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Mazda BK Motorsports ALMS P2 Program Update
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 2:48pm

RotaryNews caught up with Mazda Motorsport Marketing guy Mr. John Doonan for an update on the Mazda ALMS program. He had some very interesting things to say. Read ahead for the complete story, straight from the horses mouth!

The Mazda ALMS P2 program is back underway for 2006 with B-K Motorsports out of Wisconsin. Over the winter the team focused on new personnel from highly successful programs to take the program to the next level both professionally and on the results sheet.

Marcus Haselgrove, formerly of the Le Mans winning Champion Audi program assumed the responsibility of Team Manager and Technical Directo of the program. Marcus brings a wealth of experience with him including stints in F1, a strong background in Data Acquisition with MOTEC, and engineering overall. He has been a major addition to the program.

Andrew Armistead also joined the B-K operation. Andrew assumed the role of Crew Chief. He brings a wealth of championship experience as well. He came from Realtime Racing and the successful Acura program they have run in SCCA World Challenge. While at Realtime he implemented the Nissan Sentra program that Realtime successfully campaigned. Andrew, too, is a major addition to the team and the program.

Recent article in RACER Magazine was the message we are portraying with this program. We are excited about the addition of Porsche and now...(as of the New York Auto Show)...ACURA to the fray. Having these manufacturer's joining the series validates our involvement and raises the bar professionally for all of us in the P2 class and ALMS as a whole.

Our goal has been to celebrate the traditions of the Mazda racing past and look to grow and continue to carve a path for Mazda's racing future. Jamie Bach and Guy Cosmo have been tremendous in helping us get the program underway. They have been consistent and stayed out of trouble weekend-in and weekend-out. For Sebring, obviously, they had a new teammate in Raphael Matos. Raphael did a tremendous job and could potentially be back in the car for an event like Petit Le Mans, but no decisions have been made yet. Jamie and Guy are the primary drivers for the 2006 effort.

Relative to the car, motor, and chassis. The team will continue to campaign the R20B powered Courage. The chassis has been reliable and the motors have been consistent. We had a terrific run going at Sebring...running as high as 7th overall and 3rd in class at hour 10. Unfortunately, we broke a shift linkage. The team changed it in 42 minutes and we were back out...running 19th overall and 4th in class. Starting the last stint...shortly after that 42 minute air bubble formed in the cooling system of the motor and it overheated. Disappointing for sure, but we learned some things and we will keep doing that throughout.

IMSA has been tremendous about wanting to assist us (Mazda) in continuing to improve competitiveness. Therefore, we are looking at new chassis options and adding one more spinning thing in the motor. I will keep RN.COM abreast of these developments as I know more, but let's just say we are making good headway with these developments.

Our next race is Houston on the street circuit May 12 and then off to Mid-Ohio, the site of Mazda's first ever ALMS victory, last year.

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BK droping Mazda?
July 11, 2006 - 9:48am
I'm hearing rumors that BK is droping the Mazda rotaries in favor of another powerplant after the big wreck at Lime Rock. Anyone have any clairification of this?
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from Mazda
July 11, 2006 - 5:00pm
Sources within Mazda have told us that Mazda is definitely not dropping rotary, just making plans based on the LR incident. They are sticking with rotary! They are just waiting on tub to be repaired. More formal news later once choices are made.

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More confirmation
July 13, 2006 - 5:22pm
A little more confirmation that Rotary Power stays a B-K

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Tire update on the team
April 27, 2006 - 2:04pm
Kumho finds another ALMS partner

April 27, 2006
Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc.
has agreed to supply tires for Mazda North America's team in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

B-K Motorsports, which runs Mazda's rotary-powered Courage in the ALMS LMP2 class, will race on Kumho tires for the first time at the Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston on May 11 and 12.

Kumho previously announced that its 2005 ALMS partner -- Miracle Motorsports-- decided to focus only on endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. "We will continue to supply tires to Miracle for endurance events, but we wanted to find another team with which we could contest the full ALMS season," says Kumho Motorsports Manager Rudy Consolacion.
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