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Inside Mazda

Act Locally: North Carolina’s Motorsports Infrastructure Changed Lanes to Protect the Frontline

Mazda Cares featuring Nelson Cosgrove

This is Mazda Cares. In light of COVID-19, we’re sharing stories of how our Mazda family is coping with (and even combatting) the crisis. Tracing back to our Hiroshima roots, Mazda has a deep history of helping communities in times of need. Our aim is to share stories that highlight our belief that what matters most is one another — because through the power of humanity and community, we can overcome any challenge.

Leveraging the tools, infrastructure, and relationships of the motorsports community, Nelson Cosgrove, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations, worked with his friends to help stabilize the supply chain of face shields in his community. “There were shockingly few numbers of face shields in the ICU — they had none,” he says. And these aren’t rural hospitals we’re talking about.”

Nelson printed the blue headband as well as the small clip at the base of the shield, which keeps the clear plastic in position.

The road to helping create over 1,000 face shields started with a man in the Czech Republic, who designed and received approval for a printable face shield. When Nelson’s friend at Joe Gibbs Racing caught wind of this news, he lobbied together Nelson and other members of North Carolina’s motorsports community who already had 3D printers at their homes. “We have all of this equipment locally. The infrastructure is here, and we know how to get things done,” says Nelson. “The motorsports world is good at making a small number of parts, fast.”

Nelson focused on creating the headband and a small clip that attaches to the base of the clear plastic shield to keep it in position. Given that these printers take about four hours to print parts, Nelson discovered he could make four a day from his garage. “It’s been an awesome project. I’ve been really fortunate to take part in it,” says Nelson.

“This is the most effective way I can help. And if you can, I’ve been taught that you should.”

When it comes to prioritizing volunteerism and caring for others, Nelson feels like “Mazda takes it to a whole different level.” He notes that there is “so much good happening” within Mazda North American Operations. “It’s really interesting to work for a company that is so people-centric and encourages us to help one another.”