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Jul 17, 2008
July 17, 2008 (Irvine, Calif.). It is the mark of honesty when racing partners decide that while they plan to continue, some of the work needs to be done away from the race weekend. Earlier this week B-K Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations and Yokohama Tire Corporation made a collective decision to regroup in their ALMS effort. From the Mid-Ohio weekend through the end of the season, the B-K Motorsports Lola B07/46 Mazda MZR-R will race on Dunlop Tires.
Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality, Mazda North American Operations, remarked "The ALMS is one of the most challenging series in the world, and the only top-tier series that has open competition between engine manufactures, chassis builders, and tire companies. Mazda values our long-term relationship with Yokohama Tire Corporation. While we made a collective decision to alter our near-term strategy, it by no means alters our valued partnership with Yokohama Tire which extends to OE fitment tires on many Mazda vehicles. We hope that the use of the Dunlop tires will allow the team to better assess the other key components of our program as we seek to challenge Porsche and Acura."
Third Driver for Petit Le Mans Confirmed
Raphael Matos, often referred to as the poster boy for the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder has been confirmed for the ALMS Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta on October 4th. Matos will be the third driver joining Ben Devlin and Gerardo Bonilla. Matos has won championships in Skip Barber (2003), Star Mazda (2005), and Atlantics (2007), all steps in the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder. Matos has driven with the B-K team in both 2006 and 2007.
Mazda is the brand of choice for road-racers across North America. More than 9,000 grassroots racers compete in various classes with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). Racers who are years away from earning a driver's license can now begin their professional motorsports careers in the Mazda family. A driver can begin in karts and progress through the Skip Barber series, Club Racing Formula Mazda, professional Star Mazda and finally to Formula Atlantic, all with Mazda. No other car company has ever connected the dots this way.
On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you'll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the largest road-racing class in the world is Spec Miata, with more than 1,500 first- and second-generation Miatas tearing up America's racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda's involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world's premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
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