MAZDA ROAD TO 24 SHOOTOUT SEMI-FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
Three 2016 Formula Car Challenge competitors will have an opportunity to seek a $100,000 Mazda Scholarship for the 2017 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup.
Formula Car Challenge standouts Carter Williams, Robin Shute, and Bill Weaver are among 27 semi-finalists selected for this year's Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. The Mazda Road to 24 Shootout is the single largest prize in grassroots motorsports. Launched in 2006 as the Club Racer shootout, the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout has annually promoted one talented club racer into the professional ranks. The $100,000 scholarship package supports a drive in the 2017 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup. The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of skills required to succeed. These skills include speed, consistency, race craft, technical feedback and off-track business, marketing and PR skills.
"Our series and drivers really appreciate the amount of investment both in time and money that Mazda makes in the sport we all love,” stated Formula Car Challenge Official Ben Hettema. “This opportunity, along with theMazda Road to Indy scholarship shows the kind of investment Mazda is making in talented up-and-coming racers ” In 2013 two Formula Car Challenge racers TJ Fischer and Michael Whelden made it to the final six in the shootout.
In 2015 FCC racers Bruno Carnerio and Joseph Burton-Harris made it to the final six.
To advance to the next level, the 27 semi-finalists will submit a business proposal and a short video presentation from which the finalists will be selected. It is anticipated that there will be six to eight finalists. A final shootout will be held at Carolina Motorsports Park, in Kershaw, South Carolina in November. The racers will be tested on the track for their driving skills and in the garage for their technical understanding of the sport. This is a winner-take-all competition; there is no second place.
The Mazda Road to 24 is a Mazda Motorsports program that provides a series of scholarships supporting drivers up a well-defined racing ladder to reach the ultimate level in sports car racing in North America. The Mazda Road to 24 joins the similar Mazda Road to Indy program, which offers scholarships for drivers in open-wheel racing. The two programs are a prime example of the depth and breadth of Mazda Motorsports involvement in creating the next generation of superstars. This year, Mazda will award more than $2,340,000 in scholarships to winning drivers in sports cars and open wheel categories.
For social media, the #MRT24 hashtag will be featured, matching the similar hashtag of #MRTI for the open-wheel categories.
The 2016 24 MRT24 Finalists:
Carter Williams – Formula Car Challenge FormulaSPEED National Champion
Robin Shute – Formula Car Challenge Pro FM National Champion
Bill Weaver – Formula Car Challenge Formula Mazda National Champion
Joshua Allen – NASA West PTC Champion
Michael Carter – At Large Nominee – SCCA Spec Miata
Matt Cresci – At Large Nominee – NASA Spec Miata
Dillon Dexter – NASA East PTD Champion
Warren Dexter – NASA East PTE Champion
Julian Garfield – At Large Nominee – SCCA SOLO
Charlie Hayes – NASA West PTD Champion
Justin Hille - SCCA Runoffs Spec Miata Champion
Dan Howard – NASA West PTE Champion
Tyler Kicera – NASA East Spec Miata Champion
Ryan Kowalewski – At Large Nominee – SCCA T4
Daniel Langon - Teen Mazda Challenge Western Region Champion
Brian Lock – NASA West NP01 Champion
Ethan Loree - Teen Mazda Challenge Rocky Mountain Champion
Matthew Machiko - SCCA Runoffs Formula Mazda Champion
Ryan Norman - SCCA Runoffs Formula Atlantic Champion
Max Nufer – At Large Nominee – SCCA Spec Miata
Matt Reynolds – SCCA Runoffs E Production Champion
Matt Rivard – NASA East NP01 Champion
Nick Sommers – NASA West Spec Miata Champion
Deriann Taylor - Teen Mazda Challenge Texas Region Champion
Jon Van Caneghem – NASA West Super Unlimited Champion
Stacy Wilson – SCCA Runoffs GT3 Champion
TBD – iRacing Global Mazda MX-5 Combine Cup Champion