– Skip Barber and NASA Teen Champions Now Eligible to Win Shootout –
The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder
is proving to be the springboard for many aspiring racers to advance –
just ask Raphael Matos and Jason Saini where they would be today
The heart of MAZDASPEED is in
supporting club racers. There are over 9,000 Mazda customers who
compete in club racing with the Sports Club of America (SCCA) and the
National Auto Sports Association (NASA). More than a few of them have
aspirations of racing professionally. Over the past two years, Mazda
has directly assisted club racers with the leap to the professional
- In 2006 Andrew Caddell won the SCCA Runoffs in
Spec Miata. Thanks to Mazda he raced in the 2007 MX-5 Cup winning two
races, finishing as runner-up for the championship. In 2008 he won the
inaugural Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup as his
career continues to advance.
- In 2007 Brad
Rampelberg won the SCCA Runoffs in Spec Miata and he is currently
chasing the 2008 Playboy MX-5 Cup having scored a win in only his
third-ever pro race, and followed it up with a second win at the Miller
Motorsports Park. Brad is currently sixth in points with one race to go.
The original MX-5 Cup shootout in late 2006 was open only to SCCA club
racing champions. NASA was added to the mix for 2007, and for 2008,
Mazda partner Skip Barber and a pair of NASA teen champions join the
competition being eligible to compete.
The competition measures all aspects of a driver:
- Fast lap times
- Technical feedback and knowledge
- The ability to write a winning sponsorship proposal/business plan
- PR and media skills
2008, the competition will be held in two stages with a preliminary
written portion to select the finalists for the on-track session.
The Prize: A factory supported ride in the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup
Eligible Racers: Anyone driving a Mazda or Mazda powered racecar to a championship within:
- The 2008 SCCA National Runoffs
to be crowned October 11-13 in Topeka, Kansas – With strong fields in
both Spec Miata and Formula Mazda among the 100 Mazda entries in the
25 classes, there will be at least two Mazda powered champions.
- The 2008 NASA National Championships. Two championships were won with Mazda power
- Todd Lamb – Spec Miata
- Scott Shelton – Performance Touring D
- The 2008 Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Cup series
- Justin Pushitell
- The NASA Spec Miata Teen Driving Champions
- East – Dean Copeland
- West – Two remaining races – season ends in October
- It is anticipated that approximately eight to ten racers will be eligible for stage 1
Stage 1 – Written sponsorship proposals/business plans will be judged.
The purpose is to demonstrate to the judges that the racer has the
business skills required to manage and grow a career beyond their one
year MAZDASPEED sponsorship. The judges will select three to six
drivers to progress to stage 2. The deadline for the eligible racers to
submit their electronic PDF proposals is October 27th. The stage 2
finalists will be announced in early November.
Stage 2 – Driving and technical exercises at Buttonwillow Raceway in California are scheduled for Tuesday, December 9.
Racers are eligible to compete in as many shootouts as they qualify
for, but cannot return after winning a shootout, thus past shootout
winners Andrew Caddell and Brad Rampelberg are not eligible for 2008.
Racers are also limited to one ladder prize per year.
Judges will be composed of a committee of motorsports professionals
including team owners/managers, engineers, drivers, and journalists.