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Teen Mazda Challenge Gets a Refresh for 2019

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Teen Mazda Challenge Participants
Photo: Mazda Motorsports

Since Ron Cortez, the founder of the Teen Mazda Challenge, passed away, the program has been trying to find its footing. Fortunately, a team of racing enthusiasts have stepped up to support — and improve — this exciting driver development program. Now, the Teen Mazda Challenge boasts a new logo along with even more contingencies and support.

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From karting to cars

The Mazda Teen Challenge helps talented drivers age 13-20 transition their karting skills to sports car racing. Of course, participants are still free to enjoy karting — the prize packages are the same for all TMC drivers. According to National Auto Sport Association Vice President Jeremy Croiset, “Teen Mazda Challenge isn’t necessarily a replacement for karting, but it is a great way to build upon the skills these young drivers learn in a kart.”

The program has attracted support because it puts young drivers on the road to success. The business development manager for Mazda Motorsports, David Cook, explains that “Sports car racing offers some of the best odds for becoming a career pro driver, and Teen Mazda Challenge is certainly one of the best places to start or continue that journey.”

Indeed, in 2018, three drivers in the Teen Mazda Challenge even worked their way to the finals of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.

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Awards and scholarships

Talented drivers have the chance to win a wide variety of prizes. Of course, there’s the Ron Cortez Memorial Award, which gives $1,000 to help a competitor make it to the NASA Championship. There’s also the MRT Scholarship and the potential for award money and contingency from brands like Hawk Brakes, Toyo Tires, and Raybestos.

Source: Mazda Motosports