A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION, A LITTLE MORE ACTION: SPORTSBOOK.COM BRINGS MAZDA BACK TO THE ALMS Sebring, Fla. - The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) hit the jackpot with a full house of ALMS sponsorship announcements made at Sebring International...
A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION, A LITTLE MORE ACTION: SPORTSBOOK.COM BRINGS MAZDA BACK TO THE ALMS
Sebring, Fla. - The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) hit the jackpot with a full house of ALMS sponsorship announcements made at Sebring International Raceway prior to the historic Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 19.
Sportsbook.com has decided to become a player on the track. The online giant will join the return of Mazda to North American Road Racing as the primary sponsor of the No. 8 Mazda factory powered Courage C65 for B-K Motorsports. Pat Kestner and Bob Bach of B-K will display a scale model of the race car at Chateau Elan at Sebring International Raceway.
Sportsbook.com will also be the "official online gaming partner" of the ALMS for one year, which will include sponsorship of the "Sportsbook.com Winners Circle" at all ALMS events. Sportbook.com will also support a "Lucky Move of the Race" contingency award of $1,000 presented to the one driver who got lucky on the track at the previous race during prerace ceremonies. The last "Lucky Move of the Race" award at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be given to the recipient driver at the ALMS year-end banquet. In addition, lucky fans will have the chance to win Mazda RX-8s and other prizes over the course of the season via online entries.
The final aspect of the sponsorship trifecta involves Sportsbook.com becoming the title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Atlanta April 17.
B-K MOTORSPORTS ANNOUNCES THE SPORTSBOOK.COM, MAZDA ROTARY POWERED, P2 COURAGE 2002 FORMULA MAZDA
Wisconsin based B-K Motorsports announced at Sebring International Raceway that it would carry the Mazda banner and rotary power back into endurance racing in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series for a full season in 2005. The Mazda powered Courage will be piloted by 2002 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Formula Mazda National champion, Jamie Bach, and 2002 Star Mazda Championship winner Guy Cosmo. The Formula Mazda graduates duo has worked together previously as Cosmo served as driver-coach for Bach during the 2003 campaign.
The twenty-one year-old Bach, a junior Engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be entering his fifth season of racing cars in 2005 having spent most of his time behind the wheel of Formula Mazdas. Bach, the 2002 SCCA Formula Mazda national champion, has amassed nearly 50 victories and over 30 pole positions in four seasons and currently holds six track records. Bach spent 2004 behind the wheel of the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Pro Formula Mazda, finishing eighth in the Star Mazda Series North American Championship presented by Goodyear. In 2004, he also scored his third SCCA Central Division Championship in four years, his third Central Division Star Mazda Series crown, and scored a runaway victory in the prestigious Chicago Region June Sprints at his home circuit -- Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin's Road America. Bach got his start in karting at the tender age of nine, scoring victories and championships at all levels.
Cosmo has basically driven anything with wheels on it. Also a product of karting, he has driven Formula Continentals, Formula Fords and Formula Mazdas to divisional championships in the SCCA. In 2002, Cosmo won the crown in the Star Mazda Series North American Championship with dominant victories at Mid-Ohio and Road America. With that championship, Cosmo was given the opportunity to drive the Panoz LMP1 car and ultimately had the opportunity to start his first Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the LMP1 Riley and Scott of American Spirit Racing in 2004.
The program is made possible largely because of a partnership with Sportsbook.com, a division of Sportingbet, a UK based company. Sportsbook.com and Sportingbet easily form the world's largest Internet gaming company and one of the Internet's most profitable companies.
In 1991, Mazda became the first and is still the only Japanese car manufacturer to win the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. Mazda did so with the legendary rotary power plant, a key icon that has contributed to the unique heritage of the company that instills the "Soul of a Sports Car" in all of its products. With the rotary engine back in the marketplace as of 2003 in Mazda's RX-8 four door, four-seat sports car, it is only fitting that a group of young, dedicated racers bring Mazda back to endurance racing.
The team also brings Goodyear Racing Tires back to the American Le Mans Series, a fitting tie-in with the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
The 10-race American Le Mans Series will have three network television broadcasts on CBS and seven races televised on SPEED Channel and worldwide on the Sky Sports World Motorsports program.
After an absence of one year from the race schedule, the American Le Mans Series will be back at its home track of Road Atlanta for the Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta on April 17. The Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta will be the warm-up for the world famous Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta in October.
Pat Kestner, Co-Owner, No. 8 Sportsbook.com Mazda Courage
"We want to thank Sportsbook.com for its commitment to our program and its partnership. Bob (Bach) and I are honored to be associated with Mazda's return to the American Le Mans Series and the folks at Mazda North American Operations. We have made a strong commitment to put our best foot forward in everything we do at B-K and the organizations we are aligned with are no different. We are honored to represent Sportsbook.com, Mazda, Goodyear, and the other companies we will bring on board both on and off the track, scoring victories at race tracks and in board rooms."
John Doonan, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, No. 8 Sportsbook.com Mazda Courage
"For decades, thousands of race drivers have chosen to race Mazda products because of Mazda's relentless commitment to achieve motorsports success at a grassroots level. The spirit of these drivers is the same energy and "never give up" attitude Mazda engineers possess and instill in new Mazda products. It is this "will to never give up" that will be the foundation of our team as we put Mazda back on the American Le Mans Series grid. This is a dream come true for everyone on this team. We are thrilled that Sportsbook.com saw the link with Mazda's return and the reach and exposure through the American Le Mans Series. It is a true victory for everyone involved."
Sylvain Tremblay, Team Owner/Driver, SpeedSource Race Engineering
"SpeedSource has been working on a three-rotor development program for almost a full year now, and we are excited that we have a great partnership with B-K and its new Courage Chassis. The Mazda rotary engine has a great racing heritage. We are focused on developing the power plant to be competitive with the best the class has to offer. We made a substantial investment in infrastructure with the addition of our new state-of-the-art DTS computerized engine dynamometer. David Haskell leads the engine department and has been busy all winter. Now the challenge of the track and the rebirth of the rotary on the ALMS circuit await us."
Yves Courage, Courage Competition
"We feel honoured to have been chosen both by B-K Motorsport and by Mazda; Mazda is returning to endurance races on American ALMS tracks, but it has marked the history of endurance races for decades; such challenge makes our team extraordinarily enthusiastic! We all remember the unique sound of the Mazda engines and the great results achieved by Mazda in endurance races, particularly in the 24 Hours Le Mans. Mazda has been victorious six times in its category between 1983 and 1996, and has won the 24 Hours Le Mans in 1991. In 1991, three Mazdas finished among the top eights. I am also most glad about the quality cooperation with the American B-K Motorsports team. We are proud to offer such quality chassis as the C65 to our B-K Motorsports partner, and we are actively working together on the new Mazda engine."
Guy Cosmo, Co-Driver, #8 Sportsbook.com Mazda Courage
"Jamie and I are thrilled to have this special opportunity to represent Sportsbook.com across the country and be a part of Mazda's racing history. We are going to grow throughout the year and look for as many testing opportunities as we can. The new car is very exciting and takes our game to the next level. The Renesis rotary power from Mazda will be outstanding. We will be able to relate our experiences on the track with those of RX-8 owners on the streets. We are thrilled that the team at Sportsbook.com had enough confidence in us, the American Le Mans Series, and our program to join forces with us for 2005."