The Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta wrapped up the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship on Saturday night. While the headliner was the 10-Hour TUDOR race, the weekend also featured the season finale for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, and season ending double-headers for both the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires and the Cooper Tires IMSA Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda. These four series are among a wide variety of roadracing series featuring Mazda cars and teams. The Mazda Road to Indy seasons wrapped up in late August, while there are still a few more weekends of major club racing events between now and year end.
John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda North American Operations noted: “In a traditional ‘racing sense’ the highlight of the season was the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park race where we scored our best finish of the season. But the true highlight of the season is the ‘miracle’ that was achieved in this Mazda program…and the progress that was made each step of the way. What we did by putting a production diesel engine in an endurance racing prototype has never been done before and we believe it is the best way to showcase SKYACTIV Technology and Mazda’s overall brand strength. In the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge we enjoyed three great wins. Both our MX-5 Cup and the IMSA Prototype Lites saw large grids and amazing racing. Congratulations to our latest Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy champions.”
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – Using the smallest engine, one that is 51 percent stock, meant that the Mazda SKYACTIV team had a huge engineering task in front of them. The team worked tirelessly all year long and their efforts were applauded by competitors and fans alike. The SpeedSource teams finished the season ranked ninth and eleventh in points.
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – Thanks to three race wins and a dozen podium finishes from Freedom Autosport and CJ Wilson Racing, Mazda finished third in the ST Manufacturers Championship, just one point behind second place. Andrew Carbonell and Randy Pobst scored two of the wins while Tom Long teamed up with U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer for their memorable Memorial Day weekend win.
Mazda would like to congratulate three successful alums who claimed championships this weekend. 2008 MX-5 Cup Champion Eric Foss won the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST Drivers Championship, 2010 Mazda/Skip Barber Karting Shootout winner Trent Hindman won the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS Drivers Championship, and 2007 Star Mazda Champion Dane Cameron won the TUDOR GT Daytona Drivers Championship.
Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires – Sebastian Landy was the star of the weekend scoring his first two race wins. Kenton Koch finished fourth and second, which added to his six previous wins, earning him the championship. Drake Kemper won the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class championship. Lucas Catania was the Rookie-of-the-Year, while his father, Joseph Catania, was awarded the Masters Championship. ALARA Racing was awarded Team-of-the-Year, while Ken Murillo won the Spirit of Mazda award.
Cooper Tires IMSA Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda – Mikhail Goikhberg ended the season the same way he started it – with a win. Goikhberg won nine of the 14 races to easily take the championship. Matt McMurry won the other Lites race at Road Atlanta.
While the Petit weekend closes out the professional road racing season, the action is not completely done for the year. October 10-12 will see the 51st Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This is the largest club road racing event in the country and more than 500 cars have entered. Among the entries are 132 Mazda and Mazda-powered racers.
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