BALTIMORE, Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Success in racing is dependent upon many factors. A key component is having great teammates. Mazda Motorsports has joined a great team to promote broader awareness of distracted driving for new drivers. Mazda Motorsports gathered at the second annual Grand Prix of Baltimore with representatives of Project Yellow Light, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Skip Barber Racing School, the Ad Council, the National Organization for Youth Safety, and dozens of young racers from the Mazda Road to Indy.
Earlier this year, Project Yellow Light awarded scholarships to three high-school students who produced outstanding 60-second public service announcement videos addressing the problem of texting while driving. Mazda has donated $20,000 to Project Yellow Light to expand their efforts in 2013. The prize money has been increased and a class for university students has been added. The theme for the competition is "One Text or Call Could Wreck it All", taken from www.distraction.gov
In addition, the Skip Barber Racing School will be donating Teen Safety and Survival Classes as raffle prizes to drivers who sign a distracted driving pledge. Complete details will be posted at www.projectyellowlight.com, www.MazdaUSA.com, www.skipbarber.com, and www.distraction.gov.
John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations: "This is a great opportunity for our extended Mazda Motorsports family to take a leadership role for on-road safety. Mazda has amongst the youngest buyers in the industry. We also have dozens of outstanding role models among our young Mazda racers who can take an active role in peer-to-peer mentoring on the dangers of distracted driving. Several of our drivers, most notably, Zach Veach, Gabby Chaves, Tristan Nunez, Connor DePhillippi, Ben Albano and Parker Nicklin have already been active in this area. Our new partnership will allow more drivers from the Mazda Road to Indy to join the campaign The fact that we also have the fantastic Skip Barber Racing School Teen Safety and Survival class in our portfolio means that we can not only talk about road safety, we can get more teens behind the wheel for advanced training."
Julie Garner Co-Founder Project Yellow Light: "We are thrilled to have Mazda Motorsports partner with Project Yellow Light to help give this important issue more of a national presence. The response to our peer-driven safety messages about distracted driving have been remarkable so far and this partnership will help us reach even more young drivers by greatly increasing awareness and scholarship awards. When my son, Hunter Garner, was killed in a car crash at age sixteen, we created Project Yellow Light in order to saves the lives of young people. Mazda will help us save even more."
Michael Culver, President and Owner, Skip Barber Racing School: "Since 1975 Skip Barber Racing School has developed techniques that are used to coach and develop the world's best professional drivers. These same techniques are fundamental to safe driving both on and off the track. Our true legacy is in our role in preventing accidents on local roads and highways. Skip Barber Racing School teaches new drivers vehicle dynamics - giving them the skills to control vehicles in unusual situations - and thus the confidence that they can avoid an accident. Better prepared drivers benefit everyone on the road!"
About Mazda & MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America. 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 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.
MAZDASPEED 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.