National Auto Sport Association

Five NASA Finalists Selected for 2015 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

 Five NASA Finalists Selected for 2015 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

Napa Valley, CA – (November 4, 2015) – National Auto Sport Association (NASA) drivers continue to dominate the field of racers of finalist selected for this year’s 2015 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. Five racers from NASA will be competing for the $100,000 scholarship package that supports a drive in the 2016 Battery Tender Mazda Global MX-5 Cup car. 

John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports, noted: ‘The nine finalists in this shootout are all highly competitive. The fact that the judges identified nine outstanding racers, from the 23 eligible, shows the tremendous depth of talent we are working with today. Mazda is so proud to offer this prize to our grassroots racers and customers; there is simply nothing like it in the world.”   


NASA drivers dominated the competition securing 5 of the 9 coveted finalist positions in the 2015 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. NASA will be represented in the competition by:


Racer                             Hometown                         Club/Series

Joshua Allan                  La Verne, California           NASA PTD Western States Champion

Bruno Carneiro               Riverton, Utah                   NASA Utah Region

Mark Drennan                San Jose, California           NASA Spec Miata Champion (East & West)

Mason Filippi                 Alamo, California               NASA Nor-Cal West Coast Teen Mazda Challenge Champion

Eric Powell                    Orlando, Florida                 NASA Florida Region


Joshua Allan began his career in motorsports securing a position as an engineer for Ferrari’s F1 team. He got his first taste of racing jumping into the Italian Formula Ford Championship eventually moving into a vehicle development role for Maserati. His immediate goal is to win the shootout and jump start his career in pro racing to attract sponsors and move up the Mazda ladder in the road to 24 Shootout. 

“The NASA racer development ladder is fundamental to building the skills of track fanatics and aspiring racers", said Joshua Allen. "Even with my experience, I chose to start in HPDE 1 and move up through each level because I knew that I would learn new concepts from experienced instructors and develop the knowledge and skills to share the track with etiquette while continuing to develop my driving skills. I subsequently became an instructor myself, which further informed and aided my development. After running Time Trials for a season I moved into racing in Performance Touring. Thanks to NASA's driver development system, I found myself racing with highly competitive and highly respectful drivers with strong awareness to race door-door while not giving an inch more ground than needed. That's the best kind of racing there is."


At just 16 years old, Bruno Carneiro is the youngest finalist in the field. He's from Riverton, Utah where he started racing karts at the age of 4. After gaining 11 years of experience amassing multiple wins and championships, he decided to make the move up to racing cars. His choice; Formula Mazda. “The natural choice was to start racing with the NASA Utah Region at my home track Miller Motorsports Park," said Bruno Carneiro. "What impressed me the most is how welcomed I was by NASA Utah. I was fortunate enough to win the championship on my rookie year and that opened a whole lot of new opportunities for me."


Mark Drennan, a native of Northern California got his start in racing cars with NASA in 2007 at Thunderhill Raceway. His current focus before next week's event is all about preparation and promotion. 
“Every step in my progression - from driving a computer simulator, to karts, and now to cars - allowed me to be immediately competitive at the next level and has been crucial to my development as a championship caliber driver,” said Mark Drennan. "I'm speaking with former shootout participants, series champions, driver coaches, and race engineers to gain their insights and advice.  I'm also getting the word out to promote the Mazda Road to 24 program and my participation as a finalist."


Mason Filippi began automobile racing with NASA in 2014. The most important thing to him this year was good consistent finishes.  Mason had 4 wins and several podiums. Being only one week out from the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, his current focus is studying the track, refining interview skills and promoting himself as well as Mazda through press releases. “NASA has a great field with talented and dedicated drivers. Mazda including the Teen Mazda Challenge champions in the Mazda Road to 24 shootout gave me the opportunity to compete for this amazing prize,” said Mason Filippi.


Eric Powell began his racing career like many others honing his skills in karting before moving into stock car racing for several years. Later deciding there were more opportunities in Road Racing, he moved into NASA. “Currently I am 100% focused on winning the shootout and building my brand. NASA has been a great place to race for the past few years. Classes such as Performance Touring really allow someone with creativity and ingenuity like myself to shine,” said Eric Powell.


The shootout will take place at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC, on November 8-10. The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of skills required to succeed.  These skills include speed, consistency, race craft, technical feedback and off-track business, marketing and PR skills.


Additional information about the Mazda Road to 24 shootout, and 2016 MX-5 Cup race car, can be found at Mazda Motorsports will be providing live social updates from the Carolina Motorsports Park event on Twitter at @mazdaracing and with hashtag  #MRT24.

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