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Oct 5, 2005
IRVINE, Calif., - Soul of a sports car? Without question. Can we back it up? Absolutely. With more cars taking to the pavement on more road-racing tracks in North America than any other automotive manufacturer, Mazda is without question the most raced brand of cars today.
At the grassroots level, Mazda is participating in its 28th year of Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events, from the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series to the Pro Solo Championships. Professional race series, including the Pro Formula Mazda and Grand Am Cup are where the Mazda rubber meets the track with the RX-8, MX-5 Miata and MAZDA 6 participating.
"With over 30 years of racing expertise under our belts, Mazda continues to dominate the field of motorsports like no other manufacturer," said Steve Sanders, manager, MAZDASPEED Motorsport Development.
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES
Once more in 2005, the Mazda name is associated with Le Mans-style sprint and endurance racing. In the 2005 season, B-K Motorsports has already scored wins in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans series with its R20B RENESIS rotary-powered Courage chassis. B-K's two drivers are the best example of Mazda's motorsport training ground: they both graduated from the Formula Mazda series, one winning the SCCA National Amateur Championship, the other the National Professional Championship.
SPEED WORLD CHALLENGE
The SCCA SPEED World Challenge series is a production-based racing series supporting most American Le Mans Series (ALMS) races. The 2005 SCCA SPEED World Challenge series showcased the most competitive field of vehicles in its 14-year history, and Mazda immediately proved itself a formidable contender in the Grand Touring class with a third place finish at the season-opening race at Sebring, Fla. To date, MAZDA 6 racecars have had eleven podium finishes, with one race to go in the series.
Canoga Park, Calif.-based Tri-Point Engineering remain at the heart of Mazda's SCCA SPEED World Challenge participation. As one of the industry-leaders in the Mazda tuning and aftermarket industry, Tri-Point Engineering and their drivers, Jeff Altenburg, Randy Pobst, and Dino Crescentini have succeeded in delivering top-placements. Tindol Motorsports, with driver Charles Espenlaub, debuted their MAZDA 6 midway through the season and delivered immediate results with a strong seventh place finish at Mid-Ohio, and finally getting to the top step of the podium at Mosport Park in Canada. The fifth MAZDA 6 , entered by Circuit City-sponsored Protomotive, also has helped fly the MAZDASPEED flag, and hopes are high amongst all competitors that the Manufacturers Championship will be Mazda's at the end of the season.
Beyond the track, Mazda also offers the richest contingency program of all manufacturers. In 2005, monetary rewards totaling $44,250 per event were offered to Mazda drivers finishing in the top-20 spots, with a $10,000 purse going to the winning driver.
PRO FORMULA MAZDA
With a championship prize award of $500,000 on the line, the 2005 season has featured large 35-40 car fields with talented young drivers like Raphael Matos, Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti, Pablo Donoso and James Hinchcliffe, to name just a few.
Approved in November 2004 by the SCCA for competition in the Club Racing Formula Atlantic category, the 2005 Pro Formula Mazda Series is seeing its largest participation numbers to date.
Mazda's entry in the Grand American Road Racing Association's Grand Am Street Touring Class is handled by SpeedSource Race Engineering. It's five-car fleet of RX-8's has seen victory at four races so far this season. And with last year's Manufacturer's Championship to live up to, it's looking encouraging that the team will not only repeat with the 2005 Manufacturer's Championship, but add the Driver's Championship as well.
MAZDASPEED Miata Cup
Now in its third year, and growing in both popularity and participation, the MAZDASPEED Miata Cup is Mazda's proprietary race series where identically prepared first- and second-generation Miatas compete in full-throttle, wheel-to-wheel competition. The series is designed so that similar rules and regulations ensure a level and wide playing field.
The 2005 series proved to be the most exciting to date, with Justin Hall capturing the Pacific Tour Championship and Tom Long winning the Atlantic Tour Championship. A final North American Championship event to crown the MAZDASPEED Miata Cup champion will close out the season on October 7 th at Road Atlanta. This final race will see the Pacific and Atlantic champions, as well as drivers looking to prove themselves, competing for the top podium spot during the Petit Le Mans weekend.
Mazda Motorsports has been a fixture in North America since 1972, when Bob Borden raced the Mazda RX-2 in the North American Ice Racing Championship. For over 30 years, Mazda vehicles are the most seen and sought after performance cars, from club racing and autocrossing, to dragstrips and parking lots. In 2005, Mazda continues its deep involvement in the racing events and series that elevate the field of motorsports and keep the racing masterminds at Mazda at the top of their game.
Mazda North America Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and services support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. The company's cars are involved in more road races and autocrosses than those of any other brand. Mazda is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and it sells its vehicles, parts and service through more than 700 dealerships nationwide.
Mazda Motorsports Milestones
SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series - MAZDA 6
GRAND-AM CUP (Sports Touring Class) - 2005 RX-8
American Le Mans Series (P-2 Class) - Courage C-65 w/ R20B 3 rotor engine
SCCA National Championship Runoffs presented by Kohler - 2005 National Championship, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
SCCA Solo II - 2005 National Championships, Topeka, Kansas
SCCA Pro Solo - 2005 Championships
2005 Pro Formula Mazda
2005 MAZDASPEED Miata Cup
2005 NHRA XPlod Sport Compact Racing Series
SCCA SPEED 2004 World Challenge Touring Car Series
SCCA National Championship Valvoline Runnoffs - 2004 National Championship, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
SCCA Solo II - 2004 National Championships, Topeka, Kansas
SCCA Pro Solo - 2004 Championships
2004 Star Mazda Series
Grand Am Cup
2004 MAZDASPEED Miata Cup
Mazda Motorsports Milestones, dating back to 1972, as well as more information on Mazda North America's Motorsports programs are available at www.mazdausamedia.com, www.mazdamotorsports.com, and www.mazdaspeedusa.com