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Mazda Motorsports Announces MRT24 Shootout Eligible Racers

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#1
Johnny D

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Matt-Cresci-2016-MRT24-Shootout-Champion

 

Mazda Motorsports Announces MRT24 Shootout Eligible Racers

 

– 19 Mazda Racers Aiming for $100,000 Mazda Scholarship –

 

Mazda has confirmed the eligible racers for the 12th annual Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. This post-season shootout will award a $100,000 Mazda Motorsports scholarship to compete in the 2018 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. The shootout will take place December 8, 2017 at the Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Arizona.   

 

Winning a club racing championship with Mazda power is the primary entry channel into the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.  Racers competing with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), Teen Mazda Challenge, and iRacing are eligible. The following racers are being invited to submit a written and video proposal from which three to five finalists will be selected.

 

    John Allen – iRacing MX-5 Cup Champion
    Jay Aranha – NASA NP01 (At-large)
    Ryan Dexter – Teen Mazda Challenge Rock Mountain Region Champion
    Julian Garfield – SCCA Solo (At-large)
    Brian Henderson – Teen Mazda Challenge Mid-Atlantic Region / NASA East PTE Champion
    Tyler Kicera – SCCA Spec Miata (At-Large)
    Tristan Littlehale NASA West Spec Miata Champion
    Brian Lock NASA West – NP01 Champion
    Aaron Michelet – NASA PTC (At-large)
    Matt Million – Teen Mazda Challenge (At-large)
    Austin Newmark – NASA ST4 (At-large)
    Preston Pardus – SCCA Runoffs Spec Miata Champion
    Eric Prill – SCCA Runoffs F-Production Champion
    Bryan Putt – NASA East Super Unlimited Champion
    Selin Rollan – SCCA/NASA Spec Miata (At-large)
    Michael Ross – NASA East Spec Miata Champion
    Matt Reynolds – SCCA Spec Miata & Production (At-large)
    Nick Sommers – Teen Mazda Challenge West Coast Region Champion
    Danny Soufi – Teen Mazda Challenge Texas Region Champion

 

David Cook, business development manager for Mazda Motorsports noted that, “The criteria for the shootout has been created to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the most complete set of skills required to succeed in motorsport. These skills include speed, consistency, race craft, technical understanding, and off-track business and PR skills. History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if he or she is lacking in multiple areas;  it will be a big challenge for the judges to narrow these 18 racers to our finalists;  it will be an even larger task to select a $100,000 winner.”


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#2
Danica Davison

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So now that all of the videos are out and we are waiting for Monday for the decision, anyone want to take some predictions, or would that offend too many people?  I think its fun to guess. Oh well, don't get offended, cause you are all very talented! I will get it started anyways:

 

I hope they pick five (at least) instead of three, just don't think three is enough to make it interesting. As always, I always put thought into my selections! My prospective top 5 in no particular order:

 

1.) John D Allen (iRacing):  I think he is already guaranteed a spot, so this one is an easy pick.  This dude is GOOD at iRacing and have raced with him a bunch on there. I believe he posted on FB that he made it in the finals of the iRacing Mazda shootout for four consecutive years now.  That is pretty damn impressive. He just started Spec Miata racing too this year (I think) so we will see if he can pull off a Glen McGee who I was very skeptical at first, but proved to drive really well.

 

2.) Tyler Kicera (Super Pro):  I think it is obvious he has put in the effort this year with all of the vlogs and related stuff all year. Also, he has proven that he can drive the car well, and almost won at his first MX5 cup race at the Glen which was impressive. 

 

3.)  Danny Soufi (Teen):  I am sure at least one of the teen Mazda drivers will get it.  I am going to go with a bold pick and thinking Soufi will get the nod, even though, I think some of the other teens may be a little more ready for this next step.  He has the funding, attitude, and youth on his side.  For 14 he drives pretty damn well, but is it his time? Idk? Might be too early, but maybe we will see.  I definitely think in a couple years, we will be a force to be reckoned with in Spec Miata.

 

4.) Selin Rollan (#2 man of the year):  Selin is definitely one of the most talented drivers in Spec Miata.  The kid can flat out drive a car and there is no 9/10ths in his mind, and he drives at 10/10th (sometimes 11/10ths) every corner of every lap.  I think he was overlooked last year as an at large pick.  I also think he had one of the more unique ideas in his video, offering a "#mrt24 Pricing Program" at the dealership he works at. I thought that was cool.

 

5.)  Preston Pardus (P$): It is pretty crazy to see the progress we have seen Preston make in the last year to two years. He has been driving very well and has finally broken through.  I mean, he was top 2 fastest ALL WEEK long at arguably the deepest field ever assembled at the Runoffs, and he won the damn thing!  I think just that performance in itself should give an automatic bid, as it should have for anyone who might have won.  The video editing and graphic work he does is just as good as the pros, which I think really helps his marketing ability.

 

Definitely some bias in the last two drivers, but I think the have just as good of a shot as anyone else, and I think their results speak for themselves.

 

Wildcard Picks:

Matt Reynolds and Michael Ross.  Both great wheelmen, good dudes, and both very deserving! Would not be surprised if either one got in!

 

Disclosures: 

I don't know anything about the west coast guys. So maybe throw in Littlehale and Sommers? Idk.

Also, I think besides the iRacing pick, it should all be Spec Miata guys (or at least have SM Background) in my opinion.  Because lets be honest here ... how much talent is there in NP01? LOL


John Davison
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#3
Johnny D

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#4
Johnny D

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2011 NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship E3 Champ
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#5
Johnny D

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We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Novel Approach - When a paragraph simply won't do... Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+

#6
Johnny D

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Ron Alan

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It would seem some are skipping the opportunity...cant find at least half a dozen videos? I chuckled at John Allen's "on budget video" when he speaks of his youth...got into Iracing to maybe avoid jail, death or divorce! 

Like John...I will be biased towards those I know...in my case the West coast nominees. Of those, I was impressed at the message and comfort level that came across in Matt Million's video. Well thought out, mature and realistic goals. Very easy to watch presentation!

Nic Sommers has proven on track he can handle a car...absolutely deserves an opportunity to show that.

 

I to would be very disappointed if Mazda only chooses 3 to drive...5 at least should get the experience!


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#8
Johnny D

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#9
Johnny D

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#10
Johnny D

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#11
Danica Davison

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It would seem some are skipping the opportunity...cant find at least half a dozen videos? I chuckled at John Allen's "on budget video" when he speaks of his youth...got into Iracing to maybe avoid jail, death or divorce! 
Like John...I will be biased towards those I know...in my case the West coast nominees. Of those, I was impressed at the message and comfort level that came across in Matt Million's video. Well thought out, mature and realistic goals. Very easy to watch presentation!
Nic Sommers has proven on track he can handle a car...absolutely deserves an opportunity to show that.
 
I to would be very disappointed if Mazda only chooses 3 to drive...5 at least should get the experience!

 

Yeah I would definitely be disappointed in just 3. Is 7 too much? And one thing my list is lacking is a west coast driver, which I am sure there will be at least one.


John Davison
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2016 - Central Florida Region Champion
2017 - The People's Champion
2017 - President of DSFC
#itcouldbeyou

Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Chatterbox - Blah blah blah... Blah blah blah Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#12
Johnny D

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2011 NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship E3 Champ
We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Novel Approach - When a paragraph simply won't do... Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+

#13
RacerJason99

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Yeah I would definitely be disappointed in just 3. Is 7 too much? And one thing my list is lacking is a west coast driver, which I am sure there will be at least one.

 

One of the teen drivers is from the west coast. Had lunch with Dean Case the other day, they aim for a minimum of three, max of five, cant do more in a single day with only having two test cars.



#14
MPR22

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I have this right were I want it.  Nobody is talking about me, makes it easier for me to swoop in the for the victory.   :toast:


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#15
Danica Davison

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I have this right were I want it.  Nobody is talking about me, makes it easier for me to swoop in the for the victory.   :toast:

 

 

Hey, I put you in my wildcard ! I actually liked your video the best. It just screams Texas and 'Merica and I loved it!  All you needed was a cowboy hat and it would have been complete


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John Davison
Autotechnik Racing / 5x Racing
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2017 - President of DSFC
#itcouldbeyou

Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Chatterbox - Blah blah blah... Blah blah blah Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#16
MPR22

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Hey, I put you in my wildcard ! I actually liked your video the best. It just screams Texas and 'Merica and I loved it!  All you needed was a cowboy hat and it would have been complete

I know you have my back.  I wanted to show more of who I am and what I believe in than just checking the boxes on a submittal.  I hope it works out for me, if not I was true to who I am and what I represent. I love Mazdas and how they drive and how they are designed.  I could drive any car south of 60k  and I still chose the CX-5 for too many reasons to list.  


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#17
Danica Davison

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I know you have my back.  I wanted to show more of who I am and what I believe in than just checking the boxes on a submittal.  I hope it works our for me, if not I was true to who I am and what I represent. I love Mazdas and how the drive and how they are designed.  I could drive any car south of 60k I want and I still chose the CX-5 for too many reasons to list.

 

Yeah, I agree. No point in being anyone's puppet, so I would be true to myself in one of those videos too. However, I am not sure I would even be considered if I were to be myself in the video :D haha


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John Davison
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#itcouldbeyou

Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Chatterbox - Blah blah blah... Blah blah blah Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#18
Tom Sager

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Good luck to all!


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MPR22

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congratulations to Tyler Kicera, Selin Rollan and Preston Pardus. For sure gonna be a Spec Miata pilot running GMX5 next year!!
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#20
Ron Alan

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Tyler I would think has a minuscule leg up after last year and some of the seat time he got this year! Congrats to all three! Unlikely you will have to test in wet weather!!


Ron

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