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Nov 17, 2005
Mazda Grand Am GT RX-8
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development today announced the continuation of its partnership with Florida-based SpeedSource, Inc. to produce a Grand American Road Racing Association Rolex Series GT-class Mazda RX-8. Set to make its competition debut during the 2006 Grand Am season, the Grand Am GT RX-8 is based on a tube-frame chassis jointly developed by SpeedSource and Riley Technologies, and powered by Mazda's three-rotor 20B rotary engine.
"Mazda has always been a leader in both amateur and professional motorsports," said Steve Sanders , manager, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development. "Developing a Grand Am GT-legal car is the next step in expanding our already successful Grand Am program. And expanding our support to competitors interested in racing the RX-8 at the next level is a logical extension of our motorsports program."
Renowned chassis developer Riley Technologies worked closely with SpeedSource to design the steel tube-frame chassis. A six-speed EMCO sequential transaxle puts the three-rotor power to the wheels.
Downing/Atlanta was responsible for developing the high-strength carbon-fiber body panels that mimic the shape of the Mazda RX-8 street car, except with a no-nonsense racing stance. In addition, the body develops considerably greater downforce than the stock body would, while minimizing drag.
The 20B three-rotor engine is the cornerstone of Mazda's Grand Am GT RX-8 program. With its compact size and light weight, the rotary engine brings with it a vast history in sprint and endurance racing. Revving to over 9,000 rpm, the 20B rotary engine will sound quite unlike any other engine on the grid.
Coordinating the development for SpeedSource, Inc was team owner Sylvain Tremblay. Tremblay and staff are an experienced Grand American team, with a long history with Mazda and extensive knowledge and experience in tuning and racing rotary engines. Tremblay's SpeedSource team took top honors with their Mazda RX-8 in the Grand Am Street Touring division, winning the driver's and manufacturer's championships.
Being able to offer these high quality components to race teams from a single source simplifies the entire build process. Components ranging from a bare chassis to a complete car can be purchased from SpeedSource. A complete car, including chassis, full drivetrain and engine management system, suspension, wheels, tires and bodywork is priced from $280,000. Comparable racecars are priced higher, yet may provide lower performance.
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development also will be offering the Downing/Atlanta bodywork panels as well as the Mazda 20B rotary engine on a made-to-order basis. MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development will offer a lucrative contingency awards program for the RX-8 in Grand-Am GT for the 2006 season.
Prospective competitors may contact MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development at 800-435-2508, and SpeedSource, Inc at 954-578-7071.
On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. Mazda's motorsport involvement even extends to the nation's premier road-racing circuit, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and services support of Mazda vehicles in the United States . Headquartered in Irvine , Calif. , MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.