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Old 06-18-2003, 04:59   #1 (permalink)
Mr. Embargo
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Star Mazda, Spec Miata Put On Show At Mazda Raceway

Star Mazda Series and Spec Miata Challenge, two of the support series for the Grand Prix of Monterey, gave race fans much to cheer about over the weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS). The Grand Prix of Monterey was the seventh round of the ChampCar World Series but proved to be a lot more for race fans as they were treated to heart-pumping wheel-to-wheel action in the rotary-powered Star Mazda Series and Spec Miata Challenge.
The Star Mazda Series, which uses Mazda rotary engines like those found in normally-aspirated 1987-1995 RX-7 sports cars, develops racecar driving careers by providing an opportunity for drivers to compete on the same racetracks used for professional events and is one of the most successful racing series in the U.S. Many well-respected drivers have risen through the ranks from Star Mazda, including Formula Atlantic Rookie of the Year Joey Hand and Le Mans 24-hour GT class winner Bruno Lambert.

The weekend saw Caracas, Venezuela native Luis Schiavo climb to the top spot on the podium, deftly maneuvering his Racers Edge Motorsports/Rotelli Restaurants Mazda from flag to flag to win round three of the 2003 Star Mazda Series North American Championship. John Green drove his Red Line Oil Mazda racer to a second place finish in his pro series debut fending off a hard-charging Moses Smith. Smith nearly overtook Green in a late restart but failed to make the pass and took home third place for Team Tomlin.

In closed wheel action, the Spec Miata Challenge pits identically-prepared Mazda Miatas against each other. The field consists of 1990 to 1997 model year Miatas with limited modifications other than the suspension. Because rules are consistent race to race, there is no need for vehicle changes. And since the Miata is already one of the most reliable vehicles around, there’s little maintenance. Pro Spec Miata allows the amateur racer to compete in a Pro series for prize money and contingencies and still maintain a modest operating budget.

Barry Hartzel of Hartzel Automotive won the Spec Miata Challenge for his first-ever pro win. “I was beginning to wonder if I would ever win one of these major pro events,” said the Spec Miata champion. “I’m extremely happy with the support Mazda has given to the series and to racing.”

Tom S. Olivier, driving in his Marin Brewing Company Spec Miata, finished a close second to Hartzel and Randy Evans took third for Hoover Racing rounding out the podium for the class.

Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and services support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.
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Old 06-18-2003, 05:03   #2 (permalink)
Mr. Embargo
 
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MAZDA CELEBRATES WEEKEND OF RACING

Clear blue skies and picturesque weather made for perfect racing conditions this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Coined the Grand Prix of Monterey, race enthusiasts of all ages enjoyed three action-packed races, including the Bridgestone Presents ChampCar World Series Powered by Ford, Star Mazda Series and Spec Miata Challenge. The weekend also marked the inaugural use of the new Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca luxury pit-row suites, which are part of the ongoing improvements being made at the track.
The Grand Prix of Monterey ChampCar race headlined the weekend, and Canadian Patrick Carpentier, of Player’s/Forsythe Racing, started from the pole and went on to complete a near perfect weekend and win the race – scoring his fourth career win. Bruno Junquiera took second for Newman/Haas Racing and Carpentier’s teammate, Paul Tracy, joined Carpentier on the podium for a third-place finish.

Also running this weekend were the Star Mazda Series and the Spec Miata Challenge. The Star Mazda Series, which uses rotary-powered single-seat open wheel racecars, held its third round of the 2003 North American Championship. Luis Schiavo, of Caracas, Venezuela, took the checkered flag in his Racers Edge Motorsports/Rotelli Restaurants car. Team Red Line Oil driver, John Green, finished second and Moses Smith ended up third piloting the Team Tomlin Star Mazda racecar.

Spec Miata Challenge proved to be a monumental race for Barry Hartzel of Hartzel Automotive as he won his first major pro event. With a handful of second-place finishes, long-time Mazda racer and Spec Miata enthusiast, Hartzel was elated to finally take home the win. Tom S. Olivier crossed the line second behind the wheel of his Marin Brewing Company Spec Miata and Randy Evans came in third driving for Hoover Racing.

Since becoming the title sponsor in 2001, Mazda has been fully committed to the relationship with MRLS. The company works closely with track officials to ensure MRLS maintains its heritage as the preeminent racing facility in the country.

Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and services support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.
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