MAZDA Motorsports Festival Coming to NJMP Featuring the Star Mazda Championship and Mazda MX-5 Cup Series Millville, NJ (June 19, 2010) - Thoroughly infused through the DNA of every Mazda built is the soul of a sports car. And on the ...
MAZDA Motorsports Festival Coming to NJMP Featuring the Star Mazda Championship and Mazda MX-5 Cup Series
Millville, NJ (June 19, 2010) - Thoroughly infused through the DNA of every Mazda built is the soul of a sports car. And on the road-racing tracks throughout North America, they prove it every day.
On June 25-27, presented by VisitFlorida.com, the Mazda Motorsports Festival supported by Cooper Tires will prove to be an exciting weekend of high energy racing from the next generation of open-wheeled racers. Mazda races in more series than any other automaker today, including four Mazda exclusive series which form the backbone of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver Development Ladder.
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver Development Ladder spec series:
* Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear
* Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
* SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup
* BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear - What do Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti, and Scott Speed have in common? They all raced in Star Mazda. Star Mazda was the cornerstone from which the MAZDASPEED ladder was developed. 2010 is the 20th season of competition making it the oldest road-racing series in North America. The NJMP race will carry extra importance as it is one of five stops that count towards the VISIT FLORIDA CUP, a championship within a championship.
SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup - The MX-5 Cup is known for close competition in the most popular roadster ever built. The identical MX-5 Cup cars are affordable (under $50 ready to race) and fast (125 mph). This has proven to be the ideal starting point for racers jumping from "club" racer to "pro".
BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda - Skip Barber is famous for having the best instructors at the best tracks with the best cars. The competition in their national series is nothing less than fierce. The 2009 races as NJMP featured multi-car drafts for the lead and passing multiple times per lap. Margins of victory are often measured in thousandths of a second.
Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series (GT class) - The top of the ladder for production sports cars. The Mazda RX-8 goes head-to-head with the best from Porsche, General Motors, Ferrari, and BMW. The strength of the RX-8 can be measured by the fact that Mazda has seen an increase from three to seven customer cars for the 2010 season. Among the customers is a certain Mr. Patrick Dempsey.
Continental Tire Challenge Series (ST class) - The feeder series for the Grand-Am is the Continental Tire Challenge, formerly known as the KONI Challenge. Mazda will be represented in this race by privateer teams racing MAZDASPEED3's, RX-8's, and MX-5's. These races are typically among the largest fields in road racing today.
In addition to the Star Mazda Championship and MX-5 Playboy Cup Series, NJMP will present the GT-3 Cup Series, the Prototype Lites, and the USF2000 series, all bringing the action non-stop for the entire race weekend.
The Star Mazda Championship is shaping up to be one of the best championships ever with the young guns chasing at each other's heels, just coming off Round number 4.
Currently leading the Star Mazda Championship having won the last three races in a row is Conor Daly, driver of the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. Mazda. Daly, who graduated from his Indianapolis high school on May 14, is the son of Formula One and Indy Car racing legend Derek Daly (now a noted motorsports broadcaster). This is his second year of Star Mazda Championship competition and he leads the championship battle with 172 points. He won from the pole at in Race #1 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2009. Nipping at Daly's heels, from a discreet distance, is talented young Quebec rookie Mikael Grenier, driver of the #17 Andersen Racing / Slow Cow / April Super Flow / NAPA Auto Parts / HS Telecom / Desharnais Mazda. He started from the pole and finished 2nd in Round 4 at the Night Before Indy. He was also on the podium in Round 3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and is currently second in the championship with 142 points. He ran a limited schedule of races in 2009 to prepare for the 2010 season and did compete at NJMP, finishing 3rd in both races.
Third in the championship, and also with experience at NJMP is Norwegian racer Anders 'the Viking' Krohn. He started from the pole at the Sebring season-opener, finished on the podium at Mazda Raceway and has two top-5 finishes and 139 points. He finished 7th in Race #2 at NJMP in 2009. Rounding out the top-5 are Brazilian rookie Joao Victor Horto with podium finishes at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the Night Before the 500 at O'Reilly Raceway Park; he has 128 championship points. French racer Tristan Vautier won the season-opener at Sebring and has scored two top-10s to sit 5th in the championship with 124 points.
In the Star Mazda Championship, 44 points are awarded to the winner, so, with more than half the season still to go, the championship is far from decided.