Press Release

2012 speedSource RX-8 No. 70 Graphics

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—  Mazda Supports The Business of The Sport   —

December 1, 2011 (Orlando, Fla).  The number one brand in road racing returns to the biggest motorsports trade show in the country to make a few early announcements for the 2012 season.  The MAZDASPEED team gathered at the annual Performance Racing Industry show to share updates on a variety of topics. 

1.     Mazda thanked their teams for delivering 2011 manufacturers championships in both the American LeMans Series and the Continental Tire Challenge Street Tuner Championship.  On the grassroots level, Mazda paid out over $800,000 in contingency awards this past year.  Coupled with the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder prizes, Mazda paid out over $1.5M in 2011.

2.     Mazda is presenting their fourth annual Business/Marketing/PR seminar at the PRI.  This is a free seminar for racers to learn how to improve their off-track performance.  The seminar will be Friday at 8:00 am.

3.     Mazda is co-hosting the streaming video from the Cooper Tires stage on the main floor of the PRI exhibit hall.

4.     The SpeedSource Grand-Am GT RX-8 team revealed their 2012 graphics and their Rolex 24 at Daytona driver line-up.  Joining full-season drivers Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito are Marino Franchitti and James Hinchcliffe.  Both are Mazda alums, Marino from ALMS and James from the Atlantic and Star Mazda Championships.  The new graphics on the #70 RX-8 will showcase the MAZDASPEED corporate look as long-term partner Castrol transitions into an associate sponsor role for 2012.

5.     Grand-Am RX-8 team Dempsey Racing announced their 2012 driver line-ups for their two car team.  Joe Foster will partner with Patrick Dempsey, while Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman will team up for the season.  Tom Long will be the team understudy when Patrick’s ‘other’ career schedule precludes his racing, as well as joining the team for the Rolex 24.  The team will expand their partnership with for the 2012 season.

6.     Mazda announces upcoming availability of Mazda2 “B-Spec” kits.  The race-ready Mazda2 will be on display at the show.  Parts kits will be available in the first quarter of 2012 for approximately $2600.

7.     Mazda announces updates to the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup including the addition of a class for Skip Barber Racing School MX-5s.

8.     2012 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear schedule released

9.     Mazda is supporting the PRI Red Bull Karting Event.

10.  A wide variety of Mazda race teams had to miss the PRI show as they are competing at the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill.  Among the Mazda teams is one comprised of Mazda dealership owners.  28 of the 86 entries are Mazda. 

11.  2012 MAZDASPEED Ladder Team complete.  Tristan DeGrand, Danilo Estrela, and Elliott Skeer won MAZDASPEED ladder seats thanks to their performances at shootouts in November.  They become the final MAZDASPEED class of 2012 racers. 

o    2011 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber Champion Scott Anderson will be racing in the 2012 USF2000 Championship.

o    2011 Cooper Tires USF2000 Champion Petri Suvanto will be racing in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear.

o    2011 Star Mazda Champion Tristan Vautier will be racing in the 2012 Indy Lights Series.

o    2011 Playboy MX-5 Cup Champion Mike Cooper will be racing in the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Championship in a MAZDASPEED3. 

o    2011 Skip Barber Karting Shootout Winners Tristan DeGrand and Danilo Estrella will race in the 2012 Skip Barber Series.

o    2011 Club Racing Shootout winner Elliott Skeer will race in the 2012 MX-5 Cup.


NOTE:  Additional press releases will be issued from the individual teams, drivers, and series. Mazda will present a comprehensive 2012 pre-season update in February 2012, in Irvine, California.  

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