MAZDA MOTORSPORTS TEAMS UP WITH iRACING

New Entry Point for the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy

March 13, 2014 (SEBRING, Fla.) — 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. iRacing has more than 50,000 members worldwide, many who have ‘virtually raced’ a Mazda MX-5 Cup car. This newly formed partnership enables the best iRacing online sim racers in North America a chance to race an actual Mazda MX-5 Cup car the following year.

Mazda Motorsports and iRacing Team Up

iRacing competitors competing in the 2014 iRacing MX-5 Cup season beginning April 29th will be eligible to compete in the annual Mazda Club Racing Shootout held each fall. The shootout winner earns a Mazda Motorsports scholarship for the following year’s Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.

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 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.

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. Mazda has a race-what-you-build philosophy that has led them to race with production-based SKYACTIV technology at the highest levels of the sport. Key to Mazda’s success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO 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.

Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com, with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com. Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazda Motorsport), Twitter (@mazdaracing), and www.mazdamotorsports.com

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Details of how this will work on iRacing:

• The overall winners from 2014 season 2 (April 29, 2014 – July 21, 2014) and 2014 season 3 (July 29, 2014 – October 20, 2014) in the Mazda MX5 Cup (currently called the iRacing Mazda Cup) will win an invitation to attend the Mazda Club Racer Shootout in the fall of 2014. At the shootout they will be competing against other qualifiers from real world motorsports for the grand prize of a fully funded ride in the real world 2015 Mazda Mx5 Cup! Check out this video from the 2013 Shootout: http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/video-r…lub-racer-shootout/2000010162/

• The Mazda MX5 Cup series will run as a 12 week series, using standard iRacing rules and points scoring.

• Eligibility: The series is open to all iRacers, at all license levels. Only residents of the United States (lower 48 states) and Canada are eligible for the Shootout prize. Winner must provide proof of residency, be at least 16 years old by October 20, 2014, have a valid driver’s license and be physically able to safely enter and exit a race car. The winner of season 2 will not be eligible for prizes in season 3.

• In the event the highest points scoring iRacing member is not from North America, the next highest points winner who meets the qualifications will be awarded the prize.

• Prize details: Airfare and accommodations to the Mazda Club Racer Shootout (date and location to be announced later). Mazda will provide required racing gear if needed (helmet, driving suit, etc).

• iRacing reserves the right to review the official points standings and make any adjustments we feel are in the best interest of the competition.

• Mazda and iRacing reserve the right to modify competition at any time.