The Mazda Shootout Process

A combination of physical and mental testing will help the judges select the five Mazda scholarship recipients.

Whether it’s the Spec MX-5 Shootout where 10 of North America’s best karters vie to be part of Mazda’s club racing factory team, or the MX-5 Cup Shootout where 9 of the best club racers vie to earn one of three scholarships to compete in the Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires series, the Shootout judges will look for the most-well rounded on and off the track, and ready for MX-5 Cup.

How We Got Here – The Selection Process (click here):

Spec MX-5: A combination of winning select karting championships and at-large bids from industry professionals such as Chris Wheeler and is the hub of US karting on the internet. The website is the go-to platform for news, race coverage and original editorial, and the EKN team attends over 25 events every year to provide trackside race reporting and live audio streaming commentary and coverage. In addition, EKN has a growing audio and video content component with podcasts that stream through our 24-7, 365 ‘EKN Radio Network’, as well as being available through iTunes, Google Play, Podbean and Spotify. is also rapidly growing his footprint on YouTube, producing regular content on the video platform.

MX-5 Cup: A combination of winning select championships and at-large bids from many industry professionals.

Scholarships on the Line:

  • MX-5 Cup: Top award valued at $110,000; two additional scholarships each valued at $75,000
  • Spec MX-5: Two recipients to be run as the first club racing factory team

Spec MX-5 Judges
: Pro drivers Max Papis and Jonathan Bomarito + Zach Rubin (NASA Teen Mazda Challenge) & Josh Smith (Mazda Motorsports)

MX-5 Cup Judges: Tristan Nunez, Andrew Carbonell, Pete Calhoun (BFGoodrich® Tires), David Cook (Mazda Motorsports)

The Shootout:

Day 1: Monday, November 16, 2020, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

7:15 am:             Track arrival
7:30 – 8:15:        Greetings; congratulations; waivers; track maps
8:30 – 9:30:       Spec MX-5 Shootout Finalist Track Walk with Max Papis and Jonathan Bomarito
9:30 – 10:30:      MX-5 Cup Shootout Finalist Track Walk with Tristan Nunez and Andrew Carbonell
8:30 – noon:      Driver physical assessments by PitFit Training
Noon – 1:00:       Catered lunch
1:00 – 5:00:       Interviews + PitFit’s summary review

PitFit Training has been developing motorsports-specific training programs for both amateur and professional since 1997.  In that time, the organization has worked with drivers ranging from Indy 500 champions to developing karting racers to grass-roots competitions.

“Through our driver assessment, we will provide valuable data on each driver’s physical abilities outside of the car,” commented Jim Leo, president of PitFit Training. “This information will not only give the selection board (judges) information as they screen candidates, but educate each driver on where he or she stacks up against some of the top drivers in the world.”

Day 2: Tuesday, November 17, 2020

7:00 am:             Track arrival
7:15 – 8:00:         Greetings; review of day ahead (session length, expectations, data review, etc.)
8:00 – 9:00:       Race car shakedowns
9:00 – noon:       18-minutes on-track sessions (3 MX-5 Cup cars & 4 Spec MX-5 race cars run same time)
Noon – 1:00:        Lunch (approx. time)
1:00 – 5:00:         18-minute on-track sessions
5:00 – 5:30:        Judges final discussion of scholarship recipients
5:45 pm:             Announcement of five scholarship recipients
Schedule is subject to change

Stay tuned on and in the Facebook group: Mazda Grassroots Racing