Mazda Motorsports in NASA

Mazda Motorsports continues its support of NASA racers, especially at the Championships and in Teen Mazda Challenge

Contingency, tech support and parts discounts continue to be hallmarks of Mazda Motorsports’ support of National Auto Sport Association (NASA) racers. As the new Super Touring classes take off and the Teen Mazda Challenge flourishes under new leadership, that relationship continues to grow.

“Ron Cortez led the Teen Mazda Challenge for many years and established a great program that we’ve been thrilled to be a part of,” says David Cook, Manager of Business Development for Mazda Motorsports. “With his passing, many highly qualified and passionate individuals stepped up to continue to carry the torch. James Brown, Tim Barber, Lisa Caceres, Brett Becker, Jeremy Croiset from NASA, and us at Mazda have all come together to keep it going.

“We’ve supported the Teen Mazda Challenge competitors in a variety of ways – contingency, automatic nominations to the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout for the regional champions and mentoring. This new group has loved all that Ron created and we’re just trying to build on it. We’ve enhanced contingency and we’re working on new ways to get more involved with the competitors in meaningful and lasting ways in an effort to help them establish careers in the sport.”

Mazda Motorsports will continue to support the Teen Mazda Challenge as it looks to add new initiatives to help the racers. And that goes for the broader Spec Miata community as well; last year’s big turnout for the NASA Championships at COTA made quite the mark, and Cook credits Toyo Tires and the prize money it put up –$75,000 for the winner, plus more.

“Toyo has provided a valuable product – durable, consistent and affordable,” says Cook. “It really made a splash last year with the Spec Miata feature race at the NASA Championships with the big prize. The excitement and opportunities that Toyo is bringing to the community resonates well with us and the opportunities that we try to provide.”

Outside of Spec Miata, the Super Touring classes are beginning to gain traction. Those classes now will form the basis for NASA’s endurance racing classes, including for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. For most Mazda competitors, ST5 and ST6 will be the classes that fit best.

“ST5 is the place for the NC platform without highly modifying it,” says Cook. “We appreciate the Continuous Kaizen of NASA for trying to improve and develop the ST opportunity for racers. That’s one of the reasons we are bolstering our contingency offering to the NCs in ST5.”

NC racers in ST5 can earn Parts Points bonuses, in addition to up to $4,000 for a NASA Championship or $2,000 for a Regional points championship. Those contingency awards apply to all production-based classes as well as the NP01 prototype class, and pay five deep in both cases. Time Trials competitors who win at the NASA Championships, this year held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, can earn up to $500. Spec Miata competitors also have the opportunity to earn the Penske Racing Shocks Bonus. In addition, Mazda Motorsports is offering special contingencies to the Western Endurance Racing Championship, the U.S. Touring Car Championship and the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

Of course, all NASA competitors and participants who pilot Mazdas are eligible to become Mazda Team Support Program members and take advantage of the parts discounts and technical support that goes with it. Mazda will be supporting its racers directly at the NASA Championships at Mid-Ohio with parts and tech personnel on hand.