The Mazda Club Racer Shootout is the single largest prize in club racing. Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one talented club racer to the professional ranks. The $75,000 prize funds a drive in the 2015 SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.
The heart and soul of Mazda Motorsports is club racing, and supporting those racers who have invested in racing a Mazda. The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of skills required to succeed. These skills include speed, consistency, race craft, technical feedback, and off-track business, marketing and PR skills. History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if they are lacking in multiple areas.
John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, noted: “Our shootout has become a signature event for Mazda Motorsports. Without exception, every driver who won the shootout proved to be competitive in MX-5 Cup, with several developing solid professional careers. Each year we tweak the competition. This year marks the inclusion of iRacing simulation racers and a new set of business criteria for the judges.”
In past years, typically a dozen to 18 racers qualified for the first level of the competition. Each has won a recognized championship over a minimum number of competitors. The next step is for the racer to submit a business presentation and video, which will be reviewed and scored by a team of motorsports and marketing professionals. From those proposals, the finalists will be selected and advance to the winner-take-all shootout.
The final shootout will be at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on December 2nd where the racers will be tested on the track for their technical skills.
The 15 currently identified semi-finalists for 2014 are as follows:
Skip Barber Racing School (Summer Series) Sam Adams
NASA Eastern States Championships (PTE) Ben Anderson
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (Formula Mazda) Mike Anderson
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (T4) Danny Bender
NASA Eastern States Championships (Spec Miata) Alex Bolanos
Canadian Touring Car Championship – B-Spec Champion Normand Boyer
iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 3) Steven Diem
NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (West) Joey Jordan
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (Formula Atlantic) Conner Kearby
iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 2) Evan Maillard
NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (Rocky Mountain) Zachary Munro
Toyo Tires Spec Miata Championship (Canada) Aaron Pettipas
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (E Production) Matt Reynolds
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (Spec Miata) Erik Stearns
Skip Barber Racing School (Winter Series) Jim Wilby
There are a few remaining slots that will be identified between now and November 9th:
Club/Series Season concludes on:
NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (Texas) November 2nd
Worldspeed Formula Car Championship November 9th
NASA Western States Championships (Spec Miata) November 9th
NASA Western States Championships (TBD) November 9th
Additional information about the Mazda Club Racer shootout can be found at www.mazdamotorsports.com
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