From the Wires
PATRICK GALLAGHER WINS MAZDA SHOOTOUT
-- Ohio SCCA Racer Tops Final-Four To Score Biggest Prize in Club Racing --
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 14, 2012 09:06 PM
IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Patrick Gallagher had an impressive racing resume last week. Now he can add 2012 Mazda Club Racer Shootout winner to his list of accomplishments. Gallagher will follow in the footsteps of Andrew Caddell, Brad Rampelberg, Justin Piscitell, Nick Evans, Scott Shelton, and Elliott Skeer, the six previous Mazda shootout winners.
He also joins the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver ladder, which includes the Mazda Road to Indy, program class of 2013. The MAZDASPEED ladder has been a critical part of the success of up-and-coming racers including Raphael Matos, John Edwards, Conor Daly, Joel Miller, Matthew Brabham, Connor De Phillippi, Dane Cameron, Jack Hawksworth, Stevan McAleer, Jason Saini, Todd Lamb, Eric Foss, Michael Cooper, Trent Hindman, Danilo Estrella, Adam Christodoulou, Sage Karam, Spencer Pigot, Felix Serralles, Tristan Vautier, Petri Suvanto, Scott Anderson, and Yago Cesario
When told that he had won the shootout, a prize valued at $75,000, the richest in all of club racing Gallagher was almost speechless, " I don't quite know what to say, It is amazing to have this opportunity. A huge thanks to everyone who helped me get to this point, Mazda, my parents, Howard Concrete Pumping, JAY Motorsports, CTL Engineering, and HKC Support. There is a reason there are more Mazda's road raced on any given weekend than any other brand, they build the best cars in the world and I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of their family."
The four shootout finalists were:
Charles Espenlaub, who has participated in the selection process in all six previous competitions, commented on the deliberation process; "I am absolutely amazed with the incredible level of talent at the Mazda Club Racer Shootout. This competition this year was the closest ever. The judging process was extremely difficult and made for a virtual photo finish at the end. Congratulations to the competitors, a lot was learned, new friendships formed and the Mazda family gets a little bigger. Good luck to next year's Mazda Club Racing Champions, but a word of advice...You better bring your A-game to this competition, only the best will do!"
The criteria: Given that each of the finalists had proven themselves on the track by winning a championship, the criteria to move up needed to be more encompassing. To succeed on the professional level requires a balance of both on-track and off-track skills including the following:
The driving sessions were conducted at Buttonwillow Raceway Park using a Mazda MX-5 Playboy Cup Car prepared by Tri-Point Motorsports.
The judges: Each year Mazda invites a panel of outside judges to make the selection. The judges brought a wealth of both on-track and off-track expertise. Over a dozen professionals were involved in the preliminary business proposal review, on-track activities, or both. The 2012 panel consisted of:
The tally: After a full day of both driving, and classroom activities, the judges added the objective and subjective scores -- discussing the merits of each driver. The judges deliberated carefully before declaring Gallagher the 2012 champion.
The prize package: The total prize package is valued at over $75,000 and is the largest prize in club racing.
About Mazda & MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world's largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. In 2006 Mazda established the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks. In 2010 this was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy. Key to Mazda's success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
MAZDASPEED Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
SOURCE Mazda Motorsports
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