November 22nd, 2017 by Dean Case, Mazda Motorsports
12th Year For the Biggest Prize in Grassroots Road Racing
Mazda has confirmed four finalists for the 12th annual Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. This one-of-a-kind, post-season shootout, will award a $100,000 Mazda Motorsports scholarship to compete in the 2018 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. The one-day, winner-take-all, shootout will take place December 8, 2017 at the Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Arizona. This is the largest prize available in all of grassroots road racing. Combining the Mazda Road to 24 and Mazda Road to Indy, Mazda has cumulatively awarded over 60 scholarships since 2007, for a total investment in the millions of dollars.
Winning a club racing championship with Mazda power is the primary entry channel into the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. 19 racers were eligible for the shootout based upon success with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), Teen Mazda Challenge, and iRacing. These racers were then invited to submit a written and video proposal from which the finalists were selected.
The 2017 finalists are:
- John Allen, Canal Winchester, Ohio – iRacing MX-5 Cup Champion. iRacing has proven they are not a game, but a professional race simulation tool. John used iRacing as his training tool before be began Spec Miata racing.
- Tyler Kicera, Manheim, Pennsylvania – 2016 NASA Eastern States Spec Miata Champion. Seven wins from 13 races in 2017 Spec Miata competition. Works as a senior director at Tait Towers, a kinetic architecture firm.
- Preston Pardus, Daytona Beach, Florida – 2017 SCCA Runoffs Spec Miata Champion. Pardus is a second generation racer, son of retired NASCAR racer Dan Pardus. Away from racing, Preston is attending Daytona State College.
- Selin Rollan, Winter Park, Florida – 2017 SCCA and NASA Eastern States Championship Spec Miata Runner-up. 2017 was a busy year for Selin as he also graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Sociology.
John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations, said, “I joke that I can almost repeat my quote every year as each year we say that this is our strongest class ever, and 2017 is no exception. Mazda continues to be proud to be able to offer this un-matched Mazda Road to 24 opportunity to drivers all across North America. It’s amazing how tough the competition is and that it gets more competitive every year. This year we are at a new venue and are holding the MRTI Shootout immediately afterwards. May the best racers win.”
About Mazda Motorsports
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto 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, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.