Inside Mazda

Mazda Motorsports Thunderhill 25 Hour Preview

Mazda Dealers Return To Annual Endurance Challenge

November 30, 2016

IRVINE, Calif. (November 30, 2016) – While it would be easy to assume that anyone in the car business is a car enthusiast, it’s not necessarily true. But at Mazda, even the company’s dealer partners live the “Driving Matters” lifestyle, with many of them participating in both amateur and professional racing activities in their spare time. For the fourth time in four years, Mazda Senior Vice President Robert Davis will be orchestrating Mazda’s multi-car Mazda MX-5 Cup effort in the longest endurance race in North America, at this weekend’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill, presented by Hawk Performance, in Willows, Calif. In true Mazda fashion, the company will participate with Mazda dealers at the wheel, and Mazda employees volunteering their weekend to crew the cars.

Robert Davis, senior vice president, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), said, “No one visits Thunderhill in December for the weather. This race separates the racers from the posers. It is 25 hours of decision making behind the wheel and behind pit wall. We started this four years ago as a fun factory guy versus dealer challenge, and now it has evolved into an amazing team effort with some of our greatest ambassadors, testing our latest production-based racecars, with Mazda employees behind the pit wall. We’re pleased to have Scott Clark, the COO from Michelin, joining us this year, further supporting the long and deep Mazda Michelin/BFGoodrich Tires relationship. The goal this weekend is to go fast, have fun, and not freeze to death.”

Since this time last year, Mazda Motorsports and Long Road Racing have built and sold over 120 of the newest-generation 2016 Global MX-5 Cup cars. The Thunderhill team will consist of three Mazda MX-5 Cup racecars, the exact cars that debuted at Thunderhill last year.

The Mazda driver line-up is as follows:
Taz Harvey Dublin Mazda (Dublin, Calif.)
Richard Fisher Autobarn Mazda (Chicago, Ill.)
Spencer Brockman Mazda of Milford (Milford, Mass.)
Michael Brockman Mazda of Milford (Milford, Mass.)
Mark Abouzeid Chico Mazda (Chico, Calif.)
Ben Robertaccio Morrie’s Mazda (Minnetonka, Minn.)
CJ Wilson CJ Wilson Mazda (Chicago, Ill.)
Camden Jones Velocity Mazda (Tyler, Texas)
Tom Bogar Autex Mazda (Keene, N.H.)
Scott Clark Michelin/BFG
Liam Dwyer Freedom Autosport
Stevan McAleer Freedom Autosport

The race will be livestreamed at www.MazdaLive.com starting at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific) on Saturday, December 3. The team will post updates to both Twitter and Facebook during the race. #Mazda #MazdaMotorsports #25HoursofThunderhill

About MX-5 Cup

The MX-5 Cup race cars start as complete MX-5 road cars from the Mazda Hiroshima, Japan factory before being transported to engineering development partner Long Road Racing in Statesville, North Carolina where they are produced into a race car. The process includes disassembly of the production car, welding and paint of a full roll cage and interior, and assembly of the race car, adding more than 250 motorsports-specific parts. Other components of the car, including the Mazda SKYACTIV 2.0 liter engine are sealed to ensure even competition and a cost-effective platform.

The Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires is the signature spec series for the Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24), the sports car counterpart to the Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI). On both paths, Mazda-powered champions earn a Mazda scholarship to advance their career. The MX-5 Cup champion earns a $200,000 scholarship.

Information on the car is online at www.mazdamotorsports.com.

About Mazda Motorsports 

Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.

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Contact:
Dean Case, Mazda Motorsports (310) 318-4582, mazdaspeed@MazdaUSA.com
Jade Gurss, Mazda Motorsports (317) 517-4121, MazdaMotorsports@icloud.com

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