Pro Formula Mazda MMP Nationals event summary

Patrick O'Neill is Crowned National Pro FM Champion at the NASA National Championships Stan Kohls locks the West Coast PFM Championship at Miller Motorsports Park Triple Header Weekend This past weekend was the 2010 NASA National...

Patrick O'Neill is Crowned National Pro FM Champion at the NASA National Championships

Stan Kohls locks the West Coast PFM Championship at Miller Motorsports Park Triple Header Weekend

This past weekend was the 2010 NASA National Championships which allowed competitors from all over the country to battle for the most coveted National Championship title in their respective class.

In the Pro FM class (PFM) Patrick O'Neill was crowned National Champion after a three race battle over three days. "The racers start off the weekend qualifying and racing in two heat races," stated Series Official Ben Hettema. "The points accumulated from the heat races determined their starting position for the championship event."

More than 350 cars from all across the United States in a large variety of classes, ranging from Mazda Miatas to fire-breathing Corvettes, stock cars, and blindingly fast formula cars converged on Miller Motorsports Park to determine who would be the best of the best. The championship was settled on the ultra-fast and challenging 3.048-mile Outer Course. "The Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear features the fastest cars in the NASA paddock," added Hettema. "Our fields are not nearly as big as the Spec Miata fields but they can be just as exciting with the speeds that the drivers are competing at."

The podium for race one in the Pro FM class was Patrick O'Neill 1st, Bodee Gay 2nd, and Stan Kohls 3rd. The podium for race two was Patrick O'Neill 1st, Stan Kohls 2nd, and Frank Cusack 3rd.

Race three was the championship race and the grid was set by the points from the two heat races. O'Neill lead the pack with Gay close behind. Kohls had his hands full with Dave House and Frank Cusack and battled tooth and nail throughout the race for position. In the end the podium was O'Neill 1st, Gay 2nd, and Kohls 3rd.

2010 was the first year that the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear was invited to participate. "The series is really growing," added Hettema. "This season we have four very strong regions with great events and growing participation. Our highest attended event saw 35 competitors entered which happened to be the largest open wheel grid in North America for 2010."

The three races this weekend were also scored as official Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear West Coast Region events. Stan Kohls locked the FCC Pro FM West Coast Regional Championship by having strong finishes in all three of the MMP races.

This was the first time that the Pro FM has had a club national championship. Mazdaspeed allocated close to $30,000 in prize money for this event, and has also invited the Pro FM National Champion to the MAZDASPEED MX5 Shootout where they will be evaluated in a wide variety of categories including lap speed consistency, technical feedback, and business and PR skills. The winner of the shootout will be awarded a free season in the 2011 SCCA Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup.

"In the racing world, speed is critical, but the intention of this program is to see who has the other business talents and communication skills necessary to succeed in motorsports long-term. Our three previous winners all proved themselves beyond a shadow of a doubt on the pro level. Our intention is to help support the next up-and-coming talent," noted Steve Sanders, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Competition Manager. "We are so grateful to MAZDASPEED and Mazda USA for seeing the value in the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear National Championships," added Ben Hettema.

Up next for the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear competitors is the Winter Series which opens at Infineon Raceway on November 6th. The Winter Series is 7 races over 3 weekends and is open to PFM, FM, and FS2.0 drivers.

-source: formula car challenge

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