MONTEREY, Calif. (April 29, 2015) – While every race counts, races close to home are special. For Mazda Motorsports, the home track is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The May 1-3 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda weekend kicks off the 2015 season at Camp Zoom-Zoom.
The weekend includes three series with significant Mazda content. The Sunday headliner is for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, while Saturday will feature the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires will have a doubleheader with races on both Saturday and Sunday.
Mazda highlights for the weekend will include:
· Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype Progress – Now in its second season in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the production-based Mazda SKYACTIV prototype continues its remarkable development. In 2014, the car had its strongest performance at Mazda Raceway and expectations are high for this weekend.
· Ride along with Mazda — Mazda will stream onboard footage during the TUDOR race, along with commentary from Radio Le Mans, on MazdaLIVE.com on Sunday at 12:40 pm (Pacific).
· Freedom Autosport Mazda Raceway Win Streak in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) – The Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5s have been undefeated in the past four years at Mazda Raceway. Can they make it five? The team has two cars entered.
· U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Liam Dwyer, now racing in his first full-season, continues to inspire. Dwyer lost his leg in Afghanistan in 2011. He made headlines in 2014, co-driving the Freedom Autosport MX-5 to the win at Lime Rock Park. The Marine who helped save Liam in Afghanistan will be a guest at the track this weekend.
· The Sunday MX-5 Cup race will include a class for 20 National Auto Sport Association (NASA) champions competing for the title of Mazda NASA Champion. With a total entry of 48 cars, this will be the largest MX-5 Cup race in the ten-year history of the series.
· The weekend will include the first ever public on-track appearance of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup racecar. Tom Long will test the car on Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1. Highlights from the test will be included in the MazdaLIVE.com broadcast on Sunday.
· Announcement of the 2015 Project Yellow Light Hunter Garner Scholarship winners – Mazda Motorsports has partnered with Project Yellow Light since 2012 to help educate young drivers on the dangers of distracted driving with Mazda racers acting as safety ambassadors. There will be a press conference on Saturday, May 2 at 10:00 am to announce the winners.
· There will be over a dozen brands competing in four distinct series during the three-day race weekend. Mazda will have more cars, competing in more races, than any other car company.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City