Kanavas, Mazda, & Playboy Team Up For The 6-hours of Buttonwillow Presented by AEM Buttonwillow, CA (06.10.08): Johnny Kanavas joined Jim Jordan, of Mazda North America, and Playboy Playmate, Deanna Brooks for NASA's 6-hours of Buttonwillow ...
Kanavas, Mazda, & Playboy Team Up For The 6-hours of Buttonwillow Presented by AEM
Buttonwillow, CA (06.10.08): Johnny Kanavas joined Jim Jordan, of Mazda North America, and Playboy Playmate, Deanna Brooks for NASA's 6-hours of Buttonwillow Presented by AEM this past weekend.
This was Brooks first full race weekend as Mazda has challenged Playboy to get some of the playmates up to speed to eventually compete in the Playboy sponsored MX-5 Cup Pro Series. Deanna received plenty of seat time before the 6-hour, piloting the #13 Mazda Miata through all practice and qualifying sessions, helping her get up to speed and comfortable with the car and track. The team then prepared for the 6-hour endurance test, with Kanavas driving the first stint.
Starting from the back of the 32-car field, Johnny K hit the track for the first time of the weekend, having not yet turned a lap in the "Beauty & the Beastie Boys" entry. When the green flag dropped, Kanavas settled into endurance mode. "Several cars began to race hard at the start. I just let them go, then came back to get by them one by one.", said Kanavas. Working their way through the field, the #13 car eventually lead the E2 class and sat in 2nd place (18th overall) at the end of Johnny's 1.5 hour stint. Brooks was up next after a smooth pit stop by the #13 crew. Deanna would encounter a little trouble with another car hitting the yellow Miata in the blind-exit "Magic Mountain" corner. After immediately pitting to check the damage, Brooks was back underway and drove a strong stint, clicking off her fastest lap times of the weekend. Jordan would take over at around the 3.5-hour mark. With only about 5-laps in, Jim would suffer the loss of the left-rear hub through the extremely fast "Talledega" section of the circuit.
After assessment of the damage, the #13 team would retire from the race. However, the team was very happy with their efforts. To come from the back of the field up to the front meant they had a strong effort and the team could only imagine "what could have been". For Playboy's Deanna Brooks, "It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I can't wait to do it again..." Look for Brooks to make her Playboy MX-5 Cup debut later this season.