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MAZDA MX-5 MIATA – TRULY A RACECAR IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

Mar 23, 2005

Since its global debut at the Chicago Auto Show in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been recognized as a best seller by the Guiness Book of World Records and has become a favorite of the world's news media. But Mazda's success in creating an exceptional driving platform also is evident in the MX-5's widespread use - and success - in motorsports. Only one year after its introduction, the MX-5 Miata already could be found campaigning in the SCCA Escort World Challenge under the watchful eye of motorsports legend Rod Millen. Throughout the following 16 years, the MX-5 Miata has evolved into one of the most popular racing platforms in grassroots motorsports history.

When the MX-5 first bowed in 1989, it reinvigorated the roadster segment in North America, returning the car-buying public to an earlier time when cars were driven as much for pleasure as they were for transport. MX-5 always has stood for fun, taking the twisty road home, putting the top down and singing out loud to the radio. With the introduction of the third generation Mazda MX-5 at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show, everyday road warriors and motorsports enthusiasts alike are sure to embrace the MX-5 for many more years to come.

The below timeline illustrates the numerous and varied successes of Mazda's MX-5 Miata in North American motorsports competition:

2004

SCCA National Championship Runoffs

  • Pratt Cole (1st Place, EP)
  • Mason Workman (3rd Place, FP)

    SCCA Solo II - 2004 National Championships

  • Steve Telehowski (1st Place, CS)
  • Chris Harvey (2nd Place, CS)
  • Kyung Wootton (1st Place, CSL)
  • Chris Peterson (2nd Place, CSL)
  • Angie Rogers (3rd Place, CSL)
  • George Doganis (2nd Place, CSP)
  • Kenji Sakai (3rd Place, CSP)
  • Jennifer Lee (1st Place, CSPL)
  • Tami Daniels (2nd Place, CSPL)
  • Chris Lindberg (1st Place, DP)
  • Tine Reeves (1st Place, DPL)
  • Ginna Blair (2nd Place, DPL)
  • Wendell Karr-Ake (1st Place, EM)
  • Janice Pick (3rd Place, EML)

    SCCA Pro Solo - 2004 Championships

  • Steve Telehowski (1st Place, CS)
  • Donald Barnes (2nd Place, CS)
  • Chris Harvey (3nd Place, CS)
  • George Doganis (1st Place, CSP)
  • Kyung Wootton (2nd Place, L1)
  • Paula Whitney (2nd Place, L2)

    2004 MAZDASPEED Miata Cup

  • Andrew Fernandez and Payton Wilson captured the "MAZDASPEED Miata Cup presented by Hankook Tires" championships, winning the Pacific and Atlantic Tour Championships (respectively) at Portland International Raceway
  • 2003

    SCCA National Championship Runoffs

  • Harry Manning (1st Place, SSB)
  • Ken Simonson (2nd Place, SSB)
  • Rick Gilhart (3rd Place, SSB)
  • Jon Brakke (1st Place, EP)
  • Ben Beasley (3rd Place, CSR)

    SCCA Solo II - 2003 National Championships

  • Kyung Wootton (1st Place, CSL)
  • Angie Rogers (2nd Place, CSL)
  • Tristan Kotzian-Coulter (3rd Place, CSL)
  • Paula Whitney (1st Place, DPL)
  • Tina Reeves (2nd Place, DPL)
  • Chris Lindberg (1st Place, DP)
  • George Doganis (3rd Place, CSP)
  • Steve Telehowski (1st Place, CS)
  • Joe Tharpe (2nd Place, CS)
  • Darrin Disimo (3rd Place, CS)
  • Marchell Fletcher (3rd Place, DSPL)
  • Sierra Pedroza (2nd Place, SM2L)

    SCCA Pro Solo - 2003 Championships

  • Steve Telehowski (1st Place, CS)
  • Tom Kubo (3rd Place, CSP)
  • Kyung Wooten (1st Place, L1)

    2003 MAZDASPEED Miata Cup

  • Niki Coello was the class of the field at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan., winning the championship of the first full season "MAZDASPEED Miata Cup presented by Hankook Tires," beating both the Atlantic Tour and Pacific Tour Champions in the process.
  • 2003 Grand Am Cup

  • Charles Espenlaub and Scooter Gable drive a Miata to score a Grand Am Cup win at Fontana Speedway.
  • 2002

    SCCA National Runoffs - 2002 National Championship

  • David Daughtery (1st Place, SSB)
  • David Roush (2nd Place, SSB)

    SCCA Solo II - 2002 National Championships

  • Matthew Braun (CS)
  • Kyung Wootton (CSL)
  • George Doganis (CSP)
  • Chris Lindberg (DP)
  • Paula Whitney (DSL)

    SCCA Pro Solo- 2002 Championships

  • Matthew Braun (1st Place, CS)

    Pro Spec Miata Series - 2002

  • Based on the rampant popularity of the Spec Miata class, the SCCA introduced an additional professional racing alternative, the Pro Spec Miata series, won by Randy Saucier.

    2002 MAZDASPEED Cup

  • The inaugural MAZDASPEED Cup race for Spec Miatas was a resounding success for Mazda North American Operations and Mazda Motorsports. Recording 70 participants at the start of the race, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca witnessed the largest grouping of racecars in the history of the track.
  • 1st Place - Ken Dobson
  • 2nd Place - Barry Hartzl
  • 3rd Place - Marc Kirberg
  • 2001

    SCCA National Club Racing - 2001 National Class Championships

  • Pratt Cole (1st Place, EP)
  • Randy Saucier (1st Place, SSB)

    SCCA National Tour (Solo II / Autocross) - 2001 Class Championships

  • Peter Raymond (BS)
  • Kyung An (BSL)
  • Michelle Seelig (CSL)
  • Stan Whitney (DP)
  • Paula Whitney (DPL)

    SCCA Pro Solo National Series - 2001 Champions

  • David Palmquist (CSP)

    Additional Events

    This year also witnessed the inaugural season of the SCCA Spec Miata class. Through 2005, the Spec Miata class continues to be the single largest growing racing circuit in the nation with more than 1,000 cars currently built. As the newer 2nd generation cars have recently been included in the class, car counts will likely rise significantly.

  • 2000

    SCCA National Championships

  • Randy Saucier (SSB)

    SCCA Solo II National Championships

  • Peter Raymond (BS)
  • Kyung An (BSL)
  • David Palmquist (CSL)
  • 1999

    SCCA National Championships

  • David Daughtery (SSB)

    SCCA Solo II National Championships

  • Gary Thomason (BS)
  • Katie Elder (BSL)

    Motorola Cup Racing

  • Drivers John Philips and Matt Whitaker take first place at Watkins Glen, Road Atlanta and Daytona Beach.

    Additional Events

  • The introduction of the 10th Anniversary Edition Miata marks the first available six-speed manual transmission for the MX-5 platform.
  • 1998

    SCCA National Championships

  • David Daughtery (SSB)
  • Bob Boig (EP)
  • Ben Beasley (CSR) 

    SCCA Solo II National Championships

  • George Doganis (BS)
  • Katie Elder (BSL)
  • Kevin McCormick (BS)

    Professional SportsCar Speedvision Cup

  • 2nd in Compact Manufacturer's Championship

    Additional Events

  • Joe Fox wins IMSA's Rising Star award driving a Mazda Miata.
  • 1997

    SCCA National Championships

  • Mike Galati (SSB)

    SCCA Solo II National Championships

  • Joe Goeke (BS)

    Professional SportsCar Endurance Series

  • 2nd in Compact Manufacturer's Championship
  • Jim Jordan and Mike Courtney take first professional win for a Mazda Miata in the series

    Additional Events

  • Charles Espenlaub wins IMSA's Rising Star award driving a Mazda Miata
  • 1995

    SCCA National Championships

  • Mike Galati (SSB)
  • 1994

    SCCA National Championships

  • Mike Galati (SSC)
  • Terry McCarthy (EP)

    Additional Events

  • Responding to its customers' demands for more power, Mazda upgrades the MX-5 Miata from a 1.6-liter to a 1.8-liter powerplant.
  • This year saw the introduction of the "R" Package Miata, targeted at hard-core enthusiasts, with the following performance enhancements:

     

  • Torsen limited-slip differential
  • Alloy wheels
  • Bilstein shocks
  • Recalibrated springs and sway bars
  • Available dealer-installed hood stripes
  • 1993

    SCCA National Championships

  • Mike Galati (SSC)
  • 1992

    SCCA National Championships

  • Randy Pobst (SSC)
  • 1990

    SCCA Escort World Challenge

  • Only one year after its introduction, the Mazda MX-5 Miata already was campaigning in the SSCA Escort World Challenge. Team drivers Scott Gaylord and Kent Stacy were among the first drivers to ever experience the Mazda MX-5 Miata's prowess on the racetrack.

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