STAR MAZDA CHAMPION TO TEST B-K MOTORSPORTS' MAZDA-POWERED COURAGE FOR POSSIBLE SEBRING SEAT
Braselton, Ga. - B-K Motorsports' preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is about to begin. Newly crowned Star Mazda Championship winner Raphael Matos has a test session scheduled with the team's Mazda-powered No. 8 Courage C65, his reward for winning the open-wheel season title.
The test will take place Wednesday at California's Buttonwillow Raceway between Los Angeles and San Jose. Should Matos' test go well, he would be considered for a spot at Sebring as B-K's third driver with Jamie Bach and Guy Cosmo, the reigning ALMS Rookies of the Year and themselves former Star Mazda competitors.
At the ALMS' May stop in Mid-Ohio, Mazda North America, B-K Motorsports and Star Mazda announced the deal that would put the Star Mazda season champion in the Mazda-powered Courage for a test session. Matos clearly set himself apart from the rest of the Star Mazda Championship field with four victories and four poles on the season.
"When we announced this P2 testing opportunity for a top Star Mazda Championship driver back at Mid-Ohio, it meant a great deal for us as it is a direct tie-in with Formula Mazda and the ALMS for a special growth ladder within Mazda's motorsports effort," said John Doonan, manager of motorsports team development, Mazda North American Operations. "With Jamie and Guy, both former Formula Mazda Champions, receiving the 2005 ALMS Rookie of the Year awards, it just shows the quality of talent coming out of Star Mazda.
"Raphael had a terrific season in Star Mazda and we are pleased to give him the chance to test the car," Doonan added. "What a special opportunity for these young drivers...it goes right along with our philosophy of the Mazda racing traditions of the past and the promising future we have ahead of us."
B-K Motorsports' entry at Sebring will bring the team's ALMS venture back full circle. It was there in March that the team announced it was partnering with Mazda for the Japanese manufacturer's return to top-level sports car racing, having won the overall title at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991.
Bach and Cosmo posted their first LMP2 class victory at Mid-Ohio and also finished on the class podium eight times in 2005. They finished third in the ALMS LMP2 drivers championship, as did B-K in the team standings.