All-new Mazda Sports Car Race Series Announced
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Amid the excitement of the 56th running of the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring and the 10th season opener of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, the Skip Barber Racing School announced final details on its all-new closed-wheel race series: The Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge.
The newest offering from the first name in equal-car racing features Mazda MX-5 Miata Cup cars with specifications closely matched to the Miatas used in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Series. The MAZDASPEED Challenge will be modeled on the long-running Skip Barber open-wheel regional race series.
The inaugural 10-race season begins April 5 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, company officials said. Skip Barber’s long history of producing regional and national race series events means the remainder of the new championship’s inaugural season will take place on similarly prestigious road courses, including Virginia International Raceway (May 3-4); Road Atlanta ( July 11-12); and Road America (September 27-28).
‘‘The Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge is an important new rung on the Mazda-built motorsports ladder,’’ said Skip Barber President George Ayres. ‘‘Drivers can now move from our MAZDASPEED Racing School to the new MAZDASPEED Challenge and from there into the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, Grand-Am, ALMS, SCCA and other sedan and sports car championships. Throughout, drivers will experience a highly professional environment that emphasizes skill development and great racing at competitive prices.’’
The MAZDASPEED Challenge is appealing mix of both an arrive-and-drive format and equally prepared race cars. Skip Barber will provide everything, from the cars to the racing suits. Drivers have flexibility to do just one race weekend, or as many as they like. Qualified drivers may register for the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge race series by calling 800-221-1131 and asking for a School and Series Advisor. Information is also available at www.skipbarber.com.
Skip Barber is the world’s largest racing and driving school, available at more than 20 race tracks across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Skip Barber Racing School, the company also runs the Skip Barber Driving School and the High Performance Driving School. The company also operates five separate open-wheel racing championships. In December, 2006, Skip Barber signed a long term agreement with Mazda North American Operations; Mazda sports cars are used in the Driving School programs and beginning in 2008, Mazda engines will power the Skip Barber fleet of more than 100 formula race cars.