MRTI – USF2000 and Star Mazda TV Deal Announced

We’ve been talking about the possibility of a television package for Star Mazda and perhaps more in 2012 for some time now, but now the deal has finally been announced. The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda, and the Playboy MX-5 Cup will be featured on 24-episodes of the Mazda Motorsports Hour on Discovery’s Velocity TV beginning this April.

“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. Now, thanks to a partnership with Velocity, and Carolinas Production Group, fans can enjoy the action on a regular basis from their living room,” — Jim Jordan, Alternative Marketing Manager, Mazda

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Rick Benjamin will host the show and will be supported by James Probst, driver of the KPAX Volvo in the SCCA World Challenge, for the MX-5 Cup races, and James Hinchcliffe will offer support and commentary for the Star Mazda and USF2000 races. Todd Lewis will be the pit reporter. Both Probst and Hinchcliffe have direct experience in the series on which they’ll provide commentary. I’m especially looking forward to Hinch’s calls. It seems to me that his personality will make him a perfect fit for this type of role.

Regarding what we can expect from the coverage itself, there wasn’t much divulged in the press release. The mention of a host and co-host coupled with a pit reporter tells me that these airings will be race highlights with an occasional feature story tidbit thrown in here and there. As we mentioned in Episode 126 of the OpenPaddock Podcast as this news was starting to come out last night, we were hopeful for a show that would really dig deep into the personalities of the series much like what was done for coverage of the Mustang Challenge series, “Why We Race”, and the Volkswagon TDI Cup, “Rookies to Racers”. It sounds like we’ll get a show that’s more in line with what SPEED, then Versus, now NBC Sports Network produced for the SCCA World Challenge. It will still be great to see these series get more publicity and airtime. I’m just greedy and want it all, but you can bet that my DVR will be set and ready come this April.

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