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Mazda has a very rich heritage in racing and motorsports, and now they’ll be able to share highlights from their Mazda-centric series of races through the Velocity network.
“The Mazda Motorsports Hour” will be a regularly-scheduled hour-long weekend show on Velocity and will have an emphasis on SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
“Hardcore fans know that some of the most intense action can be found in the Playboy MX-5 Cup, Star Mazda and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. But if you weren’t at the race, you are left to take our word for it. Now, thanks to a partnership with Velocity, and Carolinas Production Group, fans can enjoy the action on a regular basis from their living room,” noted Jim Jordan, Alternative Marketing Manager, Mazda North America.
Hosting the show will be Rick Benjamin, who is an award-winning motorsports broadcaster. Racers Randy Pobst and James Hinchcliffe will also be in the booth while Todd Lewis will be the pit reporter. 24 shows in total will be broadcasted this season from April through November and will be on tape delay, so don’t expect any live action.
Marking the 20th anniversary of Mazda‘s victory in the world’s most demanding endurace race, the 24 Hour of Le Mans, Mazda has brought the winning Mazda 787B back from the dead.
Since winning in 1991, the Mazda 787B has been on display at the Mazda Museum in Horishima, Japan. The car has been carefully restored since its last 1991 post race overhaul, to open for the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans. The 79th annual race begins Saturday June 11 at 3 p.m. Additionally, the 787B will also take part in the Driver’s Parade through the Le Mans City center on Friday 10.
The 787B was powered by a four-rotor rotary engine that produced 700-hp. The 787B was the first and only Japanese car to win the 24 Hour of Le Mans. After 1991, rotary engines could not participate in the 24 Hour of Le Mans.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, members of the 1991 Mazda team will also return to Le Mans. The winning driver Johnny Herbert (England) will be joined by 1991 Mazda drivers David Kennedy (Ireland), Pierre Dieudonné (Belgium) and other team members.
Gallery: Mazda 787B
The world of racing is often only focused on getting to the podium, but at the this weekend’s Grand Am series race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., three Mazda race teams will be doing their part to help raise funds for American Red Cross for Japan relief.
The teams in question are Dempsey Racing, Team Sahlen and Speedsource, and they each will be displaying special graphics which would encourage people to donate $10 by texting REDCROSS at 90999.
“The devastation in Japan is so overwhelming and we wanted to help in any way we could,” said Sylvain Tremblay of SpeedSource Inc, who came up with the idea to race with special graphics on the Mazda race cars. “We will be donating all race winnings from Car #70 to the American Red Cross Japan relief efforts.”
Dempsey Racing shares the feeling, saying; “It’s been just three weeks since the tragedy in Japan and already news updates have begun thinning out, while the people of Japan still need so much help,” said Joe Foster of Dempsey Racing and who co-drives car #40 with Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey. “We are hoping to generate a second round of donations to the Red Cross this weekend by keeping Japan top-of-mind with both the racing community and our fans.”
Team Sahlen will be racing cars #42 and #43. “We are hoping to help make a difference by spotlighting the Red Cross efforts to assist Japan,” said Will Nonnamaker, team driver.
The Mazda Foundation in America has already made a $150,000 donation for the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief and is encouraging its dealers to do the same.