Mazda Motorsports’ Ladder ProgramMazda Motorsports Development Program is the most comprehensive racing program across the globe. Mazda road racers, autocrossers, track day competitors and others can join our Team Support Program Membership complimentary. There are more Mazdas road raced on any given weekend than any other brand. Mazda’s footprint in North America: Mazda Motorsports has established the open wheel racing ladder - Mazda Road to Indy (MRTI) – and sports car racing ladder – Mazda Road to 24 (MRT24). Mazda holds nearly 60 percent market share in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) based on participation (more than all the other manufacturers combined). Mazda is the official vehicle of SCCA and National Auto Sports Association (NASA) and has partnerships with many other organizations. The Mazda Road to 24 provides a series of scholarships supporting drivers up a well-defined racing ladder to reach the ultimate level in sports car racing in North America. The MRT24 ladder starts with grassroots racing. The market leader in grassroots racing, Mazda established the first professional sports car racing step on the ladder in 2006 – Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. The champion of the series receives a $200,000 scholarship to race in either the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge or Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda. After this tier, the final rung is the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which hosts the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the only auto manufacturer’s factory-owned race team – Mazda. The Mazda Road to Indy program offers scholarships for drivers to climb from grassroots racing to IndyCar in open-wheel racing (see video). In the 2015 Indianapolis 500, 23 of the 33 starters came from the MRTI ladder. The three-step professional ladder program – Cooper Tires USF2000, Pro Mazda, and Indy Lights – all powered by Mazda engines, provide each series champion with a scholarship to climb to the next rung. To prepare the drivers for IndyCar, the top rung, each series competes on road courses, street courses, and ovals. The two ladder programs are prime examples of the depth and breadth of Mazda Motorsports involvement in creating the next generation of superstars. This year, Mazda will award more than $2,340,000 in scholarships to winning drivers in sports cars and open-wheel categories. The Miata: As one of Mazda’s premier classes, Spec Miata is North America’s and the world’s largest spec racing class. The first generation (NA) and second generation (NB) Miatas remain staples in Spec Miata, providing drivers with reliable, fun, and affordable platforms – which ultimately leads to great competition. The third generation (NC) MX-5 Miata has led the way in two tiers on the MRT24 ladder: MX-5 Cup and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (winning the 2015 championship). The all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 (ND) will compete as the sole race car in the MX-5 Cup that commences at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca April 29 - May 1, 2016, in grassroots racing, and via track day clubs. To follow the ladder programs on social media, use hashtags: #MRT24 and #MRTI.