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SPEEDSOURCE CASTROL SYNTEC MAZDA RX-8 WINS GT CLASS AT 2008 ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

- 22nd Win in Endurance Classic for Mazda since 1975 -

Jan 27, 2007

January 27, 2008 (Daytona Beach, Fla). After 24 hours of close competition among 41 cars, the SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 team won the GT class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona to kick off the 2008 GrandAm season. The SpeedSource driving team of Sylvain Tremblay, David Haskell, Nick Ham, and Raphael Matos started from the pole, and led 323 of 664 laps, on their way to ninth overall and the class win.

The race was a severe strategic challenge as there were intermittent rain showers for over half of the race and a total of 24 caution periods, many the result of on track incidents. The SpeedSource team was challenged by the slippery conditions with multiple spins, one of which resulted in minor body damage to the rear of the car including a Poken taillamp. Other than the taillamp however, the rotary-powered Mazda ran flawlessly throughout the day-night-day race.

The SpeedSource Mazda team beat the runner-up Porsche by over five laps. The win was the 22nd class win at the race for Mazda and a ended a lengthy winning streak by Porsche at the biggest 24 hour race in America. Along the way, the SpeedSource number 70 car beat over two dozen Porsche 911 GT-3s, a handful of Pontiacs, a pair of Ferrari 430 Challenges, a Corvette, and a BMW M6. There were a total of 55 lead changes among 10 cars in the class, but no one could pass the RX-8 for the final 185 laps.

"This was a great win for the entire SpeedSource team. Endurance racing in particular is a team sport and I am so proud of our collective effort. Thanks especially to our new partners at Castrol, who believed in our ability to deliver. Thanks also to Fresh from Florida for their support of our in-car camera, as well as the many rotary enthusiasts who have supported our efforts, " remarked SpeedSource owner/engineer/driver Sylvain Tremblay.

Backing up the Castrol Syntec RX-8 were two other SpeedSource-built RX-8s in the top ten. Finishing fifth in the GT class was the SpeedSource FXDD RX-8 of Emil Assentato, Jeff Segal, Nick Longhi, and Lonnie Pechnik. The final top-ten car was the RX-8 of Racers Edge Motorsports driven by Ken Dobson, Robert Thorne, Craig Stone and Drew Staveley.

 

2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona Mazda Team Recap

Team

Sponsor

Drivers

Qualified

Finished

Notes

SpeedSource #70

Castrol Syntec and MAZDASPEED

Sylvain Tremblay, David Haskell, Nick Ham, and Raphael Matos

1st

1st

Early battle with Porsches and Pontiacs followed by domination of the final seven hours en-route to the first win by the team in the 24 Hour classic.

SpeedSource #69

FXDD

Emil Assentato, Jeff Segal, Nick Longhi, and Lonnie Pechnik

16th

5th

Ran solidly in the top-ten all day.

Racers Edge Motorsports #30

Guardian Edge Technologies, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, and Michael Spain-Smith Studios

Ken Dobson, Robert Thorne, Craig Stone and Drew Staveley

8th

10th

A solid top-ten finish. A potential top-five was derailed after crash damage caused an electrical problem.

Hyper-Sport #40

SoBe Life Water

Patrick Dempsey, Charles Espenlaub, Joe Foster, Romeo Kapudija, and Scott Maxwel

25th

24th

An early race cut tire resulted in a damaged oil cooler and the loss of 40+ laps for repairs. The team used the balance of the race as an extended test session.

Goldin Pothers #08

CCM Cellular

Steve Goldin, Keith Goldin, Jim Meassick, and Squeak Kennedy

40th

39th

Handling difficulties resulted in the car being retired from the race after 83 laps.

22 Mazda powered class wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona

1975

Ray Walle, Tom Reddy

RX-3

1st in GTU Touring (14th overall)

1979

Yoshimi Katayama, Yojiro Terada, Takashi Yorino

RX-7

1st in GTU (5th overall)

1982

Yoshimi Katayama, Yojiro Terada, Takashi Yorino

RX-7

1st in GTO (4th overall

1982

Kathy Rude*, Lee Mueller, Allan Moffett

First ever class win for a woman in IMSA history

RX-7

1st in GTU (6th overall)

1983

Pete Halsmer, Bob Reed, Rick Knoop, Tom Gloy

RX-7

1st in GTO (3rd overall)

1983

Lee Mueller, Hugh McDonough, Terry Visger

RX-7

1st in GTU (12th overall)

1984

Ira Young, Bob Reed, Jack Baldwin, Jim Cook

RX-7

1st in GTU (12th overall)

1985

Kelly Marsh, Ron Pawley, Don Marsh

Argo-Mazda

1st in Lights (10th overall)

1985

Amos Johnson, Jack Dunham, Yojiro Terada

RX-7

1st in GTU (12th overall)

1986

Frank Rubino, Ray Mummery, John Schneider

Argo-Mazda

1st in Lights (7th overall)

1986

Amos Johnson, Dennis Shaw, Jack Dunham

RX-7

1st in GTU (8th overall)

1987

Amos Johnson, Dennis Shaw, Bob Lazier

RX-7

1st in GTU (10th overall)

1988

Amos Johnson, Dennis Shaw, Bob Lazier

RX-7

1st in GTU (15th overall)

1989

Al Bacon, Bob Reed, Rod Millen

RX-7

1st in GTU (12th overall)

1990

John Grooms, Michael Greenfield, Frank Jellinek Jr.
Peter Greenfield

Argo-Mazda

1st in Lights (9th overall)

1990

Peter Uria, Bob Dotson, Jim Pace

RX-7

1st in GTU (12th overall)

1991

Dick Greer, Al Bacon, Mike Mees, Peter Uria

RX-7

1st in GTU (13th overall)

1992

Al Bacon, Dick Greer, Mike Mees, Peter Uria

RX-7

1st in GTU (7th overall)

1993

John Grooms, Frank Jellinek Jr., Jim Downing

Tim McAdam

Kudzu-Mazda

1st in Lights (7th overall)

1993

Dick Greer, Al Bacon, Peter Uria, Mike Mees

RX-7

1st in GTU (9th overall)

2001

Howard Katz, Jim Downing, AJ Smith, Chris Ronson

Kudzu-Mazda

1st in SRP (11th overall)

2008

Sylvain Tremblay, David Haskell, Nick Ham, Raphael Matos

RX-8

1st in GT (9th overall)

Mazda is the Pand 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 Pand 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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