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FCC Champs Announced as Mazda Shootout Finalists 

Five Racers Eligible For The Biggest Prize in All of Club Racing, and 2013 FCC Champions Michael Whelden and TJ Fischer are among them


October 23, 2013 

Irvine, California


The Mazda Club Racer Shootout is the single largest prize in club racing. 

TJ Fischer 2013 FM National Champ

Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one talented club racer to the professional ranks.  The $75,000 prize funds a drive in the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup. Eighteen racers were semi-finalists, having met the eligibility criteria for 2013, each having won a recognized championship over a minimum number of competitors.  Now, after each made a formal written business proposal, the field has been narrowed to five.   


The 2013 Mazda Club Racer shootout finalists are:


Joey Bickers - NASA Teen Challenge (California) 

TJ Fischer - Formula Car Challenge 

Zachary Munro - NASA Teen Challenge (Colorado) 

Cal Vandaalen - Spec Miata Championship (Canada)                   

Michael Whelden - Formula Car Challenge 


The written proposals were reviewed by a team of marketing executives from diverse business backgrounds.  Scott Shelton, a former shootout winner, who works as an executive at ABC Television summed up the proposals; "In my third year of reviewing proposals, this group was by far the best I have seen.  I went back and looked at my own two personal shootout submissions and can't believe how far the proposal process has come...especially in the social media realm.  The depth, quality and professionalism of the decks have skyrocketed!"


Michael Whelden 2013 Pro FM National Champ

John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations noted, "The heart and soul of Mazda Motorsports is club racing, and supporting those racers who have invested in racing a Mazda.  The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of skills required to succeed.  These skills include speed, consistency, racecraft, technical feedback, and off-track business and PR skills.  History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if they are lacking in multiple areas.  Past shootout winners have performed well both on and off the track using this prize as a springboard for their career."


FCC presented by Goodyear Series Official had this to add, "Our series and drivers really appreciate that Mazda recognizes the FCC presented by Goodyear as being worthy of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver ladder program. We also really appreciate the amount of investment both in time and money that Mazda makes in the sport we all love. Many of our racers, mechanics, and officials drive Mazdas as their everyday vehicles and share their love of all things Mazda with fans and other event participants on a regular basis. We are really excited to see how Michael and TJ do, as they have been very competitive racers on-track and very professional off-track. Either one of them would make a great ambassador for Mazda in 2014."


The final shootout will be a one-day event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on November 11, where the racers will be tested on the track for their technical skills.  It is a winner-take-all event with one racer moving up to the Mazda MX-5 Cup for 2014. 


About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED  

Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals.  Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world's largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built.  In 2006 Mazda Motorsports established the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks.  In 2010 this was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy.  Key to Mazda's success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.


Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.


Consumer information can be found at, with press information at

About The Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear:
The Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear is a regionalized open wheel racing series with an annual national championship. There are multiple regions across the country, and each region has unique features and events. 

Once a year the regions meet for the NASA National Championships. The championship features a multi-class format -Formula Mazda (FM), Pro Formula Mazda (PFM), andthe FormulaSPEED2.0 (FS2.0). All classes are powered by Mazda, and equipped with Goodyear Racing tires. 

Each region is supported by a Region Promoter who is well versed in racing, and who can provide assistance to teams and independent drivers.

The series is partnered with GoodyearMazda USAMAZDASPEED Motorsports DevelopmentRed Line Oil, GoPro, and NASA Pro Racing.


The West Coast Region is having its finale weekend this weekend at Sonoma Raceway.