Mazda Motorsports: 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Season Preview

Double the number of Mazda entries in 2016
Double the number of Mazda entries in 2016

Twenty-four Mazda race cars are ready for the season opening rounds of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge|(PWC) at the Circuit of the Americas|(COTA) in Austin, Texas, on March 3-5. Independent Mazda racers will be challenging for drivers championships in the Touring Car (TC), Touring Car A (TCA) and Touring Car B (TCB) classes.

John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations said, “Thanks to great customer support, our Mazda entries have doubled since last year. With the launch of our new Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, for the fourth generation MX-5, the TCA class looks to be the ideal place to race the third-generation MX-5 Cup cars."

Notes from the Mazda paddock include:

  • With 24 entries in the three touring car classes, Mazda outnumbers competitors BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mini, Nissan and Porsche.
  • 2015 PWC race winners Ernie Francis Jr., Adam Poland and Joey Jordan are returning, each with an eye on the TC Drivers Championship.
  • Adam Poland and his family team have moved their shop to Dallas and have rebranded the EASTex Motorsports team as Doghouse Performance.
  • Led by the husband-and-wife team of John and Dinah Weisberg, BERG Racing has grown to a three-car effort with the addition of driver Dr. Jay Salinsky.
  • Former PWC TC Championship-winning team Atlanta Motorsports Group returns to the series full-time for 2016 with former Mazda Road to 24 Shootout winners Joey Bickers and Patrick Gallagher in the TCA class.
  • After scoring the final five TCB wins in 2015, Joey Jordan is moving up to the TC class with Hale Motorsports.
  • The youngest driver in the field will be 15-year-old rookie Henry Morse.
  • Former Teen Mazda Challenge racer Will Rodgers will be making his professional race debut with Hale Motorsports.
  • Several of the Mazda race cars at COTA will be carrying artwork for the Austin Humane Society. Thanks to Roger Beasley Mazda, the Austin Humane Society (AHS) will be raffling off a 2016 Mazda MX-5. Additionally, the AHS will have shelter staff at the track selling tickets.
  • The 2016 season will conclude at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Car # (Class) Driver Team/Car Hometown Sponsor
# 5 (TC) John A Weisberg BERG Racing Mazda MX-5 Power Brake / REDCOM / Webster, NY Red Line Oil / Powerflex / Mann's / MCS
# 14 (TCB) Henry Morse Hale Motorsports Mazda2 Redondo Beach, CA MorseGPS powered by CalAmp / Rolling Hills Prep School
# 16 (TCA) Jay Salinsky BERG Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Miami, FL Fuse Lenses/Regenexx Cayman/Red Line Oil/REDCOM
# 17 (TC) Randy Hale Hale Motorsports Mazda MX-5 Haddam, CT TransAero, inc
# 21 (TCA) Drake Kemper Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Toluca Lake, CA Parliament Dallas
# 22 (TCA) Kevin Anderson Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Huntington NY Tech Sport Racing COTA
# 23 (TCA) Eric Powell Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Orlando, FL Tech Sport Racing
# 33 (TC) Adam Poland Doghouse Performance Mazda MX-5 Ft. Worth, TX Edge Addicts / Majestic Pet Products
# 36 (TCA) Daniel Williams S.A.C racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Scottsbluff, NE Daniel Williams
# 37 (TCB) Blake Thompson Black Armor Helmets Mazda 2 Racine, WI
# 47 (TC) Joey Jordan Hale Motorsports Mazda MX-5 Fallbrook,CA TransAero, inc
# 49 (TCA) Joey Bickers Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5 Cup Moorpark, CA
# 50 (TC) Dinah Weisberg BERG Racing Mazda MX-5 Webster NY REDCOM Laboratories/Red Line Oil/Power Brake
# 54 (TC) Patrick Gallagher Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5 Thornville, OH Howard Concrete Pumping
# 55 (TCB) James Wilson Black Armor Helmets Mazda 2 Kyle, TX Black Armor Helmets
# 64 (TC) Austin Snader Snader Racing Mazda MX-5 Fulshear, TX Mazdaspeed/SR Enterprises
# 65 (TCB) Will Rodgers Hale Motorsports Mazda2 Murrieta, CA Solvang Brewing Co. / Kelly Benefit Strategies / Family 1
# 68 (TCB) Ted Hough Breathless Racing Mazda 2 Farmington, MN
# 69 (TC) Anthony Geraci S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 Glen Head, NY S.A.C. Racing / European Granite & Marble Group, Inc.
# 70 (TCA) Elivan Goulart S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Shelton, CT S.A.C. Racing /
# 73 (TC) Daniel Moen S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 Rindge, NH S.A.C. Racing
# 74 (TCA) Matthew Fassnacht S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Madison, NJ S.A.C. Racing / Equity Residences
# 75 (TCB) Steve Taake Black Armor Helmets Mazda 2 Houston, TX
# 98 (TC) Ernie Francis, Jr. Breathless Racing Mazda MX-5 Dania, FL

The 2016 Pirelli Wold Challenge (TC/TCA/TCB) Race Schedule:

Dates Circuit City
March 3-5 Circuit of The Americas Austin, Texas
May 19-22 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
June 23-26 Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
July 29-30 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio
Aug 12-14 Utah Motorsports Campus Tooele, Utah
Oct 7-9 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Monterey, California

Each event is a double-header, with two races per weekend, for a 12-race season.

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