Mazda Motorsports: 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Season Preview

Two Dozen Mazda Touring Car Entries Registered for Season Opener

AUSTIN, Texas (March 1, 2016) – Twenty-four Mazda race cars are ready for the season opening rounds of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, on March 3-5. Independent Mazda racers will be challenging for drivers championships in the Touring Car (TC), Touring Car A (TCA) and Touring Car B (TCB) classes.
 
John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations said, “Thanks to great customer support, our Mazda entries have doubled since last year. With the launch of our new Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, for the fourth generation MX-5, the TCA class looks to be the ideal place to race the third-generation MX-5 Cup cars.”  
 
Notes from the Mazda paddock include:
·         With 24 entries in the three touring car classes, Mazda outnumbers competitors BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mini, Nissan and Porsche.
·         2015 PWC race winners Ernie Francis Jr., Adam Poland and Joey Jordan are returning, each with an eye on the TC Drivers Championship.
·         Adam Poland and his family team have moved their shop to Dallas and have rebranded the EASTex Motorsports team as Doghouse Performance.
·         Led by the husband-and-wife team of John and Dinah Weisberg, BERG Racing has grown to a three-car effort with the addition of driver Dr. Jay Salinsky.
·         Former PWC TC Championship-winning team Atlanta Motorsports Group returns to the series full-time for 2016 with former Mazda Road to 24 Shootout winners Joey Bickers and Patrick Gallagher in the TCA class.
·         After scoring the final five TCB wins in 2015, Joey Jordan is moving up to the TC class with Hale Motorsports.
·         The youngest driver in the field will be 15-year-old rookie Henry Morse.
·         Former Teen Mazda Challenge racer Will Rodgers will be making his professional race debut with Hale Motorsports.
·         Several of the Mazda race cars at COTA will be carrying artwork for the Austin Humane Society. Thanks to Roger Beasley Mazda, the Austin Humane Society (AHS) will be raffling off a 2016 Mazda MX-5. Additionally, the AHS will have shelter staff at the track selling tickets. http://www.austinhumanesociety.org/.
·         The 2016 season will conclude at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
 
Car # (Class) Driver/Hometown         Team/Car/Sponsor
# 5 (TC)      John A Weisberg                BERG Racing Mazda MX-5 Power Brake / REDCOM /
                    Webster, NY                       Red Line Oil / Powerflex / Mann's / MCS
# 14 (TCB)  Henry Morse                      Hale Motorsports Mazda2
                    Redondo Beach, CA          MorseGPS powered by CalAmp / Rolling Hills Prep School
# 16 (TCA)  Jay Salinsky                       BERG Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup
                    Miami, FL                           Fuse Lenses/Regenexx Cayman/Red Line Oil/REDCOM
# 17 (TC)    Randy Hale                        Hale Motorsports Mazda MX-5
                    Haddam, CT                       TransAero, inc
# 21 (TCA)  Drake Kemper                    Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup
                    Toluca Lake, CA                Parliament Dallas
# 22 (TCA)  Kevin Anderson                  Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup
                    Huntington NY                    Tech Sport Racing COTA
# 23 (TCA)  Eric Powell                         Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup
                    Orlando, FL                        Tech Sport Racing
# 33 (TC)    Adam Poland                      Doghouse Performance Mazda MX-5
                    Ft. Worth, TX                      Edge Addicts / Majestic Pet Products
# 36 (TCA)  Daniel Williams                   S.A.C racing Mazda MX-5 Cup
                    Scottsbluff, NE                   Daniel Williams
# 37 (TCB)  Blake Thompson                Black Armor Helmets Mazda 2
                    Racine, WI
# 47 (TC)    Joey Jordan                       Hale Motorsports Mazda MX-5
                    Fallbrook,CA                      TransAero, inc
# 49 (TCA)  Joey Bickers                      Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5 Cup
                    Moorpark, CA
# 50 (TC)    Dinah Weisberg                  BERG Racing Mazda MX-5
                    Webster NY                        REDCOM Laboratories/Red Line Oil/Power Brake
# 54 (TC)    Patrick Gallagher               Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5
                    Thornville, OH                    Howard Concrete Pumping
# 55 (TCB)  James Wilson                     Black Armor Helmets Mazda 2
                    Kyle, TX                              Black Armor Helmets
# 64 (TC)    Austin Snader                     Snader Racing Mazda MX-5
                    Fulshear, TX                       Mazdaspeed/SR Enterprises
# 65 (TCB)  Will Rodgers                       Hale Motorsports Mazda2
                    Murrieta, CA                       Solvang Brewing Co. / Kelly Benefit Strategies / Family 1
# 68 (TCB)  Ted Hough                          Breathless Racing Mazda 2
                    Farmington, MN
# 69 (TC)    Anthony Geraci                  S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5
                    Glen Head, NY                   S.A.C. Racing / European Granite & Marble Group, Inc.
# 70 (TCA)  Elivan Goulart                     S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup
                    Shelton, CT                        S.A.C. Racing / SCDA1.com
# 73 (TC)    Daniel Moen                       S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5
                    Rindge, NH                         S.A.C. Racing
# 74 (TCA)  Matthew Fassnacht            S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup
                    Madison, NJ                       S.A.C. Racing / Equity Residences
# 75 (TCB)  Steve Taake                       Black Armor Helmets Mazda 2
                    Houston, TX
# 98 (TC)    Ernie Francis, Jr.                Breathless Racing Mazda MX-5
                    Dania, FL
 
The 2016 Pirelli Wold Challenge (TC/TCA/TCB) Race Schedule:
March 3-5          Circuit of The Americas                      Austin, Texas             
May 19-22          Canadian Tire Motorsport Park          Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada                      
June 23-26         Road America                                     Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin                    
July 29-30          Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course              Lexington, Ohio                      
Aug 12-14          Utah Motorsports Campus                 Tooele, Utah              
Oct 7-9               Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca          Monterey, California
 

Each event is a double-header, with two races per weekend, for a 12-race season.                         
 
About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports and MAZDASPEED
Mazda Motorsports and MAZDASPEED boasts the most comprehensive 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 which culminates in the Mazda Prototype team that races in the top level of IMSA sports car racing in North America. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar system in open-wheel racing, which includes USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights racing categories with Mazda power. The new Global MX-5 Cup car makes its debut in 2016, with affordable, turnkey race cars. In the grassroots categories, more Mazdas road race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer.  Since 2000, Mazda has been the title sponsor of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the only racetrack operated as a non-profit in support of local charities and civic organizations.
 
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. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com  Motorsports information can be found at www.mazdamotorsports.com

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