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MAZDASPEED MOTORSPORTS IN 2006: THE WINNING CONTINUES
Mazda races to the conclusion of another successful season
IRVINE, Calif., October 30, 2006 - As Halloween approaches, Mazda racers are counting the many "treats" they have already received this season, while planning a few new "tricks" for 2007.
NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Drag Racing Series
Ed Bergenholtz blasted his 1400hp Audiobahn MAZDA 6 to a personal best run down the quarter-mile of 7.561 seconds/190.81mph on his way to the Nitto Tires Sport Compact World Finals race-win for Pro FWD cars. The win also ensured Bergenholtz would secure his second Pro FWD championship, making it back-to-back wins. Ed scored additional race wins at the Nitto Tires Sport Compact Nationals, the Virginia Sport Compact Nationals, the Sport Compact Fallnationals, and was runner-up at the Nitto Tires Springnationals and the Las Vegas Sport Compact Nationals. This was Ed's second consecutive championship with the MAZDA 6 .
SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge - Touring Cars
After a season-long fight, Randy Pobst drove his Tri-Point Motorsports MAZDA 6 to second place in the championship, as well as helping Mazda to finish second in the manufacturers' standings. Five MAZDA 6 drivers placed in the top-fifteen in the championship, led by Pobst in second; Jeff Altenberg, seventh; Charles Espenlaub, eighth; Dino Crescentini, thirteenth; and Charlie Putman, fifteenth. Rookie-driver Mary Katharine was also recognized as the Sunoco Hard Charger for her year-long efforts in the Tindol Motorsports Bravo! Mazda Protege.
Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear
The 2006 Star Mazda champion joins the recently crowned Champ Car Atlantic Series champion as a Mazda-powered racing-driver on the move upward. Adrian "Ace" Carrio drove his World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Star Mazda to a third place in the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to bring home the championship. Carrio is looking to move up to the Champ Car Atlantic Series next season.
To ensure the greatest opportunities for the champion to move up the ladder, Mazda has arranged for testing opportunities with Champ Car Atlantic, Indy Pro Series, and Daytona Prototype teams. To emphasize the value of this opportunity, Vicki O'Connor, Managing Director of the Atlantic Series attended the awards banquet and announced that Carrio would be testing a Team Forsythe Swift-Mazda Champ Car Atlantic car in the off-season. Adrian won $100,000 to be used towards his 2007 racing season, as well as a 2007 Mazda RX-8 sports car powered by the same rotary engine as his Star Mazda racecar.
American Le Mans Series
Guy Cosmo and Jamie Bach drove the B-K Motorsports Road & Track Kumho Courage-Mazda to a fourth place finish in the four hour race at Mazda Raceway, on their way to third place in the team championship for the ALMS Prototype-2 (P2) class.
Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda
The all-new combination of a Swift .016a chassis powered by a 300hp Mazda-Cosworth MZR engine resulted in intense competition in North America's premiere open-wheel development series. The Atlantic Championship also boasted one of the top purses in all of racing this season, including the unique $2 million bonus earned by the series champion to help fund a ride in the 2007 Champ Car World Series. Walking away with the championship was Simon Pagenaud. Runner up was Star Mazda graduate Graham Rahal who will also be moving up to the Champ Car series in 2007.
Grand-Am Cup: Street Tuner (ST)
The SpeedSource team ran a strong effort all season with a pair of rotary-powered RX-8s. Despite season-long rules changes to slow the RX-8s, lead team-drivers David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay scored seven top-ten finishes with teammates Scott Schlesinger and Ken Dobson scoring another half-dozen top-ten finishes. The two cars finished fourth & seventh overall respectively in the team standings. Coming off of back-to-back team championships, SpeedSource brought Mazda a fourth place in the manufacturers' battle.
Grand-American Rolex Series: Grand Touring (GT)
SpeedSource entered their GT-class three-rotor rotary-powered RX-8 in only five races this season, but the car showed strong potential each time out, including leading for a number of hours at the season-opening Daytona 24-Hours and nearly winning at Homestead, missing by just .125-seconds. The team will be back for more races in 2007.
SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook
Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn. may have won five races on his way to the championship, but the wins were never easy and the racing was extremely close - the season finale had 11 lead changes in the 17 lap race.
All SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook races will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Saturdays this December at 4 and 4:30 p.m. (Eastern). Programming details can be found at www.mx-5cup.com
SCCA National Championship Runoffs ® & Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships
The heart and soul of Mazda's MAZDASPEED Motorsports program is in grassroots roadracing & autocrossing. In 2006, 15 drivers claimed national championships at the SCCA Runoffs and the Solo Nationals.
- Touring 3: Rick Gilhart, Cincinnati, Ohio, Mazda RX-8
- F Production: Jesse Prather, Topeka, Kansas, Mazda Miata
- Spec Miata: Andrew Caddell, Graham, Wash., Mazda Miata
- Formula Mazda: James Goughary Jr., Jupiter, Fla., Formula Mazda
Jesse Prather also won the Mark Donohue Award, presented by the Road Racing Driver's Club for outstanding performance, sportsmanship and competitiveness.
SCCA Solo Nationals:
- B Stock: Jason Isley, Ladera Ranch, Calif., Mazda RX-8
- B Stock L: Anna Hedly Goeke, Kirkland, Wash., Mazda RX-8
- B Prepared: Jeff Kiesel, Poway, Calif., Mazda RX-7
- B Prepared L: Shawn-Marie Kiesel, Poway, Calif., Mazda RX-7
- E Modified L: Ann Vogel, Tulsa, Okla., Mazda Miata
- C Street Prepared: Matt McCabe, Omaha, Neb., Mazda Miata
- E Prepared: Tom Ellam, Livermore, Calif., Mazda RX-3
- E Prepared L: Jennifer Lee, Kailua, Hawaii, Mazda RX-3
- Street Touring S2: Andrew Canak, Waterford, Mich., Mazda Miata
- Street Touring S2 L: Megan Young, Milwaukee, Wis., Mazda Miata
- Street Modified 2: Andrew McKee, San Jose, Calif., Mazda RX-7
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 even extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world's premier road-racing circuits.
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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Motorsports Development, visitwww.MazdaspeedMotorsports.com