The optimistic cliché is that tough times produce new opportunities. The current economic situation is indeed a rough one for all segments of industry, especially the automotive world. The MAZDASPEED team has taken that as a challenge, and is pleased to announce a new TV partnership that will be kicked off with two big weekends of live high-definition coverage on HDNet in continuing through July.
The broadcasts will focus on a pair of weekends where multiple classes of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development ladder will compete:
Autobahn Grand Prix Presented by Mazda at The Autobahn Country Club – July 25-26
The weekend will feature a Mazda triple-header with races on both Saturday and Sunday, featuring:
- Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered By Mazda
- Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear
- SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup
Each of the four broadcasts will be live for three hours (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm EDT). The broadcast team will be led by veteran commentator Rick Benjamin and legendary race-driver Elliott Forbes Robinson.
“By focusing on two of our biggest Mazda-centric race weekends, we can offer a unique viewing opportunity. Frequently, support races are broadcast at a different day and time, and often on different networks. We know that the road racing fan who follows the Atlantic Championship also will enjoy the Star Mazda and MX-5 Cup races. Our partnership with HDNet will allow us to more closely share the on-track experience with fans around the country by giving them a three-race afternoon, and the quality of the programming and high-definition transmission means it’s nearly as good as being trackside. A big thank you to our series partners at Cooper Tires (Atlantic) and BFGoodrich Tires (MX-5 Cup) for helping to make this happen,” noted Mike Nakashima, Director of Marketing, Mazda North American Operations.
To kick off the partnership HDNet will broadcast the season opener from the 2009 Atlantic Championship season, the VISIT FLORIDA Grand Prix from Sebring, Fla., on Saturday, June 6 at 3:00 pm EDT. The Sebring Star Mazda race will also be broadcast on HDNet at a date and time to be determined.
Mazda is the brand of choice for road-racers across North America. More than 9,000 grassroots racers compete in various classes with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). Racers who are years away from earning a driver’s license can now begin their professional motorsports careers in the Mazda family. A driver can begin in karts and progress through the Skip Barber series, Club Racing Formula Mazda, professional Star Mazda and finally to the Atlantic Championship, all with Mazda. No other car company has ever connected the dots this way.
On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you’ll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the largest road-racing class in the world is Spec Miata, with 2,500 first- and second-generation Miatas tearing up America’s racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda’s involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world’s premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through more than 850 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
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