Author: Steve Allen |

After the season opening double-header for the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, the Mazda tally sheet showed three class wins, eight podium finishes, and three pole positions.

John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations said, “Congratulations to Elivan Goulart, Ted Hough, and Will Rodgers for great wins at COTA. Thanks to a great effort by all of our customer teams in the Pirelli World Challenge, the season is off to a great start. I’m sure the battle will be fierce all season long until the finale at Mazda Raceway in October”

The top Mazda results were as follows:

Touring Car A (TCA)

  • Elivan Goulart from Shelton, Conn, drove his S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 to the win in the first race and backed it up with a second place in the second race.
  • Eric Powell from Orlando, Fla, drove his Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 to a third place in the first race and set the fastest race lap to earn the pole position for race number two.
  • Joey Bickers from Moorpark, Calif, drove his Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5 to third place in the second race.

Touring Car B (TCB)

  • Ted Hough from Farmington, Minn, scored the first race win in his Breathless Racing Mazda2
  • Will Rodgers from Murrieta, Calif, drove his Hale Motorsports Solvang Brewing Co. / Kelly Benefit Strategies / Family 1 Mazda2 to the win in the second race. Will actually crossed the line first in the first race, but was disqualified for a minor technical infraction.
  • Henry Morse from Redondo Beach, Calif, scored a pair of third-place finishes in his Hale Motorsports MorseGPS powered by CalAmp / Rolling Hills Prep School Mazda2.

This was the first ever professional race weekend for both Rodgers and Morse. Rodgers graduated from the Spec Miata Teen Mazda Challenge, while 15-year-old Morse is coming directly from karting.

Several of the Mazda race cars at COTA carried artwork for the Austin Humane Society (AHS). The AHS sold over $5,000 worth of raffle tickets at the race. First prize in the raffle, thanks to Roger Beasley Mazda, is a 2016 Mazda MX-5.

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

May 19-22Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
June 23-26Road AmericaElkhart Lake, Wisconsin
July 29-30Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio
Aug 12-14Utah Motorsports Campus Tooele, Utah    
Oct 7-9Mazda Raceway Laguna SecaMonterey, California