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StopTech-Equipped Mazda6 Factory Racecars Set to Tackle Thunderhill 25-Hour This Weekend
by Frank A. Filipponio | Dec 04, 2013

In an effort to once-and-for-all settle the factory vs. dealer speed demon title, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has thrown down the gauntlet, entering three StopTech-equipped 2014 Mazda6s in the longest endurance race in America - the National Auto Sport Association (NASA)’s US Air Force 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The race will be run on December 7 and 8, 2013, at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, Calif., and will see two teams of Mazda dealers take on one team of MNAO employees - along with nearly 80 other teams participating in the event, for massive bragging rights – and StopTech will be well-represented.


“Mazda is a small company, but what has always stood us apart from our competition is that we are a car company full of real car people,” said Robert Davis, MNAO Senior Vice President, US Operations.  “Given that we have less than 600 employees and about the same number of dealers around the country, we have a disproportionately large number of employees and dealers who have competition licenses and are real racers.  These people spend their weekdays working with cars professionally, just to spend the weekend working with cars as their hobby.  To finally put to bed the age-old question of who’s faster, dealers or factory guys, it’s finally time to cut the conversation and put everyone’s talent where their mouth is.”

The three Mazda teams will compete in the NASA E1 class, racing brand-new European-spec 2014 Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel racecars that were modified on nights and weekends over the past three months by an all-volunteer Mazda employee team.

Mechanically, the cars remain nearly stock, but the interiors were modified to include new safety equipment, and the custom-designed suspensions feature new dampers, springs and rear stabilizer bars.  Race-ready wheels and tires are also part of the upgrade package – and serve to nicely show off what we consider to be the best modification the Mazda team made – a full StopTech brake system.

To properly slow these Mazda sport sedans over the course of 25 grueling hours of high speed punishment, Mazda chose to go all-StopTech with our ultra-stiff four-piston STR-40 calipers, patented heat-dissipating AeroRotors, custom braided lines, StopTech STR-660 race fluid and SR34 race pads. It’s a set-up that has seen a lot of on-track success in everything from Pirelli World Challenge TC and GTS competition to Grand-Am ST and GT action – not to mention several previous Thunderhill 25 Hour races.

The three Mazda6s will line up alongside 70 other cars competing in six different classes, as well as 13 additional Mazdas.  This race, now in its 11th year, attracts an extremely diverse entry list of teams, cars, and drivers, ranging from professionals to club racers, in everything from from Mazda Miatas to Porsche GT3 Cup cars.

The action will be streamed live for all 25 hours from inside the Mazda6s at www.MazdaUSA.com\ThunderHillLIVE.



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