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Mazda Motorsports Announces MRT24 Shootout Eligible Racers

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#21
Spencer Rutherford

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Congrats guys, I’d hate to have to be a judge and pick just one guy from this crowd. From what I understand John D Allen the iracing guy/sm rookie is still in the mix also. I wish there was some way for us to watch the action.
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#22
Danica Davison

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Breaking news: Spencer Rutherford was also added to the mrt24 shootout after his ARRC performance.
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#23
Justin Casey

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Congrats guys, I’d hate to have to be a judge and pick just one guy from this crowd. From what I understand John D Allen the iracing guy/sm rookie is still in the mix also. I wish there was some way for us to watch the action.

I also agree that it would be interesting to watch and listen how the judges determine who makes the cut or not. 

This would be very helpful and provide insight towards those who didn't make the cut this year and those who are aspiring to make it next year. 

It would essentially be Mazda's version of the Nissan GT Academy lol. 

 

Also, congrats to the finalists! 


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#24
Johnny D

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$100,000 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout Finalists Announced

 

IRVINE, Calif. (November 22, 2017) – Mazda has confirmed four finalists for the 12th annual Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. This one-of-a-kind, 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 one-day, winner-take-all, shootout will take place December 8, 2017 at the Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Arizona. This is the largest prize available in all of grassroots road racing. Combining the Mazda Road to 24 and Mazda Road to Indy, Mazda has cumulatively awarded over 60 scholarships since 2007, for a total investment in the millions of dollars.

 

Winning a club racing championship with Mazda power is the primary entry channel into the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. 19 racers were eligible for the shootout based upon success with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), Teen Mazda Challenge, and iRacing. These racers were then invited to submit a written and video proposal from which the finalists were selected.

 

The 2017 finalists are:

 

    John Allen, Canal Winchester, Ohio – iRacing MX-5 Cup Champion. iRacing has proven they are not a game, but a professional race simulation tool. John used iRacing as his training tool before be began Spec Miata racing.

 
    Tyler Kicera, Manheim, Pennsylvania – 2016 NASA Eastern States Spec Miata Champion. Seven wins from 13 races in 2017 Spec Miata competition. Works as a senior director at Tait Towers, a kinetic architecture firm.

 
    Preston Pardus, Daytona Beach, Florida – 2017 SCCA Runoffs Spec Miata Champion. Pardus is a second generation racer, son of retired NASCAR racer Dan Pardus. Away from racing, Preston is attending Daytona State College.

 
    Selin Rollan, Winter Park, Florida – 2017 SCCA and NASA Eastern States Championship Spec Miata Runner-up. 2017 was a busy year for Selin as he also graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Sociology.

 

John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations, said, “I joke that I can almost repeat my quote every year as each year we say that this is our strongest class ever, and 2017 is no exception. Mazda continues to be proud to be able to offer this un-matched Mazda Road to 24 opportunity to drivers all across North America. It’s amazing how tough the competition is and that it gets more competitive every year. This year we are at a new venue and are holding the MRTI Shootout immediately afterwards. May the best racers win.”

 

About Mazda Motorsports

Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.


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#25
Johnny D

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FYI,

2016 Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Race Car

 

https://showroom.win...s/product/3333/

 

J~


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#26
Todd Lamb

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Somebody buy that thing and come racing with us in 2018!


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#27
Cnj

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Congratulations to all 4.

Did not know that Tyler worked for Tait towers. Those guys do insanely cool work.

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#28
chris haldeman

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Tait is a cool company. I did machining work on the tumbling drum set years and years ago
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#29
Tyler Kicera

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Congratulations to all 4.

Did not know that Tyler worked for Tait towers. Those guys do insanely cool work.

Cnj

 

how do you know Tait?


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#30
Cnj

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how do you know Tait?

I lead a team of theatre designers, entertainment technology engineers and acoustics designers. (Idibri.com). Hard to miss you guys in the entertainment (now kinetic architecture) markets. Cool work.

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#31
Tyler Kicera

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I lead a team of theatre designers, entertainment technology engineers and acoustics designers. (Idibri.com). Hard to miss you guys in the entertainment (now kinetic architecture) markets. Cool work.

CNJ


Ah, yes I recognize the company. I ran design & engineering at Tait between 2010-2014 prior to moving into biz dev.

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#32
Johnny D

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Hearing from the grape vine..

 

Congrats to Selin Rollan !!

 

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#33
Caveman-kwebb99

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It's on Facebook official sellin! Congrats well deserved

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#34
Tyler Kicera

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Congrats to Selin on the win and to Preston and John for making it to the finals.  Despite the result, I had a great time with everyone and it was truly an enjoyable experience.  I'm looking forward to 2018!

 


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Tyler Kicera  |  YouTube 

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#35
Jim Drago

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Congrats to Selin on the win and to Preston and John for making it to the finals.  Despite the result, I had a great time with everyone and it was truly an enjoyable experience.  I'm looking forward to 2018!

 

 

Nice job on the video


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#36
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I had the chance to work with Selin, Preston, and iRacing (I mean John :D) the weekend before the shootout, helping them get up to speed in one of our Global cars. All 3 had a great shot at winning the shootout, and it was a pleasure working with each of them.

 

Tyler of course had an equal shot, I can offer, having raced with/against him at Watkins Glen earlier this year. We now share the "honor" of being two-time shootout losers! :)

 

Looking forward to what 2018 has in store. Congrats Selin!


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Full disclosure: SMAC chairman, my opinions do not reflect anything to do with the SMAC unless specifically stated.

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#37
Richard Astacio

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Congrats to Selin on the win and to Preston and John for making it to the finals.  Despite the result, I had a great time with everyone and it was truly an enjoyable experience.  I'm looking forward to 2018!

 

 

Great insight, thanks for the video. I honestly think the finals should be decided with a race...mano a mano..Some guys are great qualifiers and others excel during a race. 

Somehow they should incorporate a race into this...but I guess they don't want the cars to get damaged?


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#38
Tyler Kicera

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Great insight, thanks for the video. I honestly think the finals should be decided with a race...mano a mano..Some guys are great qualifiers and others excel during a race.
Somehow they should incorporate a race into this...but I guess they don't want the cars to get damaged?


It's open wheel, but they do a race in the Road to Indy...I agree.

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#39
Johnny D

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Rollan-withND-400x244.jpg

 

MRT24 Shootout Winner Selin Rollan

 

Spec Miata frontrunner walks away with a scholarship to compete in MX-5 Cup in 2018

 

Selin Rollan has been a frontrunner in Spec Miata for the last several years. This year, Rollan finished second in both the SCCA National Championship Runoffs and the NASA Eastern States Championships, earning an invitation to the 2017 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. On Dec. 8, Rollan, SCCA Spec Miata champ Preston Pardus, Tyler Kicera and iRacing champ John Allen gathered with a pair of Mazda Global MX-5 Cup cars at the Bondurant Racing School facility in Chandler, Ariz., to see who would earn a $100,000 scholarship to compete in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires – Rollan walked away with the prize.

 

“I’m a little teary eyed, honestly,” said Rollan not long after the announcement that he had won the shootout. “I was in shock. It’s a very big honor to win this Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I was just talking to my parents on the phone, I definitely shed some tears of excitement, and they shed some tears as well – I could hear it in their voices. I’ll be excited to move forward with this.”

 

Rollan had to beat some good friends and tough competitors to earn the scholarship. Three of the finalists are Southeast Spec Miata racers, so they race head to head often.

 

Rollan-portrait-267x400.jpg

 

“The lineup was stacked. It was fun with Preston; Preston is one of my best friends, we race so much together. Tyler is a very fast, fierce competitor, and John did an amazing job for how little experience that he has and coming from iRacing. It’s crazy how fast John is on iRacing, by the way,” said Rollan.

 

For the Shootout, each competitor had several sessions in one of the two Global MX-5 Cup cars, ballasted for equal weight and always on each driver’s own set of BFGoodrich tires. Aside from watching times, the judges – former IndyCar racer and now television commentator Scott Goodyear; Mazda Team Joest driver Jonathan Bomarito; IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competitor Andrew Carbonell; and Tom Long, who did much of the development driving on the Global MX-5 Cup car and has spent several seasons competing in Mazda GT cars and prototypes in IMSA – watched from various spots around the 1.6-mile track. After each session the judges provided feedback and watched how the drivers responded to that feedback in the next session. Through that, they saw some clear indicators that told them Rollan would be successful in MX-5 Cup.

 

“For me, it was the approach,” says Goodyear. “Getting in the car, thinking and programming himself when he left pit lane. He had a plan when he left pit lane. I always tell people, ‘Find some quiet time when you slide in the cockpit and you put your helmet on, and you already have a plan about what you’re going to do out there.’ I saw that clearly. And he was fast, and the car control was exceptional. When he tried something and the car started going out from underneath him, there was no panic in it.”

 

“I think the biggest thing we saw was just average pace,” adds Long. “His outright pace was strong every session. Another factor is a kind of consistency of the average lap time relative to the fast lap and kind of seeing adjustments and learning throughout the session – trying to make a change to something, then trying something else and actually progressing as the run goes on. It’s not just increasing speed, but physically trying different things whether it be brake points or gear changes or lines.”

 

Rollan-SM-9785_RSJ.jpg

 

Rollan left Arizona on a plane with Pardus back to Florida where he went straight to work at his job selling cars at Classic Mazda in Orlando, a dealership that boasts enthusiasts like Heath Patterson and Chad Rogers among its staff. It’s likely they’ll understand when he needs time off to go race in MX-5 Cup. “I’ve been talking to customers about this and they’ve been giving me their best wishes,” Rollan says. “It’s exciting to talk about and point to the car in the showroom and say, yeah, that’s what I’m racing.”

 

Now he has a few decisions to make about how he will approach his rookie year in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, but he thinks he’s made one big decision already.

 

“We’re thinking about purchasing a car,” he says. “My dad and I do a lot of work on the cars, he likes to work on the cars down in Miami. At that point we have unlimited testing. Testing is expensive, to go out on a weekend when it’s not an MX-5 Cup test. We can go out to a regional weekend and test all we want. As far as teams, there are a lot of options for sure. There are some local ones and some very proven teams. We’ve just got to weigh the options and see what’s going to best suit us and our program.”

 

As the winner of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, there are some big expectations heaped upon Rollan’s shoulders. Now the hard work of meeting those expectations begins.


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2011 NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship E3 Champ
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