New Entry Point for the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy
Mazda announced the latest addition to its driver development program with a partnership with iRacing. Mazda Motorsports has more than 9,000 club racers in the U.S., most of who race MX-5 Miatas, while many of the more than 50,000 iRacers around the world have raced the virtual Mazda MX-5 Cup car. This newly formed partnership enables iRacing’s top North American sim-racers a chance to race an actual Mazda MX-5 Cup car the following year.
iRacers competing in Seasons 2 and 3 of the 2014 iRacing MX-5 Cup will be eligible to compete in the annual Mazda Club Racing Shootout. The shootout winner earns a Mazda Motorsports scholarship for the following year’s Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Complete details are posted at iRacing.com.
John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations noted: “As racers know, iRacing is more than a game. It is an amazing simulation tool for a driver to learn new tracks and keep in top mental shape away from the track. We’re thrilled that we can further expand our driver support program to include even more potential champions.”
“The partnership between Mazda and iRacing is a natural,” says Tony Gardner, president of iRacing.com. “As we all know, more MX-5s are road-raced on any given weekend than any other model of car. What’s also true is that, on any given day, more MX-5s are sim-raced on iRacing than any other car. Not only does this partnership offer exciting opportunities for our many members who are aspiring racers, it will also enable Mazda teams to tap into a deep pool of new driving talent.”
This new partnership is an ongoing evolution of a program Mazda started in 2007 – first known as the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development ladder. This includes the annual Mazda Club Racer Shootout, the Mazda Road to Indy, and the recently announced Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy.