With the goal of enticing young drivers to a safe environment to release their speed demons, today Mazda Canada and Race City Motorsport Park announce the first of its kind in Alberta, the Mazda Compact Challenge Series. This season, the first in a three year program, the compact cars will be featured at drag races on June 1, July 1, August 31 and September 14. The racing will be open to all compact cars in two classes, one for modified cars and one for stock cars. Over the four race dates a champion will be declared in both classes. Anyone with a driver’s license and a compact car can participate for a $10. entry fee (“compact car” refers to 4-cylinder cars). In the 1960’s it was muscle cars, today many compact car owners are turning their vehicles into hot rods with modifications including body kits, sound systems and performance accessories. “We are trying to curtail street racing before it really takes root in Calgary by giving local drag racing enthusiasts a safe environment to race,” says Peter Stellatos, District Manager, Prairie Region, for Mazda Canada. “Drag street racing is growing, we’ve seen it become a serious concern in Vancouver resulting in many deaths including a pedestrian and an RCMP officer. We want to give people a realistic alternative to racing on Calgary streets.” Mazda expects to draw 100 – 150 participants to each event, with 32 people already registered for the first race on June 1st. “This type of series has grown rapidly in the US to become a stand alone event,” says Ray Kuntz, Vice-President of Race City Motorsport Park. “That’s what we envision for 2004, we would like to see a Mazda Madness weekend event involving all components of the compact car hot rod scene.” Informational brochures will be available at auto performance shops, automotive clubs, Race City and Mazda dealerships. For more information people can call Race City at 272-7223, or contact any Mazda dealer in Calgary.