Inside Mazda


As director of motorsports for Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), John Doonan develops the overall strategy and manages Mazda’s motorsport programs in North America.

The motorsports program includes numerous professional racing series in two major categories. In sports car racing, Doonan head the Mazda Road to 24, a program that provides a clear ladder system to help drivers climb from grassroots racing to the top level of sports car racing in North America. This features the Mazda Prototype program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well as Mazda Prototype Lites presented by Cooper Tires, the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the new Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. In open-wheel racing, the Mazda Road to Indy program provides a similar ladder for drivers as they traverse the Cooper Tires USF2000 Series powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda series presented by Cooper Tires and the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire.

In grassroots racing, Mazda-powered machines comprise more than 50 percent of all entries.

Doonan joined Mazda in 2003 as the regional advertising manager in the Midwest region. In 2005, Doonan became manager, motorsports and team development and was promoted to director of motorsports in 2011.

Doonan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Augustana College and an MBA from Western Illinois University. Doonan lives with his wife and three children in Plainfield, IL.

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