NASA Racers Make Up Majority of Mazda Club Racer Shootout Finalists
Napa Valley, CA - NASA is proud
to announce that NASA racers have secured the majority of finalist positions in
the 2014 Mazda Club Racer Shootout. Specifically, NASA competitors will be
representing 5 of the 6 positions coming from real-life racing, and potentially
taking the step up the racing ladder into the professional ranks.
"NASA has a stellar track record of producing top level racers that have excelled in the professional ranks" said Jeremy Croiset, NASA's Director of Business Development. "Last year's eventual Shootout winner Joey Bickers was a NASA racer and we're very proud to see NASA racers securing a majority of the finalists position in this year's Shootout competition. This goes a long way toward validating the fact that NASA competitors are as serious as they come and that there isn't a better place to try accomplishing one's dream of moving into the world of professional motorsports. We look forward to seeing the outcome at the Shootout and wish all the finalists good luck."
The Mazda Club Racer Shootout is the single largest prize in club racing. Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one talented club racer to the professional ranks. The $75,000 prize will help fund one driver on his quest to the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires. A record 22 racers were semi-finalists, having met the eligibility criteria for 2014: each won a recognized championship over a minimum number of competitors. Now, after each made a formal written business proposal, evaluated and ranked by industry professionals, the field has been narrowed to eight.
The 2014 Mazda Club Racer shootout finalists are:
Ben Anderson NASA Eastern States Championships (PTE) Minneapolis, Minnesota
Steven Diem iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 3) Kailua, Hawaii
Joey Jordan NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (West) Santa Barbara, California
Kyle Loustaunau NASA Western States Championships (Spec Miata) Vacaville, California
Evan Maillard iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 2) Nesles La Vallée, France
Zachary Munro NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (Rocky Mountain) Granby, Colorado
Eric Powell NASA Western States Championships (PTD) Orlando, Florida
John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations noted, “Each year this shootout evolves. For 2014 we have our first simulator-racing champions, from the iRacing MX-5 Cup, and our first racers from outside of North America. The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of skills required to succeed, including speed, consistency, racecraft, technical feedback, and off-track business and PR skills. History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if they are lacking in any of these areas. Past shootout winners have performed well both on and off the track, using this prize as a springboard for their career.”
The final shootout will be at California’s Buttonwillow Raceway Park on December 1 and 2. The first day will test the finalists’ communication skills, marketing plans, and other essential attributes and skill sets required to continue to climb the racing ladder. The second day will consist of significant track time, data analysis, and a few surprises to help the judges gage the finalists’ skills behind the wheel. It is a winner-take-all event with only one racer moving up the Mazda ladder in 2015.
“The diversity of backgrounds and racing experience across the competitors is truly remarkable. The proposals reflect that diversity and highlight how social media and modern technologies are embraced by Mazda Motorsports participants at all ages and around the world. Each year the quality of competition on and off track continues to improve. The finals at Buttonwillow should be fantastic," stated Peter Calhoun - Motorsports Marketing Manager, BFGoodrich Tires.
Additional information about the Mazda Club Racer shootout and Mazda support can be found at http://www.mazdamotorsports.com
Photos from top-bottom: Ben Anderson, Joey Jordan, Kyle Loustaunau, Zachary Munro, Eric Powell.
Photos 1 & 5, Finishline Productions
Photo 3, Head-On Photos