TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 19, 2005) – SCCA Pro Racing SPEED GT 2003 Drivers’ Champion Randy Pobst will move to the SPEED Touring Car Championship for the 2005 season with Tri-Point Motorsports in one of a trio of Mazdaspeed-backed Mazda6s, he revealed on Speed Freaks’ radio show this past weekend.
Pobst, who has won seven races in the last three years driving both Porsches and Audis in SPEED GT competition, makes the move from all-wheel-drive to front-wheel-drive and will team with fellow SCCA Club Racing and Solo National Champion Jeff Altenburg and 2004 SPEED Touring Car Rookie of the Year Dino Crescentini at Tri-Point.
Pobst’s resume will now include driving for Porsche, Audi and Mazda in the last several years, and his return to the Japanese manufacturer is a bit of a homecoming for the Gainesville, Ga. driver.
"I haven't driven a front drive in a pro series in many years," Pobst, who will pilot the No. 73 entry, said. "But I'm very comfortable with the front drive platform, and really I've probably done more racing in front drive cars than in anything else. The MAZDA6 is clearly an excellent choice, and this opportunity will allow me to continue a relationship with Mazda that dates back to my SCCA Club Racing days in a Miata in '92. It is gratifying to be able to continue long time threads in my racing career."
Altenburg returns for his third-consecutive year driving for Tri-Point and will again pilot the No. 72 entry. The Ellicott City, Md. driver is the two-time defending race Champion on Mazda’s home circuit—Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and scored the first-ever win for the Mazda 6 in that event last year.
"I was definitely happy with the speed of the MAZDA6 that we saw in '04," Altenburg said. "I think with the new transmission that has been tooled up for the car we should see an increase in reliability, and that should give us a shot at the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles. We've been doing our share of testing, and I think we're more prepared and have better equipment than ever before. I'm also very happy to have Randy (Pobst) joining the team. We have been friends for awhile and I know we'll work well together."
Crescentini drove a Turner Motorsport BMW 325i in 2004 and captured the Rookie of the Year honors, finishing 10th overall with six top-10 finishes. The Malibu, Calif. driver will wear No. 74 on his Mazda6 with additional backing from Centrix.
“Randy is a great addition to the Mazda family, and his proven talent in the World Challenge series will be the key to Tri-Point competing for the Touring Car Championship this year,” Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Manager Steve Sanders said. “Adding Randy’s proven title-winning skills to Jeff’s multiple-year experience with the team, and Dino’s enthusiasm and talent, makes Mazda’s World Challenge assault as strong as it’s ever been.”
For more information, please visit www.tripointengineering.com or www.mazdausamedia.com.
For more information about the SCCA SPEED Touring Car Championship, please visit www.world-challenge.com.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=225