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Passion drives Malkhassian. Championship race close.

From Mazda Motorsports:

PASSION

Ara Malkhassian’s impact on sports car racing continues to grow and impress. Currently, he sits second in points in the Battery Tender MX-5 Cup with two events to go; he is the owner and operator of ALARA Racing, which operates the largest team within MX-5 Cup as well as a multi-podium winning team in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge; and he is a Spirit of Mazda award winner. As his legacy grows, we turned to him to share his story:
Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
Ara Malkhassian: It is interesting that people want to talk about history with me because I have been in the series since it started in 2006. I do enjoy reminiscing and talking about some of the great times on and off the track with competitors, teammates, and crew. But the conversation always ends up leading to what it is that makes one want to continue to drive for excellence on and off the track: PASSION. The passion to compete; the passion to excel; the passion to WIN.
Canadian Tire Motorsporst Park
It’s easy to look at the current championship and regard it as the 10th season of awesome racing in MX-5 Cup, but it’s somehow more this year. The passion is burning deeper. The senses are more present. Maybe it’s the new light and nimble car, maybe it’s the amazing new tire, maybe it’s the great schedule with weekend after weekend of historic, big-speed tracks. But there’s something going on. There’s something underlying all this that is making this season one that I am cherishing every second of. It’s as though the years have all melted away and a new energy abounds.

When I searched deeper, I did find what it is. It’s the larger than ever car counts. It’s the amazing, greater-than-ever presence and support from the Mazda family for the series. It’s the prospect that even greater days are ahead with international competition and intense racing to showcase these amazing cars, our relentless crew, and our talented drivers. We are suddenly part of something much larger. It has lent the series an energy that is contagious. Both veterans and newcomers are excited to be part of our definitive single-marque racing series.
Canadian Tire Motorsporst Park
Malkhassian has a long record of success in motorsports as a driver and team owner. His career spans the spectrum from his early days as an amateur, scoring multiple champion in autocrossing and road racing, to his current career in professional racing in the hotly contested professional Mazda MX-5 Cup series. Malkhassian boasts more top fives than anyone else in the series and has many poles, wins, and track records. He currently is a close second in series championship points. His success as a driver is only overshadowed by his success as a team principal. With two different drivers scoring championships in back-to-back seasons and countless team wins, poles, and track records, ALARA Racing is a multiple Mazda Team of the Year winner and is the longest-standing team in the series.

Link to story at Mazda Motorsports: PASSION

ALARA Racing announces two-car 2016 Continental Tire Street Tuner Mazda MX-5 effort

ALARA_Racing_Continental_press
Houston, TX – January 25, 2016 – ALARA Racing is excited to announce an expanded, two car effort in the 2016 Continental Tire Street Touring class. Building on its inaugural 2015 season that showcased the potential of the ALARA Racing Mazda MX-5 with five poles, two additional front row starts, and three podiums, 2016 will be a year to challenge for the championship.

Leading the charge in the #34 will be ALARA Racing’s own MX-5 Cup champion and Mazda Road to 24 driver, Christian Szymczak. With a year of experience running up front in the Continental Series in 2015, ALARA Racing and Christian are prepared to contend for victories in the competitive class.

Joining Christian at the series opener at Daytona will be ALARA Racing’s Justin Piscitell. With a powerhouse performance in 2015 with five poles and two additional front row starts, four podiums, and having lead in the majority of the races of 2015, Justin’s blistering pace is well-matched to the agile ALARA Racing Mazda MX-5.

“I’m pleased that we are able to put together a strong program for 2016. We have a great pairing for Daytona and hoping for some more exciting news about drivers for Sebring and beyond. Our Daytona driver pairing achieved a lot of success in the last year together.” Said ALARA Racing Team Principal, Ara Malkhassian “We want to thank Twister Trailers for helping this effort come together for these two drivers” He added.

“I’m looking forward to a strong season this year, we learned a lot last year and we are ready to make a run at the championship. It’s great to have Justin in the car with me at Daytona. With Kent Stacy managing our technical program, we have come a long way in getting ready for this season.” added Szymczak.

“To have customer teams and young drivers climb the Mazda development program ladder is exactly what our Mazda Motorsports program strategy is all about. ALARA Racing has been a pillar in the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. To have a team and its personnel grow from MX-5 Cup to higher level series while staying in the Mazda family is a key goal for the Mazda brand,” commented John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations.

In addition to his racing career, Piscitell is the driver coach for many of the ALARA Racing team drivers and is a highly-sought instructor at the Monticello Motor Club. Christian Szymczak earned his Mazda SportsCar Academy scholarship by scoring the 2013 championship in the Mazda MX-5 Cup series.

Mazda MX-5 Cup’s three-time “Team of the Year” and series back-to-back champions, ALARA Racing is the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing and largest team, preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for dozens of poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories.

With their entry in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, ALARA Racing offers both professional sprint and endurance racing options. ALARA Racing is seeking funded drivers for the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.

Piscitell in for rest of season with Szymczak in the Continental Tire ALARA Racing Mazda MX-5

ALARA Racing is excited to announce that Justin Piscitell will be returning to team up with Mazda SportsCar Academy driver Christian Szymczak for the balance of the 2015 Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge Series. The #34 ALARA Racing Mazda MX-5 has scored 4 poles in five outings this year and Justin currently sits third in the championship standings.

Justin Piscitell celebrates his fourth pole of the season. Photo by Alison Merion Padron Photography

“I’m delighted that we were able to put together a package for this dream team to continue for the season. This formidable pairing has already scored two podiums in three attempts.” Said ALARA Racing Team Principal, Ara Malkhassian “The amount of quality feedback from these two drivers has helped the team set the #34 ALARA Racing Mazda MX-5 up to perfection. We want to thank Twister Trailers and Mazda for helping this effort come together for these two drivers” He added.

“Having Justin on the team is a great asset, we work really well together, and the team atmosphere with Kent Stacey managing the effort has been excellent” added Szymczak.

“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to finish the season with ALARA Racing.” said Piscitell. “I started my pro career with ALARA and am delighted to be able to continue racing with them. The ALARA crew has always been excellent, it’s no surprise that their Continental Tire program is as strong as it is. I am very thankful to be a part of the Mazda community and have Twister Trailers on board. I’m excited to see where the rest of the year will take us.”

In addition to his racing career, Piscitell is the driver coach for many of the ALARA Racing team drivers and is a highly-sought instructor at the Monticello Motor Club. Christian Szymczak earned his Mazda SportsCar Academy scholarship by scoring the 2013 championship in the Mazda MX-5 Cup series.

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Mazda’s three-time “Team of the Year” and Mazda MX-5 Cup series reigning champions, ALARA Racing is the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing and largest team, preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. As back-to-back champions, ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for dozens of poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories. With their entry in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, ALARA Racing offers both professional sprint and endurance racing options. ALARA Racing is seeking funded drivers for the 2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series and the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.

Photo: Justin Piscitell celebrates his fourth pole of the season. Photo by Alison Merion Padron Photography

As details emerge, reigning series champions, ALARA Racing looks to early start for 2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup preparations

As Mazda announces details of the development of the 2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car, ALARA Racing is already looking at preparations for the series’ new car. Please contact us if you have interest in the earliest possible cars for this series. Details of the launch are in the following article from Mazda Motorsports:
ALARA GLOBAL MAZDA MX-5
2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Car and Series

FAQS – 2016 GLOBAL MAZDA MX-5 CUP CAR AND SERIES

THE SERIES:

What is the 2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series?

The next generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be raced in a new Global Cup series slated to be held in North America, Europe, and Asia; full details of the Global MX-5 Cup will be announced as they are confirmed. The series will culminate at the end of 2016 with a Global Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, to crown the Global MX-5 Cup overall series champion. A one-day test in Mazda’s top-level TUDOR United SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV prototype race car will top the list of prizes bestowed on the global champion.

In which series will I be able to compete with this MX-5 Cup car?

The 2016 MX-5 Cup car is being developed to a global specification for all MX-5 Cup series around the world. This MX-5 Cup car will be classified by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA) for competition after the specs are completed in June, and will run exclusively in the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup. Also, the MX-5 Cup car can participate in any number of track day and marque club events. Updates will be provided as they happen on MazdaMotorsports.com and Mazda Motorsports’ Facebook page and Twitter account – @MazdaRacing.

What’s the plan for autocross?

We are working with the SCCA to get the street car classified for competition. An autocrosser will be able to buy a street car from a Mazda dealership; if you desire to order one of the first 1,000 MX-5 street cars, check out www.longlivetheroadster.com.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE 2016 MAZDA MX-5 CUP CAR

Who is the development partner for the Cup car?

Long Road Racing was selected to assist in the development of the 2016 MX-5 Cup car. Long Road Racing has been an elite, full-service professional racing team developing Mazda MX-5s for over a decade.

What are the testing and development timelines and milestones?

March: Three pre-production Mazda MX-5s arrived at the Long Road Racing facility; in-house builds, testing and development begins.

April/May: The 2016 MX-5 Cup car will make its public on-track debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during round 3 of the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires championship.

June: Development partners are selected.

July: MX-5 Cup race car production begins.

September/October: Completion of the first batch of MX-5 Cup cars is planned.

Please check www.MazdaMotorsports.com for updates and chronicling of the 2016 MX-5 Cup car development.

Note: Testing and development timeline is tentative.

Who is the main test driver during development?

For many reasons, we have selected Tom Long as the primary test and development driver. Tom has driven every platform of the Miata MX-5, both street and race cars. Tom is one of our Mazda factory Prototype drivers and a world-class, professional driving coach.

ORDERING THE MX-5 CUP CAR

With whom should I speak about the MX-5 Cup car or series? Can I buy the MX-5 Cup car?

Please send an email to Mazda Motorsports Business Development Manager David Cook (DCook13@MazdaUSA.com) or call him at 949.929.8494.

What is the price? Will there be a deposit?

The price of the MX-5 Cup car will be released by June. There will be a required 20 percent deposit due upon placing your order.

How many MX-5 Cup cars are you expecting to build this year?

We plan to build as many as we have orders for.

When will the MX-5 Cup cars be built and ready for pick-up?

A limited number of cars are targeted to be available by October 2015, with another batch of cars expected to be available by December 2015. Current Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires competitors will be given first priority in placing their orders; second priority will be given to those who sign up and pay the entry fees for the 2016 MX-5 Cup season. After this, orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. We expect to supply a limited amount of non-2016 Cup competitors with race cars during this first wave. We expect to fulfill all orders received by July 2015 before the end of this year.

THE SPECS OF THE MX-5 CUP CAR

What parts manufacturers are being considered (e.g., shocks, brakes, etc.)?

We are testing several manufacturers’ parts for many categories. Out of respect for those who do not get selected, we decided it is best not to divulge which ones are being considered.

I’m 6’4”; will I be able to fit?

It is being built for those as tall as 6’4”. The cage will be built to FIA regulations with a minimum two-inch clearance.

What is the color of the Cup car going to be?

White – To allow you to paint it the color and scheme you prefer.

Mazda’s three-time “Team of the Year” and Mazda MX-5 Cup series reigning champions, ALARA Racing is the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing and largest team, having been preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. As back-to-back champions, ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for countless poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories. With their entry in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, ALARA Racing now offers professional sprint and endurance racing options. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.

Piscitell to Team up with Szymczak in the ALARA Racing Continental Series Street Tuner Mazda MX-5 at Mazda Raceway

Houston, TX- April 20, 2015 – ALARA Racing is pleased to announce that Justin Piscitell will be paired up with Christian Szymczak for the Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway in their Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge entry. This is the second event in a row that Piscitell will be paired with Szymczak in the #34 ALARA Racing Mazda MX-5. Piscitell put the #34 on the pole at Sebring in his first outing in it and led a significant portion of the race. Earning his nickname “super sub”, Piscitell also previously put the Murillo Racing #56 on pole at Daytona and led a significant portion of the season opener and finished second.

ALARA Racing POLE Sebring

“We are thrilled to have Justin in the car at Mazda Raceway” said Team Principal Ara Malkhassian. “This is a home track for us as our engineering team is based in the area and we are eager to see our ALARA Racing Mazda MX-5 do well at Mazda’s home track. Keeping these two ALARA Racing Mazda SportsCar Academy development drivers in the car is our goal for the year. We are hoping to continue to find funding to keep this first-rate pairing together.” Piscitell and Szymczak both previously raced successfully for ALARA Racing in the highly competitive Mazda MX-5 Cup series on their way to the Continental Series.

In addition to his racing career, Piscitell is the driver coach for many of the ALARA Racing team drivers and is a highly-sought instructor at the Monticello Motor Club. Christian Szymczak earned his Mazda SportsCar Academy scholarship by scoring the 2013 championship in the Mazda MX-5 Cup series.

Mazda’s three-time “Team of the Year” and Mazda MX-5 Cup series reigning champions, ALARA Racing is the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing and largest team, having been preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. As back-to-back champions, ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for countless poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories. With their entry in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, ALARA Racing now offers professional sprint and endurance racing options. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.

Sarah Montgomery joins ALARA Racing for the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Cup season

LSarah Montgomery ALARA Racingafayette, LA- Coming from the heart of Cajun Country, 20 year old Lafayette native and University of Louisiana Marketing student Sarah Montgomery will be making her pro racing debut as she joins the reigning champion ALARA Racing team for the SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BF Goodrich Tires. She will be sponsored by The Lemons of Love cancer patient support organization and Lafayette Travel, her home city’s Visitors Commission.
After years in Spec Miata, Sarah spent 2014 learning the tracks and cars in the Skip Barber MX-5 Pro Series and capped off the year winning 3 pole positions and 3 podium finishes in the Barber Pro Winter Challenge. “I’m really a grass roots racer, raising money from the ground up”, says Sarah,” the hard work and support I have received from people to get this opportunity is nothing short of amazing. And then to drive for ALARA Racing, a team I’ve been hanging around with for years is really a dream come true”.
“ALARA Racing is a team that is used to winning championships”, Sarah continues. “They win because the people are fantastic and you just know the equipment, engineers, and mechanics, basically everything will be the best in the business. I can’t wait to get on the track and keep the tradition going.”
The MX-5 Cup races are all double-headers and start in March at Sebring with stops at Mazda Raceway, Road America, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, and Road Atlanta. But Sarah is circling her calendar in April for the race that travels to her home track, NOLA Motorsports Park and the Inaugural Indy Car Grand Prix of Louisiana. “It’s only a hundred or so miles from the house,” says the red haired Ragin Cajun, “I have a feeling I’ll have a few “Sarah” supporters there!”
“We’re really pleased to have Sarah join the team this year. She has always shown raw talent behind the wheel in testing. With the hard work she puts in every time she is in the car, she is maturing into an excellent racer.” Team principal, Ara Malkhassian stated. “She brings positive energy and enthusiasm to the team.”
Mazda’s three-time “Team of the Year” and series reigning champions, ALARA Racing is the Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing team, having been preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. As back-to-back champions, ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for countless poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.
Follow Sarah’s progress, get full schedules, merchandise and more at www.sarahracing.com

Kenton Koch gives ALARA Racing back to back Mazda MX-5 Cup Championships. Team gets top awards from Mazda and SCCA Pro.

A year after Christian Szymczak secured the 2013 Championship for ALARA Racing, Kenton Koch was crowned the 2014 MX-5 Cup champion at the end of the Petit leMans weekend at Road Atlanta. Unlike Christian, whose championship wasn’t sealed until the last checkered flag fell, Kenton had already put his stamp on the season before arriving at Road Atlanta. He only needed to take the start of one of the races to secure the championship.2014 MX5 Cup Round 12, Road Atlanta, Petit Le Mans Weekend, Frid

But his plan wasn’t to just cruise to the finish. Kenton went out in qualifying and set two blistering laps on his first laps out of the gate that no one could match, securing a double pole (to make the tally a solid 9 out of 12 for the season!) and the five additional points that come with it. Kenton battled for the lead in both races for the weekend, finishing fourth and second to close out the year with the widest championship points margin in the history of the class.

At the series awards banquet, ALARA Racing’s technical leader, Ken Murillo, was awarded the “Spirit of Mazda” award for his achievements in the series and beyond as he orchestrated not one, but two major championships in the same year. ALARA Racing’s sister team, Murillo racing, took the Continental Tire Street Touring championship with Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing, drivers that previous competed in the Mazda MX-5 Cup series. Piling on, ALARA Racing was also awarded the coveted “Team Of The Year” for the third time. Team drivers Timothy Paul and Ara Malkhassian also finished in the championship top ten for the season.2014 MX5 Cup Round 11, Road Atlanta, Petit Le Mans Weekend, Thur

ALARA Racing is preparing cars for the 2015 season and has open seats for funded drivers. Please contact team principal, Ara Malkhassian, for test dates and information about how ALARA Racing can help you achieve your pro racing goals in the exciting Mazda MX-5 Cup series.

Mazda’s three-time “Team of the Year” and series reigning champions, ALARA Racing is the Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing team, having been preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. As back-to-back champions, ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for countless poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.

Images courtesy of John Kernodle.

Now available, in car video from ALARA Racing drivers at 2014 CTMP races!

A compilation video of the intense, close fought action from the viewpoint of the ALARA Racing drivers as they take on the competition in the 2014 SCCA Pro MX-5 Cup series at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (AKA Mosport). Lot of the close, high speed action that makes the Mazda MX-5 Cup series the best training ground for those looking to hone their racing skills as the step up into higher classes of professional road racing.

Watch in-car video »

Are you ready to join the fun? Contact ALARA Racing for sales, support, rentals, and testing opportunities. Our championship-winning team is ready for you!

Mazda’s “Team of the Year”, ALARA Racing is the Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing team, having been preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. As series champions, ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for countless poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.

ALARA Racing has strong showing at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Kenton Koch strengthens his grip on the Mazda MX-5 Cup championship.

ALARA Racing had a strong weekend at the high-speed, exciting, and historic track known to racing fans as Mosport. Kenton Koch, sponsored by The Mazda Sports Car Racing Academy and BF Goodrich tires, extended his championship lead at the demanding Canadian Tire Motorsports Park racetrack. Scoring his second straight double-pole, double-win weekend, Koch extended his championship lead from 24 to 55 points, shattering the previous qualifying record.

Timothy Paul continued his transition into sports car racing, with a strong run in the #6 ALARA Racing MX-5 Cup car, finishing both races in the top 10. Team principal, Ara Malkhassian, led the field in practice and showed strong pace in both races to finish seventh in race 1 and racked up his first podium of the season in race 2 with a run from the back of the field up to third after a misfire was cleared on the grid. CTMP ALARA Podium The series has two more stops left in the 2014 season. The next stop for the championship is on August 8-10 and will feature high-speed action once again. Road America is one of the great drafting tracks which invariably lead to the tight, electrifying action the Mazda MX-5 Cup series has become famous for.

Mazda’s “Team of the Year”, ALARA Racing is the Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing team, having been preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. As series champions, ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for countless poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.

ALARA Racing’s Kenton Koch Sweeps Houston GP rounds of the Mazda MX-5 Cup series, takes commanding lead in championship

Kenton Koch came into the Houston Grand Prix weekend in a close battle for the championship and emerged with a wide lead. Koch, a rookie in the series, displayed his clinical driving style in every session; setting blistering lap times in practice, qualifying, and in both races. While the action behind him was intense, Koch displayed calm and composure belying his age. Two poles, two victories, two fastest laps of the race, lead every lap, and shattered the old track records.

Koch’s ALARA Racing teammate, Tim Paul had a mixed weekend with a massive crash in the first race ending his charge to the front. The ALARA Racing crew worked tirelessly overnight and prepared the car for battle for the Sunday round. Paul did them proud, finishing in fourth place in a compromised car.

Team principal, Ara Malkhassian had moderate success, taking a pair of 11th place starts to sixth and seventh place finishes. Playing a game of patience in the oppressively hot conditions, Malkhassian was able to capitalize on high attrition in both races, bolstering his results and moving him up to fifth in the points chase.

ALARA Racing now heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to kick off the second half of the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup season.

Mazda’s “Team of the Year”, ALARA Racing is the Mazda MX-5 Cup series’ longest standing team, having been preparing cars and winning since series inception in 2006. As series champions, ALARA Racing’s technical team has been responsible for countless poles, track records, race fast laps, and victories. Houston, TX-based ALARA Racing can be reached at www.alararacing.com and sales@alararacing.com or (713) 398-3314.

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I am extremely happy to be a part of the ALARA "family". I am a bit of a worry wart when it comes to my cars, but I have to admit that I have not worried about my vehicles for a single second while they are at the facility. Ara is a super nice and trustworthy guy that is always happy to help and easily reached when it is time to swap cars. I am also extremely happy to have met Mark… he is clearly the master of all things mechanical!!