THE PLOT THICKENS: MAZDA RACERS CHASING MULTIPLE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Company press release.

August 1, 2013 (IRVINE, Calif.) When you are competing in over 100 events in multiple series, there is no clear midway point to the year. The best you can do is take a deep breath, look around, and get back to it. Without further ado, here is how the Zoom-Zoom racers have fared thus far into the 2013 racing season.

ROLEX GRAND-AM SPORTS CARS (GX)

Mazda made history this year with the first ever diesel-powered car to race in the Grand-Am series. Competing in the new GX class, the all-new production-based SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Mazda6 has won five of the first eight races, and Mazda now leads the Manufacturers Championship over Porsche. The team has scored wins at Road Atlanta, Detroit, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, and Indianapolis. The Indianapolis race was the final of the three-race North American Endurance Championship (NAEC), Presented by VISITFLORIDA, for the three longest races. The SpeedSource Mazda team won the NEAC team prize. Mazda racer Joel Miller also leads the Rookie-of-the-Year standings.

Next race: Road America – August 10th

Finale: Lime Rock Park – September 28th

CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE (ST)

If ever there was racing proof of the phrase, 'strength in numbers,' this would be the class. The Mazda effort is led by three great teams: Freedom Autosport, i-Moto, and CJ Wilson Racing. Each team has been the top-finishing Mazda in at least one race, with seven Mazda cars in the top 15 among team points. The CJ Wilson Racing team has scored two race wins, and Freedom Autosport scored another, giving Mazda three wins in the first seven races. CJ Wilson Racing driver Stevan McAleer leads the Rookie-of-the-Year chase. Mazda is currently second in the manufacturers points chase, just two points behind BMW.

Next race: Road America – August 10th


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    Finale: Lime Rock Park – September 27th

    AMERICAN LEMANS SERIES (LMP1)

    After a bumpy start, the 2011 Series Champions, Dyson Racing, and their Lola-Mazda MZR-R effort, picked up steam in Lime Rock and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with a pair of second place finishes to advance into third in the championship.

    Next race: Road America – August 11th

    Finale: Road Atlanta – October 19th

    COOPER TIRES USF2000 CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA

    The USF2000 championship has seen an amazingly deep talent pool with fields of 30 cars at some events. Series sophomore Scott Hargrove leads the championship after seven races, with three wins. Also scoring race wins this year are Neil Alberico and Danilo Estrella.

    Next race: Mid-Ohio – August 3rd

    Finale: Houston – October 6th

    PRO MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES

    The early season date was a 'MattyBrabs' show. Matthew Brabham, the 2012 USF2000 Champion, won seven races in a row, until Spencer Pigot and Shelby Blackstock ended the streak at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

    Next race: Mid-Ohio – August 3rd

    Finale: Houston – October 6th

    PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE (TOURING CARS)

    Despite missing the opening triple-header race weekend, 2012 Touring Car Champion Michael Cooper returned with his Atlanta Motorsports Group MAZDASPEED3 to score two wins in the next five races to jump to fifth in the championship.

    Next race: Mid-Ohio – August 3rd

    Finale: Houston – October 6th

    PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE (TOURING CAR B-SPEC)

    After eight races, Mazda2 racer Ernie Francis Jr. leads 26 drivers for the 2013 'TCB' title. Ernie has won four of the first eight races. Among those chasing young Ernie is his dad, also racing a Mazda2.

    Next race: Mid-Ohio – August 3rd

    Finale: Houston – October 6th

    SCCA PRO RACING PLAYBOY MAZDA MX-5 CUP

    Arguably the best value in all of racing, Mazda MX-5 Cup has seen the usual selection of no-holds-barred racing with multiple races decided on the last lap. After eight races, Christian Szymczak holds a slim points lead over Elliott Skeer. Each has scored four wins, with four races remaining.

    Next race: Coronado Speedfest, San Diego, September 22nd

    Finale: Road Atlanta – October 18th

    SKIP BARBER MAZDASPEED CUP

    Run in conjunction with the MX-5 Cup, the Skip Barber Racing School fields identically prepared MX-5s for a class championship. Kenton Koch has been almost unbeatable in the first half of the season, scoring seven wins from the first eight races. Drake Kemper broke the streak at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and will no doubt keep on challenging until the final checker.

    Next race: Coronado Speedfest, San Diego, September 22nd

    Finale: Road Atlanta – October 18th

    COOPER TIRES PROTOTYPE LITES POWERED BY MAZDA

    The identical, Mazda MZR-powered prototypes have been a feeder series for the ALMS for many years. The 2012 series champion was Tristan Nunez, who was then snapped up by the SpeedSource team to drive the VISITFLORIDA Mazda6 in the Grand-Am series. Leading the 2013 points chase after eight of 14 races is Sean Rayhall.

    Next race: Road America – August 11th

    Finale: Road Atlanta – October 18th

    SKIP BARBER RACING SCHOOL

    The Skip Barber Racing School runs both winter and summer series for both Formula car and Mazda MX-5s. The 2013 Winter Champions were Jake Eidson (Formula Car) and Bryan Hixon (MX-5). Leading the Summer Series are Yago Cesario (Formula Car) and Felix Borodaty (MX-5).

    NASA SPEC MIATA TEEN CHALLENGE

    When aspiring young racers look at their options, the NASA Teen Challenge falls into the 'must consider' category. The age range is from 14-21 and is conducted within the regular Spec Miata races within three NASA Divisions. Adam Poland has clinched the 2013 title for the Texas Division. The Rocky Mountain Division is being led by Zac Munro and Natalie Fenaroli, while the West Coast Division is a four-way battle led by Charlie Hayes. The Teen Challenge Champions will be eligible for the annual Mazda Club Racer Shootout. The shootout winner earns a drive in the following years SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup.

    MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA (MRLS)

    Two of the tracks five major weekends are now in the scrap book with a successful ALMS weekend in May and MotoGP in July. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will take place on August 16-18, followed by the penultimate rounds for Grand-Am and Continental Tire series on September 7-8, and the MRLS racing year will conclude with World Superbikes on September 27-29. It was also announced that Mazda Raceway will host the 2014 SCCA Runoffs. This will be the first time the Runoffs have been on the West Coast since 1968.

    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 2,500 cars built. In 2006 Mazda Motorsports established the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks. In 2010 this was expanded to include 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 Motorsports).

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