MAZDA MX-5 Podium Sweep Highlights Weekend
The only thing better than racing at Mazda Raceway, is winning at Mazda Raceway. Thanks to outstanding performances by Freedom Autosport and CJ Wilson Racing, it was a Mazda MX-5 Miata 1-2-3 podium sweep in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Street Tuner race this weekend. The win moves Mazda into the lead in the manufacturers’ championship points chase.
For Freedom Autosport, it was their fourth consecutive class-win at Mazda Raceway – perfect timing as the victory fell on Military Appreciation Day at Mazda Raceway, and the Freedom Autosport team races in support of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Randy Pobst and Andrew Carbonell teamed up for the win in the #26 Mazda MX-5. Battling them throughout the race were the two CJ Wilson Racing MX-5s.
The weekend headliner was the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship where the Mazda SKYACTIV-D Prototype made its strongest run of the season. The #70, driven by Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long, finished a solid seventh. The #07, driven by Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez had a great run until being punted off the track, while running with the leaders in fourth place. The contact caused extensive damage to the car and there was insufficient time remaining in the race to complete a repair.
John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports, said, “What a great weekend at our home track. We made very significant performance gains in the on-track development of our SKYACTIV Prototypes, running at the pace of the leaders. And to cap off the incredible weekend, we had a podium-sweep in Continental Tire Challenge, and the fans got to see two great MX-5 Cup races.”
Other weekend highlights for the Mazda Motorsports team in Monterey included:
U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Liam Dwyer made his professional race debut with the Freedom Autosport team. Dwyer qualified the Mazda MX-5 and completed 27 laps before an accident sidelined the car.
The weekend included rounds three and four of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires. John Dean II and Kenton Koch picked up where they left off in Sebring, sharing the wins. Dean took the win on Friday afternoon in his Sick Sideways MX-5, while Koch took his GumbyFest.net MX-5 to the Saturday morning checkered flag. Ben Albano and Lucas Bize took the honors in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class.
Mazda and BFGoodrich Tires celebrated the 30th anniversary of their 1984 Le Mans C-2 win with a 1984-themed car MX-5 Miata for legendary racer John Morton to drive in the MX-5 Cup race.
The Mazda Motorsports team made multiple pre-race appearances to Northern California schools to discuss the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) with students. Called R.A.C.E. (Racing Accelerates Creative Education), Mazda’s nationally lauded educational outreach program is being presented in cities around the country where the TUDOR United SportsCar races are held.
Mazda racers once again visited the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for Monterey County to promote shelter animal adoptions.
Prior to the weekend, the 2014 Project Yellow Light Scholarship Winners were announced. The competition recognizes outstanding high school and college student-produced public service videos highlighting the dangers of distracted driving. Mazda racers Ben Albano, Tristan Nunez and CJ Wilson were among the judges.