Sunrise, FL -- With support from Mazda and Mazdaspeed, SpeedSource Race Engineering will campaign a four car fleet of Mazda RX-8’s in the Grand Am Cup Sports Touring division next season in a bid to claim the Manufacturer's Championship. The four car fleet will be led by professional Champion Sylvain Tremblay and Rising Star David Haskell.
"I am truly excited to be associated with the SpeedSource Engineering team once again at the professional level of motorsports," commented Steve Sanders, Manager, Mazdaspeed Motorsports. "Their proven track record in the Grand-Am Cup series, and with Mazda RX-7 in years past, gives me great confidence they will put together a competitive Mazda RX-8 program. Mazda has enjoyed a decade-long relationship with the SpeedSource crew. They have demonstrated their engineering expertise and preparation skills, having won the Speedvision Cup Team Championship in 1998 (1993-95 RX-7) and with the dominance of the SCCA ITS class (1986-91 RX-7)."
The Mazda RX-8 is powered by the RENESIS 1.3 liter rotary which was awarded International Engine of the Year. With 238 horsepower being driven to the wheels by a six speed manual transmission the vehicle will make for a very potent race car.
SpeedSource has specialized in Mazda racing and rotary engine since its inception. Throughout the late ‘90s, continual development of the second generation Mazda RX-7 produced a national market for the ITS class car, engines, and components. Building over fifty Mazda RX-7s, SpeedSource dominated club racing winning the SCCA ITS ARRC championship in 1998 and 1999.
SpeedSource's development of the third generation Mazda Twin-Turbo RX-7 also produced on-track results and built a market base for race parts. Endurance racing from 1996 through 1998 saw the team score numerous wins, poles, podium finishes, and the 1998 Team Championship in the Speedvision Cup.
"Rotary engines are a huge part of the SpeedSource heritage," commented SpeedSource owner and lead driver Sylvain Tremblay. "With Mazda's support we have been at work developing this car throughout the 2003 season with the goal of the 2004 Championship in mind."
Through the support of Mazda and Mazdaspeed the #70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 will have Sylvain Tremblay and David Haskell share the driving chores. The last time the two teamed together they produced six wins in a seven race stretch scoring the 2001 Grand Sports Triple Crown Championship.
Tremblay, owner of SpeedSource, has raced since winning the first race he ever entered - an SCCA autocross at age 16. Tremblay is the 2001 Grand Sports Champion and has eighteen professional wins. In addition to his professional achievements, Tremblay has amassed six amateur Championships.
Haskell is the 2001 Rising Star of the Year and 2001 Crew Chief of the Year. With nine wins in Grand Am Cup competition alone Haskell ranks third in all-time Grand Am Cup wins. Haskell has worked for SpeedSource for eight years now and has headed up SpeedSource's development of both the second generation and third generation RX-7 engine.
"I am not sure which I am more thrilled about: getting the opportunity to be one the first in the country to develop this engine, or being teamed with Sylvain in an effort to win this title," commented Haskell.
The team will also field three additional Mazda RX-8s next season. Scott Schlesinger, who has scored his first professional pole and two wins this season with SpeedSource, will drive the #68 Mazda RX-8. The entry will be sponsored by OllieAir.com and MazdaSpeed.
"SpeedSource has proven they can develop cars into race winning machines," enthused Schlesinger. "I believe with the RX-8, we are starting off with a strong platform. I have full confidence in these guys to be ready to roll off the trailer fast come next January."
David Tuaty, another veteran of the SpeedSource professional racing program, will join Schlesinger in the #68 Ollie Air Mazda RX-8. Tuaty has scored three podiums with the Grand-Am Cup and has turned in consistent performances in the SpeedSource Sports Touring campaigns of the past and will be supported by GMD Mortgage Services inc.
With sponsorship from Discount Rental, and MazdaSpeed, Richard Walker, Gary Wollersheim and Nick Fanelli will drive the #67 Mazda RX-8.
"We are really excited about the lineups we have in the cars," commented Tremblay. "Scott has proven his abilities as a driver this season and Tuaty is always quick. Gary and Richard will be developing into professional racing from driving Mazda RX-7s in regional racing. We are still searching for drivers for our #66 car and we may have a few surprises in store."
While SpeedSource has enjoyed many successes in the past, they made major investments during the 2003 season in order to be prepared for the coming challenge.
"We invested in a chassis dyno this season and it has allowed us develop engines even more rapidly than before," explained Haskell. "We also purchased a surface plate to increase the repeatability on our set-ups. Along with the other equipment we already invested in, we can now do all suspension and engine development rapidly in house."
As the 2004 season approaches, stay tuned to www.speedsourceinc.com for further developments.