Bryan Ortiz will drive the Mazda 3 TCR in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Ortiz, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, won the the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich championship on Sept. 21 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to become the first Puerto Rican driver to win an international racing championship. The win was worth a $200,000 career advancement scholarship, which Ortiz, 31, will use toward his 2020 seat in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Mazda Motorsports unveiled its Mazda 3 TCR at its California headquarters on Oct. 1.
Ortiz brings a wealth of racing experience to the Mazda 3 TCR program. Beginning his career at age 13 in karts, Ortiz made his first start in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series in 2005 and spent several seasons racing sports cars before racing as a member of NASCAR’s Diversity Program for three seasons. Since joining the Global MX-5 Cup in 2017, Ortiz has captured six victories and 18 total podium finishes.
“To have this opportunity that Mazda has given me is a huge honor,” said Ortiz. “Mazda gives aspiring drivers an opportunity that no other company does, and that’s to advance to the next step in their career. Now that I am the Global MX-5 Cup champion, I’m proud to represent Mazda and have the trust of the company to race the new Mazda 3 TCR. Now I’m focused on working with everyone at Mazda Motorsports to be ready for the first race at Daytona in January.“
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