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ALTON, Va. - Mazda and its MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development team will look to clinch the manufacturers' title as the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series comes to Virginia International Raceway this weekend. The series' overall manufacturers' points title is within reach for Mazda thanks, in part, to recent results from the series' previous race at Road Atlanta.

Four Mazda Protegés raced to impressive finishes at the Road Atlanta Motorsports Center earlier this month, setting up a battle for the manufacturer's title in Sunday's final race of the season. Road Atlanta's Speed World Challenge event saw Mazda Protegés cross the finish line in third, fourth, fifth and sixth place, narrowing the overall gap separating Mazda and points-leader BMW. Heading into Sunday's finale in Virginia, Mazda is within five points of BMW in first place.

"This season has been filled with both individual as well as team racing success for MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development," said Steve Sanders, manager of MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development. "We definitely will be gunning for the manufacturer's title in Virginia, but win or lose, 2002 has been nothing short of phenomenal for Mazda racing, and I tip my cap to all of those involved in this fantastic program."

In July, Paul Bonaccorsi gave Mazda its first-ever SCCA win at Road America where Mazda Protegés took home two top-five, three top-10 and five top-20 finishes. Mazda's hot streak continued through the summer with back-to-back victories at Trois-Rivieres and Mosport in August.

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.

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