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Gallagher, center, was joined by Jason Wolfe (L) and Denny Marklein (R) on the FE podium. Gallagher, center, was joined by Jason Wolfe (L) and Denny Marklein (R) on the FE podium. View Full Size

 

IRVINE, Calif. (November 15, 2012) – 2012 Formula Enterprises National Champion Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, used his business acumen and his driving skills to win the Mazda Club Racer Shootout and advance his career to the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup.

Gallagher became eligible for the Shootout after his Runoffs victory at Road America in the Mazda-powered Formula Enterprises class. All Mazda-powered National Champions are eligible to participate in the program, which pulls its finalists from business and sponsorship proposals in a semi-final round.

The chance to compete for the prize almost slipped away during his 13-lap National Championship race when he spun trying to take the lead on lap four. The talented driver quickly recovered, kept his poise, and eventually regained the lead and the win.

Once selected as a finalist, Gallagher faced off with three other champions from various amateur sports car sanctioning bodies in North America in a driving competition. Held at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, the competitors were judged on driving ability, technical feedback and analysis, and a presentation of their business proposal.

The panel of judges, which included professional racers, marketing and communications executives, journalists, and race officials, selected Gallagher as this year’s recipient of the prize. Gallagher will receive $50,000 to run the car next season, $10,000 in parts support, a MAZDASPEED driving suit and helmet, professional media training from MAZDASPEED, one set of BFGoodrich Tires per race, and waivers on entry fees for the 2013 season courtesy of SCCA Pro Racing.

“I don't quite know what to say, it is amazing to have this opportunity,” Gallagher said. “A huge thanks to everyone who helped me get to this point, Mazda, my parents, Howard Concrete Pumping, JAY Motorsports, CTL Engineering, and HKC Support. There is a reason there are more Mazdas road raced on any given weekend than any other brand. They build the best cars in the world and I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of their family.”

Gallagher topped finalists Kenton Koch, the Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED Challenge Summer Series Champion, Bruce McNutt, the Nova Scotia Spec Miata Champion, and Yiannis Tsiounis, who won the NASA Spec Miata Championship.

The 20-year-old Ohio State student will announce the team he’ll be joining in the coming weeks. Gallagher joins a past list of shootout winners that features Andrew Caddell, Brad Rampelberg, Justin Piscitell, Nick Evans, Scott Shelton and Elliott Skeer.

More information on the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup can be found at www.mx-5cup.com, or on Twitter @MazdaMX5Cup.  

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