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Aug 28, 2014
August 28, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif.) – With involvement in over a dozen series, late summer and fall are a busy time for races and award dinners for Mazda Motorsports. This past weekend saw the 2014 season finales for the three Mazda Road to Indy Championships in Sonoma, California, and the clinching of the Cooper Tires IMSA Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda title at VIRginia International Raceway.
“When Mazda established the MAZADSPEED Motorsports Development Ladder System in 2006, we were seeking to grow the sport by allowing talent to move to the next level. We’re happy to celebrate the success of Florian, Spencer, Gabby, and Mikhail this season with more championships coming this fall,” noted John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations.
The Mazda Road to Indy consists of three championships, each a stepping stone on the way to competing in the Verizon IndyCar Championship and the Indy 500. All three championships concluded with a doubleheader weekend at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California.
Mikhail Goikhberg clinched the 2014 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda title at VIRginia International Raceway with his seventh win of the year. Goikhberg will be officially crowned when the series wraps up at Road Atlanta as a part of the Petit Le Mans week.
After ten of 12 races completed, Kenton Koch leads the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship. Drake Kemper is the points leader in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge Class. The season concludes with a doubleheader at Road Atlanta as a part of the Petit Le Mans week.
This coming weekend will be the first of four large grassroots championships.
In the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, The Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype continues to develop in its first season of competition. The final two races of the season are September 20 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and the season finale Petit Le Mans on October 4 at Road Atlanta.
In the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Mazda remains locked in a three-way battle with Porsche and BMW for the 2014 Street Tuner Manufacturers championship. Mazda is represented by Freedom Autosport and CJ Wilson Racing. The final two races of the season are September 20 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and October 3 at Road Atlanta.
In the Pirelli World Challenge, Mazda has been represented by multiple racers in the Touring Car, and Touring Car A classes with Adam Poland and Ernie Francis Jr. both scoring wins with MX-5s. The World Challenge season will conclude on September 13 at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
Finally, in a new twist for Mazda Motorsports, simulator racing plays a part with the creation of the iRacing MX-5 Cup. The first champion was Evan Maillard, while the second champion will be determined on October 20.
About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED
Mazda is a leading player in all aspects of sports car racing with an emphasis on endurance road racing. 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 2,500 cars built. Via the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy, Mazda supports racers at all levels of the sport from club racing up to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship where it races with production SKYACTIV Technology.
Mazda remains the only Asian car company to score an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1991). Mazda has had a naming rights agreement at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since 2000.
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 Motorsports), Twitter (@mazdaracing), Instagram (MazdaMotorsport) and www.mazdamotorsports.com
For further information: Dean Case Communications Officer Mazda Motorsports Mazda North American Operations (310) 318-4582 Mazdaspeed@mazdausa.com