Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Mazda's Two Path System for 2007.
Following its 2006 season reward for an SCCA Club Racing Champion to move up to the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook, Mazda announced at Sebring further enhancements to its ladder program, including the awarding of an SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car ride to the 2007 MX-5 Cup Champion.
We are committed to developing the next generation of racers with a ladder system that provides drivers with Mazda and Mazda-powered open and closed-wheel cars throughout their careers, said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality, and the man responsible for Mazdas North American motorsports operations under the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development banner. Similar to our contingency program, these are performance-based rewards. Too often the cost of racing has meant that a promising career has stagnated due to a lack of budget. With this initiative, Mazda will change that.
There will be two paths for Mazdas program, an SCCA-based program for drivers of sports cars as well as a multi-partnered open wheel program.
Closed-wheel sports car racers are competing for these new awards:
Open-wheel racers are competing for these new awards:
In addition to its SCCA involvement, Mazda has also signed partnership agreements with multiple sanctioning bodies and events, and will be highly involved with the following:
Mazdas support will consist of both traditional sponsorship funding towards prize money and operating costs, as well as unique benefits such as business-partner pricing on new Mazda vehicles for kart racers who belong to those organizations.
Andrew Caddell, who won the 2006 SCCA Club Racing National Championship in the Spec Miata class, was selected earlier this year as the winner of the first facet of the laddera free MX-5 Cup car and kit. SCCA Pro Racing also participated in the program, and will supply the entry fees for the winner.
The 2007 SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook will begin April 21 at the Grand Prix of Houston. The 2007 SCCA SPEED Touring Car Championship began Friday, March 16 at Sebring International Raceway, a race won by Mazda driver Jeff Altenburg.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
Contact: Dean Case, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Communications, 310.318.4582, email@example.com or Heather Croke, Mazda North American Operations, 949.727.6752, firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Comment that we asked Mazda:
We're not clear on how your program will fulfill what Robert Davis seemed to say was the objective of the program: "Too often the cost of racing has meant that a promising career has stagnated due to a lack of budget. With this initiative, Mazda will change that."
By giving the grand prize to the winner of the series, it would appear that the winner was probably already one of the best financed of the racers already. So, we don't really understand how the program you have developed actually helps great drivers who get in the series who aren't well financed to start with, the ones who already lack the budget to compete for the top spot. I would think that it should be based more on driver skill than how much money to pay a crew, have fresh tires, and all the incidentals to go into winning a championship, over and above being a great driver. - Gordon Clay