advice on both driving and setup. Carbonell and Miller will be available Thursday and Friday during the event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with limited availability on Saturday morning. Check at the Mazda Motorsports trailer for available time slots.
The NASA Championships at COTA will feature the biggest prize ever offered for Spec Miata, with up to $130,000 from Toyo Tires up for grabs. In addition to the Spec Miata championship, Mazda racers will be competing for wins in the Performance Touring and Super Touring classes, plus in Time Trials. Mazda engines also power the Elan NP01s in NASA’s spec sports racer class.