After nearly 7,000 votes were cast by members of the Mazda Motorsports community, Jared Thomas emerged as the winner of the 2019 Spirt of Mazda award
Thomas, a standout Spec Miata competitor in NASA and SCCA, finished in second place in the class at the 2019 NASA Nationals at the Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course. A senior at the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Thomas also represented his school at the 61st annual Purdue Grand Prix, winning the race. In December, Thomas was selected as the winner of the 2019 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, earning a scholarship to compete in the 2019 Battery Tender ® Mazda MX-5 Cup.
The Spirit of Mazda nominees, which included Thomas, Steve Hudson, Glenn Long, Eric Stoltz, Rob Warkocki, and Randall Wilson, were voted on by their peers against seven key principles:
- 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 response to this year’s Spirit of Mazda voting exceeded years past, with nearly 7,000 votes cast and hundreds of comments of support left for each of the nominees. For winning the award, Thomas will receive a $2500 Mazda Motorsports scholarship to be used this season, in which he will contend for Rookie of the Year honors in the MX-5 Cup.
“We are fortunate at Mazda to work with so many amazing racers and team members,” said David Cook, Business Development Manager at Mazda Motorsports. “This is a product of the facts that more people choose to race a Mazda than any other manufacturer and that our beloved sport attracts and retains very hard working and passionate individuals. So, when we say it is rare that an individual such as Jared Thomas comes around, it is truly meaningful.
“Jared’s talent on the track as well as his values and work ethic off-track differentiated him to be not only nominated for the Mazda Road to 24 Scholarship, but win it. A month later he became a nominee for the Spirit of Mazda award, and the community reinforced our belief in him as a person by selecting him to be the 2019 recipient. When we look at the qualities of integrity, kaizen, self-initiative, execution, Tomoiku, Challenger Spirit and acting as One Mazda, Jared exemplifies them all. He is an impressive person on and off track, and simply a very good person. We are proud he chose to race a Mazda.”