MONTEREY, Calif. – So this weekend is a thing involving Mazda. A lot of Mazdas. And a lot of drivers from around the world drive a lot of those Mazdas.
Some 82 Mazda-powered entries were split among the five series competing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend, between the full complement of Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, the Mazda-powered IMSA Mazda Prototype Lites presented by Cooper Tires series and the non-points Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Invitational.
There’s also 21 countries that have been a part of these championships this year, although not necessarily all of them are represented this weekend.
On Friday, following the day of practice for all these series, one of John Dean II’s No. 16 Sick Sideways Racing Global MX-5 Cup cars and Santiago Urrutia’s No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian Dallara IL-15 Mazda were present at the base of pit in, both adorned in the Soul Red colors of Mazda, with most (if not all) of the competitors planning to compete this weekend.
Countries featured include (lower row from left to right is U.S. to Puerto Rico; top row from left to right is China to UAE):
- United States
- Great Britain
- South Korea
- Puerto Rico
- United Arab Emirates
Most of the drivers were holding their native country’s signs, although there were a couple humorous exceptions – TJ Fischer held the Norwegian flag since Ayla Agren isn’t racing this weekend (although she is on site), and Clark Toppe held the Malaysian flag in the back row, since Weiron Tan has been out of the championship since Barber.