Sebring: B-K Motorsports preview

THREE PRO MAZDA GRADS SET TO BATTLE IN 12 HOURS OF SEBRING '05 ALMS Co-Rookies of the Year, Jamie Bach and Guy Cosmo, are joined by '05 STAR MAZDA CHAMP Raphael Matos in 3 Rotor Prototype Sebring, Florida) Wednesday, March 15, 2006 -- When the...

THREE PRO MAZDA GRADS SET TO BATTLE IN 12 HOURS OF SEBRING

'05 ALMS Co-Rookies of the Year, Jamie Bach and Guy Cosmo, are joined by '05 STAR MAZDA CHAMP Raphael Matos in 3 Rotor Prototype

Sebring, Florida) Wednesday, March 15, 2006 -- When the green flag drops on the 54th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring this coming Saturday, three young Mazda drivers will be living out a motorsports dream at the top rung of the sports car racing ladder. Jamie Bach, Guy Cosmo, and Raphael Matos...all recent graduates and champions of the STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP presented by Goodyear...will pilot the #8 Mazda/Mazdaspeed LMP2 Prototype (powered by the legendary Mazda rotary powerplant) in the top sports car race in North America. Not only will the trio be enjoying this special moment in their early racing careers, but they will be battling for twelve hours with the best sports car racing drivers and cars on the globe.

Bach and Cosmo return to the set of wheels (the Courage C65 powered by the 3 rotor Mazda engine) which brought them much success during the 2005 season. The duo started 9 races, scored 8 podiums finishes, 1 victory (Mazda's historic first win in the American Le Mans Series), and brought home the Co-Rookies of the Year honors. Heading into the '05 season finale at Mazda Raceway, the B-K Motorsports/Mazda teammates had a mathematical chance of bringing home the class championship...a strong showing in only their first season in the car or the series. Raphael Matos, 2005 STAR MAZDA CHAMPION, joins Bach and Cosmo for the historic 12 Hours of Sebring. Matos earned the seat in the Mazda prototype for this event as part of his championship winning effort and a successful test day in the car.

Despite an average age of 24, these three young "sharks", are no strangers to winning races. Bach, a perennial karting champion on the regional and national level, joined the Mazda racing family in 2001 and since then amassed over 50 national Formula Mazda class wins...highlighted by the 2002 SCCA National Championship in the popular open wheel class. Cosmo, also a former karting champion, has driven most anything with wheels on it....most notably scoring the 2002 STAR MAZDA Championship. Matos, also getting his racing start in karting while growing up in Brazil, came on the Mazda racing scene in 2004 in the STAR MAZDA series, ultimately scoring the '05 title scoring multiple wins to open the season. While Cosmo has one Sebring start and finish to his credit, Bach and Matos are Sebring rookies.

With twelve hours of racing ahead of them on the demanding 3.7 miles of Sebring International Raceway, the trio is ready to battle the new Porsche RS Spyders, the returning 2005 Series Champion Intersport Lola AER, and the 2005 Sebring Race winning Miracle Motorsports Courage AER. And based on Mazda's success, specifically when it comes to the rotary powerplant, in longer endurance races, the team is confident that they will be around at the end of the 12 hours.

B-K Motorsports, Team Manager/Technical Director, Marcus Haselgrove...also new to the Mazda family and formerly of the Le Mans winning Champion Audi effort, is pleased with the program as they enter the Sebring race week. "The team has worked extremely hard to bring an organized and reliable package here to Sebring. We all know it is a grueling race and we plan to be around as the checkered flag falls," commented Haselgrove.

In pre-season testing at Sebring and at early test days of race week, the team...drivers...and car are showing great promise sitting right around the top ten overall (in the 36 car field) in the practice times.

-bkm

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Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Cosmo