Eight Mazda RX-8 Teams Deliver Rolex Grand-Am GT Championship

August 29, 2010 (IRVINE, Calif.). Mazda, along with its MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development racing partners, clinched the 2010 Rolex Grand-Am GT championship this weekend during the Montreal 200 race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Despite the Mazda brand being one of the most successful racing nameplates in the world, this is the first GT championship for the company since its 1991 win in the IMSA GTO championship.

The combined efforts of eight Mazda RX-8 race teams all season brought not only the manufacturer’s championship, but all three GT championships – driver, team, and manufacturer. Over the past three years in the hotly contested Rolex Grand-Am GT series, the Mazda RX-8 has won multiple races against the best from Porsche, Chevrolet, BMW, Ferrari and others, but this season has been the rotary-powered car’s most successful.

With a fourth place finish in this weekend’s Montreal race, Mazda now has an insurmountable 50 point lead over Chevrolet and Porsche with one race remaining and a maximum of 35 points available. Who will win the driver and team championships is still undecided, but the leading contenders for both are Mazda RX-8 teams and drivers.

“Winning the GT manufacturer’s championship was a result of our core values of quality, durability, reliability, and teamwork. We’re proud of the combined efforts of SpeedSource, Dempsey Racing, Racers Edge, and Team Sahlens. Each Mazda team contributed to this championship, and it’s a very proud day for every one of our employees and dealers across North America,” said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality, and the man responsible for Mazda’s North American motorsports operations under the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development banner. “The fact that this is locked up with one race to go means that it will be every team for themselves at Miller.”

Season highlights after 11 of 12 races:
• The season began with a win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 23rd class win for Mazda at Daytona.
• Mazda won the first three races of the year (Daytona, Homestead, & Barber).
• Mazda has won six of 11 races (55%).
• Mazda has scored 19 of 33 podium finishes (58%).
• Mazda scored three 1-2-3 finishes (Barber, Lime Rock, & New Jersey).
• Mazda recorded six pole positions (Rolex 24 at Daytona, Daytona in July, VIR, Barber, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen)
• The #70 Castrol Syntec SpeedSource RX-8 has led more laps than any other team.
• Jonathan Bomarito leads the rookie-of-the-year standings.
• Emil Assentato leads the Bob Akin GT ProAm standings.

With one race remaining, the points are as follows:

Manufacturers Championship:
1st Mazda – 362 points (6 wins)
2nd Chevrolet – 312 points (1 win)
3rd Porsche – 294 points (3 wins)
4th BMW – 213 points (1 win)

Drivers Championship:
1st(t) Jeff Segal/Emil Assentato – #69 Mazda RX-8 – 318 points (2 wins)
3rd Sylvain Tremblay – #70 Mazda RX-8 – 310 points (2 wins)
4th Jonathan Bomarito – #70 Mazda RX-8 – 291 points (2 wins)
5th(t) James Gue/Leh Keen – #41 Mazda RX-8 – 289 points (1 win)

Team Championship:
1st #69 FXDD SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 – 318 points (2 wins)
2nd #70 Castrol Syntec SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 – 310 points (2 wins)
3rd #41 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 – 289 points (1 win)

The season finale will be the Utah 250 at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday, September 11th. Grand-Am awards 35 points for a win, so the drivers and team championships could go down to the final laps of the season.