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Mazda Motorsports: Sebring Recap
Six Races in Four Series Including a Record MX-5 Cup Field for Mazda
March 16, 2014 (SEBRING, Fla.) — When it was all said and done, and the numbers were added up, Mazda had more cars, in more races, than any other car company at Sebring – 68 cars in four classes for 28.6% of all race cars competing. The weekend highlights included a 1-2 finish in the Friday afternoon Continental Tire Challenge ST race, a record field in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, and the first finish for the new SKYACTIV Technology Prototype.
“Sebring often sets the tone for the season, and we had a great weekend at Sebring this year," noted John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations. “It was a fantastic Mazda 1-2 finish in the Continental Tire Challenge ST race, a record grid in the MX-5 Cup, good racing in the IMSA Lites, and we continued to make progress with our Mazda SKYACTIV Technology Prototype which scored an 11th place finish in only our second race with the car. And to top it off, we had more cars than any of the 15 brands competing this weekend.”
- TUDOR United SportsCar Championship: Mazda continued the development of the production-based SKYACTIV Technology Prototype in the second longest race in the U.S.; the Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
- The #70 car of Sylvain Tremblay, Tom Long, and Ben Devlin started 15th in class and had an trouble-free race to finish 11th. The efficiency of the SKYACTIV powertrain was such that the car made fewer pitstops than any other prototype in the race.
- The #07 car of Joel Miller, Tristan Nunez, and Tristan Vautier started 14th in class and ran trouble free for the first half of the race until a wheel nut backed off causing the car to lose the left rear wheel and tire. The resulting suspension damage caused the car to be retired from the race.
The next race for the TUDOR Championship will be on the streets of Long Beach on Saturday, April 12th.
- Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge: Mazda scored a 1-2 finish in the 2.5-hour race on Friday afternoon. Randy Pobst and Andrew Carbonell were in the winning MX-5 prepared by Freedom Autosport. They were followed across the line by the CJ Wilson Racing MX-5 of Stevan McAleer and Chad McCumbee who charged through the field from 33rd on the grid after their pole-setting time was disallowed. For Randy Pobst, it’s another footnote in Miata history. Randy was the first driver to win an SCCA National Runoff Championship in a Miata and now he wins during the 25th anniversary of the most popular roadster in history. The next race for the Continental teams is Saturday, May 3rd at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.
- Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires: 36 cars took the green flag during the second race at Sebring breaking the series record for the largest field. Race number 1 was won by series rookie Kenton Koch, while the second race was won by Sebring native John Dean II. Scoring wins in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class were Drake Kemper and Bryan Hixon. The next race for the MX-5 Cup teams is Saturday, May 3rd at Mazda Raceway.
- Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda: Mikhail Goikhberg completed a sweep of the first two rounds of the 2014 season to take a strong points lead. The next race for the IMSA Lites is Saturday, June 7th at Kansas Speedway.
About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 3,000 cars built. The pinnacle of Mazda Motorsports is the SKYACTIV Technology Prototype competing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Mazda supports young up and coming racers with the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy and the Mazda Road to Indy. Key to Mazda’s success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com, with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com. Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazda Motorsport), Twitter (@mazdaracing), and www.mazdamotorsports.com
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