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The Chilliwack River Challenges A Mazda CX-5

Who are these “celebrities”?

Jessica Groeneveld: I started Paddling in 2000. That year I went to the Alberta Summer Games in Grand Prairie and won my first gold medal; after that I was hooked. I won a few national championships as a Cadet (under age 14). I made the Junior National team in 2006 and made my first trip to Europe to compete against the world. I have been to Europe competing every year since and just can’t get enough of it. In 2008 I placed 2nd at the Pan American championships in Charlotte N.C. and qualified for Canada’s Beijing Olympic spot at that race. 2008 was also my first year on the national team. In 2009 I made top Canadian female on the national team at trials in May. In August I won Pan American championships on my home course in Kananaskis; and with London 2012 in sight I have no plans to slow down any time soon.
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Paul Manning Hunter: Paul Manning-Hunter was orginally from Edmonton, Alberta but now lives in Calgary to train with his coach Michael Holroyd. Paul spent four years on the Canadian junior national team and placed 5th at the 2005 Junior Pre-World championships in Solkan, Slovenia and was Canadian junior and North American Under-23 champion.

Paul is now a member of the Canadian senior national team and was 4th at the 2012 Pan-American championships at Foz-do-Iguacu, Brazi

When Paul is not kayaking he is attending Mount Royal University or following his passion of photographing and filming wildlife and nature.

John Hastings: It all started at the age of 16 in my hometown of Aurora, Ontario. After watching the opening ceremonies and athletes like Simon Whitfield, Caroline Brunet and Steve Giles win medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, I realized that I not only wanted to go to the Olympic Games, but that I too wanted to win a medal for Canada.

As a member of the Canadian Junior National Team at the time, I realized that in order for me to go to the games, I needed to become the best in the country. With many distinguished athletes in front of me, I realized that this was not going to be any easy task; the road in front of me was long and arduous.

At the age of 18, entering my final year of high school, I had to make the first of many difficult decisions. I was provided with the opportunity to relocate to Ottawa, Ontario to train full-time at the National Team training center. To chose this route would involve leaving behind my family and friends and since I had spent much of my life in Aurora, starting fresh at a new high school would be a daunting and undesirable task. However, the dream of achieving Olympic excellence was too powerful and with the support of both my family and friends, I packed my bags and headed north.

With my recent move, I anticipated immediate success; however, when I didn’t achieve the results I wanted in that first year (i.e. placing in the top 4, and making the national team), the thought of quitting entered my mind. I was young and immature then and didn’t realize that time is an integral factor in achieving excellence. My dad told me, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win”, and with this in mind I kept my chin up and persevered.

I chipped away, day-by-day, and gradually moved my way up the national ranking list. I spent much time racing and training in America, Europe and Australia with the sole goal of collecting as much experience and knowledge as possible. It was not until 2006, five years after my initial move to Ottawa, that I finally made the national team, qualifying second overall. With this title, I was provided with the opportunity to represent Canada on the World Cup circuit and at the World Championships and having been doing so ever since.

In 2008, I thought I was going to the Olympics. All of the training and racing leading up to our Olympic Trials made me believe that my dream was going to come to fruition; however, things didn’t go as planned. I missed the team and found myself in the very difficult position to either quit/retire, or try again in four years. I deliberated, and decided to go for it. Since 2008, I have made finals at World Cups, have won a few International races; but most importantly, I feel I am on pace to realizing my Olympic dream.

I believe life is all about minimizing regrets…we will never regret our failures and successes, but we will always regret never trying. I am chasing my dream, I am following my passion. London 2012, here I come.

“With the new CX-5 Crossover Mazda had a tough job. They had to make a car that satisfied their efficiency targets, while being fairly capable off-road, and it had to have that Mazda charm and driving fun as well. Thanks to a range of new SKYACTIV technologies, they managed to pull it off”
– Motorward

Compiled by: Josh Martin

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Automotive, sports, Uncategorized, Video Blog

 

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Miatas at Mazda Raceway in Laguna CA – Video Blog


Video Produced By: Mazda USA

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

The Monterey Peninsula’s love affair with world-class racing traces its beginnings to the inaugural running of the Pebble Beach Road Races in 1950. Those sports car events quickly outgrew the public roads of the Del Monte Forest and a beautiful new road racing facility was born on November 9, 1957.

The Corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna SegaThe earliest development of the local area occurred in 1867 with the founding of the nearby Laguna Seca Ranch, which has operated continuously for 140 years with grazing and equestrian uses.

The track was built in 1957 at a cost of $1.5 million raised from local businesses and individuals on part of the US Army’s Fort Ord (a maneuver area and field artillery target range) after the nearby Pebble Beach Road Races were abandoned for being too dangerous. In 1974, the property was deeded over to the Monterey County Parks Department and continues to be part of the park system to this day.

The first race, held on November 9, 1957, was won by Pete Lovely driving a Ferrari. In the intervening years, the track has hosted USRRC, Can-Am, Trans-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA GT, Champ Car, American Le Mans Series, Grand-Am, Superbike World Championship and MotoGP motorcycle races and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

mazda raceway mazda of lakewoodThe track itself has undergone significant changes over the past two decades to meet evolving safety homologation requirements of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and other sanctioning bodies. Changes include the addition of the entire infield area in 1988 (present day turns 3, 4 and 5, eliminating the straight that started at present day Turn 2 and ended at present day Turn 5) extending the track from its original 1.9-mile length to its current 2.238-mile length, plus the relocation of pedestrian bridges and embankments, and the expansion of gravel pits for additional runoff.

The original media center was demolished in 2006 and replaced by the Red Bull Energy Center, a modern entertainment facility with commanding views of the facility.

Perhaps one of the most famous moments of racing took place at the Corkscrew when Alex Zanardi passed Bryan Herta on the inside of the Corkscrew on the last lap of the 1996 CART race to take the victory.
The Corkscrew:

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is an 11-turn, 2.238-mile jewel of a road course on California’s beautiful central coast. While the track is a favorite of racers and fans worldwide, many focus on one specific section—officially Turns 8 and 8A—or more commonly known as The Corkscrew.

The Corkscrew is a one-of-a-kind turn in motorsports. Here’s what makes the hard-left, hard-right combination so spectacular:

At the apex to Turn 8 (the lefthander and entry to The Corkscrew), the elevation change is a 12 percent drop. By the time a race car reaches the apex of Turn 8A (the righthander), the elevation is at its steepest – an 18 percent drop. The Corkscrew drops 59 feet between the entrance of Turn 8 to the exit of Turn 8A—the equivalent of a 5½ story drop—in only 450 feet of track length. From Turn 8 to Turn 9, the elevation falls 109 feet, or just over 10 stories.
Interesting Notes:

Pete Lovely won the first race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca November 9, 1957 driving a 500 Ferrari Testa Rosa.

Stirling Moss won the first Pacific Grand Prix and was the only two-time winner.

Steve McQueen was entered in a Formula Junior race until his Cooper had serious engine problems and he could not start the race.

Timeline

1962 – Pacific Grand Prix had a starting grid of Roger Penske, Bruce McLaren, Innes Ireland, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, Jim Hall and Jack Brabham.

1963 – Jim Clark made his only appearance at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with the Arciero Bros. Lotus 19 and led the USRRC Championship road race until he had to pit with steering and brake problems after 31 laps.

1965 – A young, almost unknown Jackie Stewart makes his U.S. debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca driving in the USRRC in a factory Lotus Cortina and finished 13th overall.

1966 – First Can-Am race has Jim Hall, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon, Mark Donahue, Denis Hulme, John Surtees, George Follmer, Parnelli Jones and Sam Posey on the starting grid in various Chaparrals, Lola T70s and McLarens.

Phil Hill gave Chaparral its only victory in the Can-Am series here.

Bruce McLaren won the first Monterey Grand Prix Can-Am Race here in 1967.

1972 – Cal Rayborn riding a Harley Davidson was the winner of the first AMA national race run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

1973 – NASCAR came to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Grand National West Tour. Mark Donahue was the winner of the last Can-Am race.

1974 – Kenny Roberts riding a Yamaha scores the first of his many wins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the Kawasaki Superbike International.

1975 – Mario Andretti in a Lola T332 wins the Monterey Grand Prix featuring the F5000 series.

1981 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosts its first NASCAR race with the Winston West and has Bobby Allison on the grid. Paul Newman races in the Monterey Triple Crown in a Datsun Turbo.

1983 – The first CART Indy Car race was held with Teo Fabi winning in a March-Cosworth. Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Mike Baldwin and Randy Mamola, four motorcycling legends at the top of their game and on equal machinery, race together at the champion Spark Plus 200.

1984 – Bobby Rahal captured the first of his four consecutive CART victories at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Kenny Roberts had won 3 world championships, 32 AMA national wins, 24 Grand Prix wins and 7 wins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

1988 – The track was lengthened from 1.9 to 2.214 miles and then to 2.238. The change was accomplished by creating two more turns, carrying the track into the lake area and back out to rejoin the old course at what is now Turn 5. The straightaway was lengthened from Turn 11 to the start/finish line. This was done to accommodate the International Motorcycle Grand Prix.

1988 – USGP returns to the U.S. after a 20-year absence and the first USGP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The race was won by Eddie Lawson who was riding against Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey, Mike Baldwin and Randy Mamola.

1989 – Wayne Rainey won from pole in his first of three USGP wins in a row for him at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

1990 – Wayne Rainey’s second consecutive win at the USGP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca helped propel him to his first of three World Championships in 1990.

Sidecar road racing hit a high point with the inclusion of the World Championship for sidecars at the USGP. The sidecar engines were limited to 500 cc two strokes. Seen in person, the three-wheeled marvels were big fan favorites as they negotiated the circuit.

1992 – Michael Andretti wins his second Indy Car race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Mario Andretti was third, making it the second year in a row that both Andretti’s were on the podium.

1994 – Mario Andretti makes this CART race his last race and retires.

1995 – The track hosts the World Superbike Championship (WSB) for 10 successive years. The first American rider to win WSB at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was John Kocinski who took victory on a Ducati in 1996.

1996 – On the last lap of the CART race, Alex Zanardi overtook Bryan Herta in The Corkscrew with an unprecedented and unforgettable move now known as “The Pass.”

1997 – The FIA GT Championship comes to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Mercedes, Porsches and Gulf McLarens.

2004 – The last time for a World Superbike race when Australian Chris Vermeulen scored a double win.
After the season ended, numerous track modifications were done including the widening of turns 9, 10 and 11 to accommodate MotoGP.

2005 – MotoGP returns to Mazda Raceway with American Nicky Hayden winning the race and then taking is father around the track on the back of his bike.

This year also marks the first time that the Rolex Grand–Am Sports Car Championships is at the track.

2008 – At the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi overtakes Casey Stoner in The Corkscrew to win the race. It is very similar to Zanardi’s pass. It is Rossi’s first win in the U.S. and he celebrates by kissing The Corkscrew in front of 150,000 screaming fans.

Source: Mazda Raceway
Compiled By: Josh Martin

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Automotive, sports, travel

 

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MAZDASPEED Daytona Recap


Video Produced By: Mazda of Lakewood

January 26th, 2012

(Daytona, Florida) Endurance racing is a cruel sport at times.  Months of preparations and thousands of hours of labor can be swept away in moments of simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The four Mazda RX-8 Grand-AM GT race cars were fast, their rotary engines powerful and reliable, yet the final result was a single top-ten finish.  After the race, car owners Sylvain Tremblay, Jon Mirachi, Joe Foster, and Patrick Dempsey had nothing but praise and appreciation for their crews and drivers, for all went above and beyond the call of duty.

T70-at-daytona-02eam Recaps

Team: SpeedSource #70

Car: Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8
Drivers: Sylvain Tremblay, Nick Ham, David Haskell, Jonathan Bomarito
2009 Result: Started first, finished 19th
Notes:  Led the first 20 minutes of the race until a hard bump to the curbing damaged the fuel cell.  The replacement of the fuel cell took over an hour, losing over 40 laps in the process, dropping the team to dead last after 90 minutes.  During the night, the team driving was superb – The #70 car the fast car on the track.  The combination of Tremblay, Ham, Haskell, and Bomarito made up six laps on the leader and it looked like a top-ten finish was still possible until a broken exhaust and half shaft further delayed the team.

69-at-daytona-02

Team: SpeedSource #69

Car: FXDD Mazda RX-8
Drivers: Emil Assentato, Nick Longhi, Matt Plumb, Jeff Segal
2009 Result: Started fourth, finished ninth.
Notes: The FXDD car was well prepared to uphold the SpeedSource honor until an on-track incident with a slower car caused extensive front end damage.  The team spent almost an hour behind the pit wall replacing the front clip and the left front suspension.  The team carried on to score valuable points with a solid ninth-place finish.

30-at-daytona-01Team: Racers Edge #30

Car: 3-Dimensional Services Group/ Idemitsu Mazda RX-8
Drivers:  Doug Peterson, Dane Cameron, Bryan Sellers, Dion von Moltke
2009 Result: Started 17th, finished 13th
Notes:  The team ran very strong with Dane Cameron setting the second fastest lap of the race – especially impressive as it was set in the night.  The team was delayed by difficult to diagnose electrical problems for the first half of the race.  The team left Florida knowing they had a car and team capable of finishing on the podium, but confident for the races to come.

40-at-daytona-02Team: Dempsey Racing #40

Car: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Mazda RX-8
Drivers: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Charles Espenlaub, Tim Lewis Jr., Jep Thornton
2009 Result: Started 28th, finished 22nd
Notes:  Needless to say, Patrick Dempsey was the star of pre-race activities.  The team partnership with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer generated a great deal of favorable attention from beyond the motorsports press.  The team was on-track for a strong finish until Jep Thornton crashed the car in the evening.  The team rebuilt the front of the car only to have Jep involved in a second accident in the middle of the night.  This was the first ever DNF for Dempsey Racing/Hypersport in the Rolex Grand-Am series.

Source: Mazda Speed Development
Compiled By: Josh Martin

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Automotive, sports, travel, Video Blog

 

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Kia Becomes a Time Machine in Run Up To Super Bowl Commercial


Kia Becomes a Time Machine in New Ads With Blake Griffin
By STUART ELLIOTT
temp2A child actor appears as the basketball star Blake Griffin circa 1995 in a commercial for Kia in a campaign that features Mr. Griffin and debuts as the N.B.A. 2012-13 season begins. A child actor appears as the basketball star Blake Griffin circa 1995 in a commercial for Kia in a campaign that features Mr. Griffin and debuts as the N.B.A. 2012-13 season begins.

In basketball, traveling violates the rules. But in advertising, sending a basketball star on a time-traveling odyssey, inside the sponsor’s product, makes for clever commercials.

In a humorous campaign, Kia Motors America and its agency, David & Goliath, are reteaming with Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers for a series of commercials in which the basketball star drives a Kia Optima sedan as if it were a time machine.

The campaign is to begin on Tuesday, to coincide with the start of the 2012-13 National Basketball Association season. The 2013 Kia Optima is the “official vehicle of the N.B.A.”

The commercials feature Mr. Griffin using the Uvo voice-activated entertainment and information system inside his Kia Optima to send him back to different years from 1995 to the early 2000s.

The years, it turns out, are his “Wonder Years,” to borrow the title of the TV series, in that in each commercial Mr. Griffin meets a young actor playing a younger version of himself.
Blake Griffin in the Kia advertisement. Blake Griffin in the Kia advertisement.

For instance, in the first spot Mr. Griffin asks to go back to 1995 and Uvo summons up the song “This Is How We Do It” from that year. He meets up with a version of himself who, based on his birth date in 1989, is about 6 years old.

“Who are you?” the child asks Mr. Griffin, who replies, “You, from the future.” The child wonders if Mr. Griffin’s Optima is his spaceship, to which the grown-up replies, “No, it’s way better.”

temp2Then, in a dig at Mr. Griffin’s reputation for having problems with free throws, he advises the youngster to “practice your free throws.” On parting, Mr. Griffin takes a shot — and misses.

The Kia association with Mr. Griffin began when he dunked over a Kia Optima at the 2011 N.B.A. All-Star Game.

Sports and music are two of the four pillars of the Kia brand’s outreach to its target audience, along with popular culture and what the company calls the “connected life” — that is, technology like Uvo.

“The immediate impact” that Mr. Griffin had “on our brand was incredible,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president for marketing and communications at Kia Motors America in Irvine, Calif., and “proved to be very successful with the N.B.A. fan.”

“We felt we needed to do it again,” he added.

Mr. Griffin’s family provided images of him as a child to make it easier to cast the children in the commercials, Mr. Sprague said, and “within hours” of the casting calls getting under way in Los Angeles and New York, “we had some great people to represent him.”

A different child portrays Mr. Griffin in the second commercial, which is set in 1997 and uses the song “How Bizarre.” In that spot, Mr. Griffin encounters the younger version of himself playing football with friends.

“Wrong sport,” he tells the child, kicking the football far away. He also offers the junior Blake some fashion advice: “Stop wearing jean shorts. Just trust me.”

There will be three additional spots, Mr. Sprague said, to be released periodically as the N.B.A. season progresses. The five spots will run on networks like ABC, ESPN and TNT as well as on the Kia channel on YouTube.

temp2Although football may be the wrong sport in the commercial set in 1997, it is the right genre for Kia advertising, at least when it comes to the Super Bowl. Kia has announced it would return as a Super Bowl sponsor, buying time during Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013.

Although Mr. Sprague declined to talk about what the Super Bowl spot will be about, he did rule out a couple of possibilities. It will not be a commercial featuring Mr. Griffin, he said, nor, as of now, will it be a spot with the popular hip-hop hamster characters for the Kia Soul.

SOURCE: New York Times
Compiled By: Josh Martin

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Automotive, sports

 

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