Mazda has expanded its support of U.S. grass roots with a new television deal with the Velocity network, formerly known as Discovery HD Theater. Velocity will air a weekly hour-long program titled "The Mazda Motorsports Hour," which will feature races from the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – two tiers of the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder – and SCCA Pro Racing's Playboy MX-5 Cup.
“Hardcore fans know that some of the most intense action can be found in the Playboy MX-5 Cup, Star Mazda and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. But if you weren't at the race, you are left to take our word for it," noted Jim Jordan, alternative marketing manager, Mazda North America. "Now, thanks to a partnership with Velocity, and Carolinas Production Group, fans can enjoy the action on a regular basis from their living room."
Rick Benjamin will host the program, and his Benjamin's Carolinas Production Group will handle production and distribution of the show.
"It's an honor for our company to be selected once again to produce and place coverage of the Playboy MX-5 Cup, Star Mazda, and USF2000 championships," said Benjamin. "Our partnership with Velocity gives us a tremendous platform to showcase the incredible talents of young drivers and veterans alike who are taking full advantage of Mazda's ladder system.”
Joining Benjamin in the booth will be racers Randy Pobst for the MX 5 Cup, and James Hinchcliffe for Star Mazda and USF2000. Todd Lewis will be the pit reporter. The broadcasts will be a regularly scheduled hour-long weekend show on Velocity, with 24 shows broadcast on a tape-delay basis from April through November.