Mazda Now Official Car of SCCA
For Mazda, grassroots racing partnership seems natural
Sports Car Club of America vice president of marketing Eric Prill used to race a Lotus Seven, until Lotus stopped supporting it. Now, he races the venerable Mazda Miata — and if Mazda already seemed to be the de facto car of the SCCA, now it officially is.
At a media day in its Irvine, Calif., headquarters, Prill announced a multiyear partnership with Mazda as the official car of SCCA, an agreement that will last until 2015. What will this mean for the upcoming SCCA season? It means that a Mazda will be the pace car at SCCA events such as the National Championship Runoffs, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year at Road America. It also means that next year’s SCCA Convention and Hall of Fame Banquet will be “presented by Mazda.” And expect a lot more Mazda banners and vehicles on display.
“In the minds of many, Mazda and the SCCA were already partners,” said John Doonan, the director of motorsports for Mazda. “We love that our small organization is more popular on the racetrack than the combined efforts of many of our much larger competitors.”
According to Mazda, more of its cars are raced on a given weekend than any other brand out there, a mantra oft-repeated by Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development. The Spec Miata class is currently 2,500 cars strong, with other models competing in numerous SCCA classes. The Pro Mazda Championship replaces last year’s Star Mazda series but still uses the Renesis rotary engine. Mazda MZR engines supply the Cooper Tires US F2000 Championship, a series that sets young drivers on the path to IndyCar. Last year’s champion Matt Brabham — and grandson of, yes, that Brabham — put 15,000 racing miles on his F2000 car without any major tune-ups, said Doonan.
And lastly, Mazda has renewed its naming rights with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca until 2016, ensuring more years of stern looks from fiery PR executives whenever a journalist slips up and debases it as merely “Laguna Seca.”
As a proud owner of Karlino, my 1999 (NB) Mazda Miata, I can attest to this car’s continued willingness to satisfy my racing itch! Racing Ready thoroughly endorses the Mazda brand!