Mazda announced a new Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy (MSCRA) Friday at Daytona, which will offer aspiring racers the opportunity to climb to the top level of motorsports by racing and winning in Mazdas.
It’s more-or-less a unified sports car ladder system, similar in theory to the Mazda Road to Indy in open-wheel racing.
After go-karting, a move into grassroots SCCA or NASA competition is expected to be the first step. The SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup will be the first rung on the pro level.
From there, drivers will be able to have their first experience in exotic, purpose-built, open-cockpit prototypes in IMSA Prototype Lites, or the ultra-competitive Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge ST class.
Winning a championship in a Mazda-powered racecar in either the CTSC or IMSA Prototype Lites will result in a test in the Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype.
“Mazda believes in giving drivers the chance to ‘move up’ and we have put our money where our mouth is with this strategy since 2007,” said John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations.
“Now, with the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy and our new Mazda Prototype program at the very top of the sport, we have a structure in place that can support drivers’ from their entry into amateur motorsports all the way to careers as professional racing drivers.”
The SpeedSource Mazda SKYACTIV-D powered coupes make their debut this weekend in the Rolex 24, with a lineup that includes several Mazda ladder alumni.