GRAND-AM: OTHER MARQUES LOOK TO DERAIL MAZDA’S WINNING STREAK

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Homestead: SpeedSource Scores Second Straight VictoryDAYTONA BEACH, FL – Teams fielding Camaro, Corvette, Porsche and BMW race cars are looking to snap Mazda’s two-race winning streak in the Porsche 250 on April 10 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., Round 3 of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

The race will take the green flag at 1:36 p.m. ET, with live SPEED coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell won the 2009 Porsche 250 in a Pontiac GXP.R. Stevenson Motorsports is fielding a pair of Camaros for 2010, the No. 57 for Davis and Liddell and the No. 97 for Jan Magnussen and Gunter Schaldach.

Three teams will field Corvettes. Banner Racing has the No. 07 Mobil 1 Corvette for 2008 GT co-champion Paul Edwards and motorcycle legend Scott Russell. Lou Gigliotti’s LG Motorsports debuted the No. 28 Corvette for 2008 co-champion Kelly Collins and Eric Lux in the recent race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, while Marsh Racing makes its GRAND-AM debut at Barber with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette for Eric Curran and Sonny Whelen. Collins and Edwards teamed to win GT honors in the 2007 Porsche 250 in the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R.

Three Porsches are entered in the event. John Potter and Craig Stanton share the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3, Shane Lewis and Richard Zahn co-drive the No. 46 Autohaus Motorsports entry while Luke Hines and Bryce Miller compete in the No. 48 Miller Barrett Racing GT3.

Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana are entered in the lone BMW, the No. 94 Turner Motorsport M6 that made its debut in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team had a strong showing in the Grand Prix of Miami, leading four laps and finishing fifth.

The four marques will be taking on Mazda, which has four teams fielding eight cars and won the GT class in both races this season.

SpeedSource owner Sylvain Tremblay and new regular co-driver Jonathan Bomarito, joined by Nick Ham and David Haskell, won the season opening Rolex 24 in the No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8, while Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal captured GT honors in the team’s No. 69 FXDD Mazda at Homestead. SpeedSource also fields the No. 68 of rising stars John Edwards and Adam Christodoulou.

Dempsey Racing has expanded to two Mazdas this season. Racer/actor Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster return in the No. 40, joined by defending GT champion Leh Keen and James Gue in the No. 41 – who scored Dempsey Racing’s first podium finish by placing third at Homestead. Team Sahlen has a pair of Mazdas, with Joe Sahlen joining Joe Nonnamaker and his two sons, Will and Wayne Nonnamaker. Returning with one car is Racers Edge Motorsports, fielding the No. 30 for Todd Lamb and Jordan Taylor.

Practice for the Porsche 250 begins at 2:55 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 8, with qualifying Friday at 11:40 a.m.

Courtesy J.J. O’Malley

Homestead: SpeedSource Scores Second Straight Victory

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The SpeedSource team rolled into Homestead-Miami Speedway for Round 2 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 carrying all the momentum gained from their recent Rolex 24 win. While most teams simply cleaned and prepared for the race, SpeedSource added a third car to their stable of Mazda RX-8s, yet again strengthening their position in the Rolex GT Class. The added pressure was business as usual and, without skipping a beat, the team cars qualified 2nd through 4th (70, 68, 69).

Emil Assentato qualified the #69 FXDD SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 in the 4th position. Assentato maintained a competitive position within the Top 5 in GT for the opening half of the race before handing over driving duties to Jeff Segal. On the race’s lone restart with 15 minutes remaining, Segal made a charge for the lead passing the #70 Castrol Syntec SpeedSource Mazda RX-8. The #69 RX-8 beat all other GT cars to the finish line to take the second consecutive SpeedSource win of the season.

Jonathan Bomarito made his qualifying debut in the #70 Castrol Syntec SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 placing the car P2 to start the race. Jonathan quickly challenged for the GT Class lead and led a total of 44 laps, a race high. Sylvain Tremblay took over driving duties in the final hour of the race and continued to maintain the GT lead before an electrical issue hampered the car during the closing laps. The GT Class point’s leader left Homestead-Miami with a successful 4th place finish; maintaining his point’s advantage to the rest of the GT entrants.

Making their race debut in the #68 SpeedSource/NWR Mazda RX-8 were Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development ladder drivers John Edwards and Adam Christodoulou. The two will co-drive the #68 Mazda RX-8 for the remainder of the season, gaining valuable endurance sports car racing experience. Edwards started the race 3rd on the grid after a qualifying run just 0.005 seconds behind #70 RX-8 driver Jonathan Bomarito. The duo would keep the car running with the leading pack in GT before a tire puncture sent them into the pits for an unscheduled stop. The drivers took home a 9th place finish in their Rolex Series debut.

About Mazda

On any given weekend, there are more Mazda’s 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 fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA’s Spec Miata class, with nearly 1,500 first- and second-generation Miata’s 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 nearly 900 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.