Saini's Dreams Becoming a Reality
MONTEREY, Calif. (October 18, 2007) -- A new face will be exploring the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge paddock at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, will get his first glimpse at his next step on the Mazda ladder program.
In his second year of competition with MX-5 Cup, Saini dominated the 2007 season, winning five of eight races and clinching the Championship a round early. His prize was more than just a trophy, it was a dream come true. As part of the Mazda ladder program, Saini earned a spot with a Mazda team in the 2008 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship.
"Just running in the MX-5 Cup was a dream come true," Saini said. "So, winning the Championship and being given such an incredible opportunity by Mazda is just amazing. The ladder program that Mazda has established is the most important driver development program that's ever been implemented, and I'm proud to be associated with such a company. I look forward to fighting for Rookie of the Year while helping Mazda repeat the Manufacturers' Championship in SCCA SPEED Touring Car."
After years of involvement with SCCA, Saini now finds himself at the top of the SCCA ladder as well. The Cleveland native credits SCCA with developing his racing skills and opening the doors to a career as a professional race car driver.
"Racing has always been a dream for me and running SCCA Solo events was all that I could afford to do as a young racer. In addition to teaching car control, it taught me how to perform under pressure and I was able to win two Solo National championships (B-Stock in 2003, and A-Stock in 2004).
"I always knew I wanted to road race, but that success prompted me to try my hand at it. I also knew that I wanted to drive a Mazda because of the unbelievable support they have for motorsports. I went straight into Pro racing with the Miata Cup, and was in the top five by my fourth race. In 2003, I set a five-year goal to be in SCCA SPEED World Challenge, and without the SCCA, Mazda and the support of my sponsors along the way I never could have achieved this goal."
As the first MX-5 Cup ladder graduate, Saini has been invited by Mazda to tour the paddock at the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. There, he'll get a chance to talk with both the Tri-Point and Tindol teams and decide which crew he'll want supporting him in his rookie World Challenge season.
"It's so amazing to be here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca knowing I'll be racing in World Challenge next year. I'm looking forward to meeting with the Mazda teams and making plans for the 2008 season."
There couldn't be a better time to hang out in the Mazda pits, as the automaker just captured its first World Challenge Manufacturers' Championship Presented by RACER Magazine, and Tri-Point drivers Jeff Altenburg and Randy Pobst run one-two in the Drivers' Championship.
Round Ten of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship kicks off with two rounds of practice on Friday. Qualifying is set for Saturday at 9:25 a.m. (PDT) and the race will go green on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. (PDT). You can follow the action with living timing and lap notes at www.world-challenge.com. The race will air on SPEED, Sunday, October 28th at 3:00 p.m. (EDT) on SPEED.
You can watch Saini in all eight rounds of the 2007 SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup when they air this winter on SPEED. Keep checking www.mx-5cup.com for air dates and times.
-credit: scca pro racing