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MAZDASPEED MOTORSPORTS MID-SEASON REVIEW
-- Mazda Racers Winning From Coast to Coast --
August 7, 2007 (IRVINE, California). With an unrivaled diversity of motorsports programs, Mazda enters the second half of the 2007 season with a nice collection of new trophies, and several potential championships.
Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality, Mazda North American Operations, reflected on the season so far. "We have seen solid on-track success ranging from the Tri-Point MAZDA6 team in SPEED World Challenge to a 30% growth in our own MX-5 Cup series. We race for many reasons, especially the ability to test ourselves against the best. We are very pleased with our results to date, as well as the positive feedback from racers regarding the Mazda commitment to helping drivers advance their careers with our connect-the-dots approach to the development ladder."
MAZDASPEED 2007 season highlights through July include:
- Four wins in SPEED World Challenge with Mazda drivers 1-2 in the driver's championship and Mazda leading the manufacturer's championship.
- Three wins in Grand-Am GT for the RX-8 as the Mazda rotary engine celebrates its 40 th anniversary.
- Three wins in NHRA Sport Compact Drag Racing.
- 30% increase in grid size for the MX-5 Cup Series
- Strong fields in all of the Mazda ladder series, from Skip Barber, through Star Mazda, to Champ Car Atlantic.
Open Competition Series Updates:
Series: SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge - Touring Cars
Recap: Tri-Point Motorsports MAZDA6 drivers Jeff Altenburg and Randy Pobst lead the series with a 25 point gap between second and third in points. Mazda leads the manufacturers championship with 53 points, 19 points ahead of Acura.
Next up: Round 8 @ Mosport ( Canada) on August 26 th
Notes: The blue and white MAZDA6's belonging to Tri-Point have been enjoying their best ever year; four wins, a pair of 1-2 finishes, five pole positions, and nine podium finishes.
Series: Grand-AM GT
Recap: Drivers Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham (SpeedSource RX-8 #70) have had a mixed year to date. While scoring three wins, they have also had more than their fair share of bad luck with on track incidents that have cost them dearly in points. Sylvain is fifth in points with Nick close behind in sixth with one race remaining.
Next up: Season finale @ Miller Motorsports Park ( Utah) on Saturday, September 15 th.
Notes: Emil Assentato (SpeedSource RX-8 #69) leads the chase for the Bob Akin Cup for sportsmen drivers in the GT class.
Series: KONI Challenge ST
Recap: Both RX-8's and MX-5's are eligible for this class. The SpeedSource RX-8 has scored consistent top-ten finishes to place Jose Armengol third in drivers points, SpeedSource third in the team championship, and Mazda third in the manufacturers points with three races remaining. BSI has scored three top ten finishes with their MX-5 and is currently eighth in team points.
Next up: Round 10 @ Trois-Rivieres ( Canada), Saturday, August 18th
Notes: SpeedSource has won championships in this series in both 2004 & 2005.
Series: NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Drag Racing Series
Recap: Mazda is represented in both the Modified and ProFWD classes. Ken Scheepers leads the Modified class having scored three wins with his RX-8 while Ed Bergenholz is third in points in ProFWD with three runner-up positions in his MAZDASPEED6.
Next up: Indy NHRA Sport Compact Nationals, August 18 th-19 th
Notes: Ed Bergenholz is seeking to score a motorsports hat-trick having won both the 2005 & 2006 ProFWD titles.
Series: American Le Mans Series
Recap: With rules favoring piston engines, Mazda set about on a 17 week rush to complete an all-new engine, the MZR-R in time for the 2007 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The all new engine was fitted into an all-new chassis, a Lola B07/46, and the B-K Motorsports team has been conducting a public R&D program every race weekend.
Next up: Round 8 @ Road America ( Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin), Saturday, August 11 th
Notes: The single car Mazda effort is competing with four Porsches, and three Acura powered cars in what has become the most competitive of the four ALMS classes.
MAZDA SPEC SERIES UPDATES:
Series: Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda
Recap: 2005 Star Mazda Champion Raphael Matos clinched the 2007 Atlantic championship with one race remaining. He is the first driver to ever become a multi Mazda ladder series champion. Raphael will be looking to move up to the Champ cars in 2008.
Next up: Season Finale @ Road America ( Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin), Sunday, August 12th
Notes: There will be a non-championship Atlantic race in December in support of the Champ car season finale in Phoenix.
Series: Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear
Recap: While points leader Dane Cameron has won three races and enjoys a 47 point lead, four other drivers have claimed races, and with five races remaining the championship is far from over.
Next up: Round 8 @ Road America ( Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin), Saturday, August 11th
Notes: The 2007 Star Mazda Champion will graduate to the Atlantic series as a part of the Mazda ladder program.
Series: BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Recap: As if further proof was needed to support the scholarship program, Stars of Karting/Skip Barber Scholarship winner Joel Miller leads the points having scored two wins from the first eight races. Three other drivers are within 34 points and with 35 points available for a win, Joel will need to maintain his speed if he hopes to move up to the Star Mazda series in 2008. Dick Lippert is leading the Masters Division just four points ahead of Jeff Kaiser.
Next up: Rounds 9&10 @ Lime Rock Park, August 18 th & 19 th.
Notes: The 2007 Skip Barber Champion will graduate to the 2008 Star Mazda series as a part of the Mazda ladder program.
Series: SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup
Recap: After ending the 2006 season with a race win to finish as series runner-up, Jason Saini set his sights on 2007, and has delivered. Saini has scored four wins including the Cleveland doubleheader in his hometown. Among those giving chase has been Andrew Caddell who won his car as a part of the Mazda SCCA Run-off shootout for Mazda powered national champions. Caddell still has a chance to catch Saini and will be going all out when the series gets to Trois-Rivieres.
Next up: Round 7 @ Trois-Rivieres ( Canada), Sunday August 19 th.
Notes: The 2007 MX-5 Cup Champion will be awarded a drive in a MAZDA6 for the 2008 SPEED World Challenge as a part of the Mazda ladder program .
Club Racers Getting Ready:
August & September will be busy months for Mazda club racers looking to qualify for the annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs ® to be held October 8-14 in Topeka, Kansas. Last year over 160 Mazda racers converged on Heartland Park Topeka. After 25 races, four new Mazda champions emerged, more than any other brand at the Runoffs. How many will triumph in 2007? Which club racer will be able to jump to the 2008 MX-5 Cup?
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 fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA's Spec Miata class, with nearly 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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For more information on MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, visit www.MazdaspeedMotorsports.com
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