Roger Foo To Move To Mazda PROTEGE5 With Circuit City Backing For 2002 Speed Touring Car Joins Espenlaub With Jt Designs/Protomotive Team FALLBROOK, Calif. (March 8, 2002)-Roger Foo made a name for himself in 2001, earning the SCCA Pro Racing ...
Roger Foo To Move To Mazda PROTEGE5 With Circuit City Backing For 2002 Speed
Joins Espenlaub With Jt Designs/Protomotive Team
FALLBROOK, Calif. (March 8, 2002)-Roger Foo made a name for himself in 2001, earning the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car Rookie of the Year and winning the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca round in an aged Honda Civic HB--all on a shoestring budget. The first-ever Chinese-American World Challenge race-winner has parlayed that success into a stout program for 2002.
Foo will move from his own team (Foo Fighter's Racing) to JT Designs/Protomotive Racing in 2002 and has inked electronic's giant Circuit City to serve as the title sponsor on his brand new No. 88 Mazda Protégé5. Foo, of Hayward, Calif., will run alongside the team's 2001 driver, Charles Espenlaub.
"We're thrilled to be able to put together a package to bring Roger and Circuit City together in the Speed World Challenge," said Jim Mihal, Owner of JT Designs. "Roger became a very popular driver in 2001 based on his performance of always being an underdog and one of the only Asian-Americans in the series. He won't be an underdog in 2002 with the program we've put together.
"Both Roger and Charles are very personable, marketable drivers that are popular at both the race track and at appearances like import car shows. Our goal in 2002 will be to add Championship trophies to their popularity."
"Moving to a Mazda Protege from so many years in Hondas will be a change, but, I wanted to make sure I kept with my hatchback heritage, so we're going to be running the first Protégé5," said Foo. "I have the pleasure of teaming up with Protomotive along with a great teammate in Charles Espenlaub, which should make for a smooth transition."
"Our relationship with Circuit City is very exciting. It offers us some luxuries as a team we've not had in the past, and gives us a great vehicle to promote our efforts. We're looking forward to cross-promoting Circuit City and the Speed World Challenge. I'm truly looking forward to my relationship with an aggressive marketing brand like Mazda."
Circuit City is already promoting around the Speed World Challenge series, donating a satellite radio system at the World Challenge-promoted Big Horsepower Shootout fan dyno runs at the Orlando Race Rock, March 9.
Foo's Circuit City Mazda will be in full company livery, with a marketing program launch following Sebring, prior to Round Two at Mosport in May. The car is also backed by H&R Springs, JT Designs, Motegi Wheels, Wilwood, Ground Control Suspension Systems, ACT Clutch and APR Performance. Foo's Momo Seat and Suit were provided by Aftermarket.com.
Espenlaub, will run his first full Speed Touring Car season in the No. 96 APR Performance Mazda Protégé ES which made its debut last season. Espenalub's developmental season paid off in the end, recording a ninth-place finish at the Road Atlanta season finale. Espenlaub's car is also backed by JT Designs, Motegi Wheels, Eibach, Wilwood, Ground Control Suspension Systems and Wheelstore.
The JT Designs/Protomotive Team has raced professionally since 1994, competing in the old Firehawk and Speedvision Endurance championships. The team gave Mazda its first professional race win for the Miata in the Speedvision Endurance Championship, and helped Charles Espenlaub win PSRC's Rising Star Award in 1997. Joe Fox won that same award with JT Designs/Protomotive in 1998. After running three Speed World Challenge races in 1999, the team returned with a new Protégé for Espenlaub in 2001.
The Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship begins its 2002 season March 15 at Sebring International Raceway. For more information, visit www.World-Challenge.com.