Up more than 30% in 2019 SCCA U.S. Majors participation, GT3 Challenge presented by MPI getting results.
The headline could be that Mazda drove up participation in GT3 racing, but that wouldn’t be accurate. It could be that MPI, Hoosier Racing Tire, Penske Racing Shocks and AiM Sports did so; they were instrumental, but, still, this would be incomplete. The truth is the community came together. These industry leaders and the racers. Rob Warkocki (2x SCCA National Champ), Stacy Wilson (SCCA National Champ), Jeff Dernehl (SCCA National Champ & GT3 Challenge champ pictured above), Collin Jackson (call him Mr. GT-3 as he is nearly unbeatable), Taz Harvey (pro racer, 2x Runoffs podium finisher and Mazda dealer), Michael Lewis (2x Le Mans racer & 8x SCCA National Champ), Paul Young (2x SCCA Runoffs podium finisher and funniest man in the paddock), Adam Janosek (new to GT-3 in 2019), Joe Kristensen (SCCA GT3 National Champ), John Mills (factotum), Ray Stephenson (Mazda RX-7), Sam Moore (Nissan), Mike Henderson (3x SCCA Runoffs podium finisher), and others.
These racers are based throughout the U.S. and Canada, span a variety of makes (Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Volvo, Porsche and others). And when the racers combined effort with the manufacturers, everyone benefited. It is as Helen Keller said: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
So what’s the plan for 2020? Build on the momentum.
GT3 Challenge Schedule
Round 1: Buttonwillow Raceway Park, SCCA Hoosier Super Tour, February 21-23
Round 2: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, SCCA Hoosier Super Tour, March 20-22
Round 3: Watkins Glen International, SCCA Hoosier Super Tour, June 19-21
Round 4: Road America, SCCA U.S. Majors, July 11-12
Round 5: SCCA National Championship Runoffs, October 5-11
- Mazda Contingency: In addition to the U.S. Majors contingency payouts (1st = $600, 2nd = $350, 3rd = $150, 4th =125, 5th = $100), Runoffs race payout (1st = $5,000, 2nd = $2,500, 3rd = $1,500, 4th = $1,250, 5th = $1,000), and the Runoffs tow fund (up to $600), Mazda is offering per-race GT3 Challenge bonuses (1st = $300, 2nd = $275, 3rd = $250, 4th = $225, 5th = $200, 6-15th = $175, 16-20th = $150), a GT3 Challenge tow fund bonus to compete at the SCCA Runoffs (up to $600), and a GT3 Challenge champion’s bonus (100 contingency points valued at $1,500).
- Partner contributions – raffle items (held during each event) TBA. All racers eligible, regardless of make of race car. Rising tide…
Building Car Count: Competition Makes Our World Go Round
- Buttonwillow Raceway Park – Leading the charge to gather the troops for a competitive and fun Buttonwillow event is 8x SCCA National Champ and 2x Le Mans racer Michael Lewis. According to Michael, “Buttonwillow kicks off the GT3 Challenge presented by MPI, and the racers are responding. So far, car count is shaping up to be around a dozen.”
- Road Atlanta – Joe Kristensen leads the charge for this event.
- Watkins Glen – Adam Janosek.
- Road America –Rob Warkocki.
At each event, we plan to paddock together, and, we plan to go to dinner together on the Fridays before the race event. For paddock info, the contact for each event (seen above in “Building Car Count”) will help organize. As for dinners, they will be organized and covered by Mazda. The partner contributions will be raffled at this time, but these are the not the reasons to join. Simply, GT3 Challenge presented by MPI is all about the people. All GT3 Challenge racers, teams and family members are invited.