CJ Wilson Racing today made a significant addition to its Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires team lineup with the signing of Joey Bickers. The 21-year-old resident of Moorpark, Calif., is the reigning Mazda Club Racer Shootout Champion. He is the third consecutive shootout winner to sign with the Austin based CJWR.
Joey is a relative newcomer to motorsport having only taken up karting in 2012. While he enjoyed considerable success, as a rookie, at regional F1600 open wheel and Spec Miata events, 2013 was to be a banner year for the Moorpark College Business Major. He made history last year by capturing a unique scholarship double. Not only did he win Mazda’s Club Racer Shootout but he also won the prestigious Team USA Scholarship joining a long and illustrious list of U.S. road racing talent.
“It’s very exciting to be a part of the CJ Wilson team. I am impressed with the level of professionalism in the team as well as the past success they have achieved in the series. I hope to carry on that same success and make a run for the championship,” Bickers explained. “I am very grateful to have the support of the Mazdaspeed driver development program and I will be working very hard to make the most of the opportunity,” he added.
Team owner, CJ Wilson is delighted by the addition of Bickers to the MX-5 Cup squad. “I’m really proud that our team is drawing the best talent from the Mazdaspeed ladder program. Joey has a big hurdle in front of him but with high quality teammates he will get up to speed and hopefully showcase his skills and grow as a driver.” With this level of talent throughout the team comes a heightened level of expectation, as Wilson outlined. “Our goal is to win the MX-5 championship as a team again this year, finishing in second last year puts a big chip on all of our shoulders.”
“I’m delighted that Joey will race for CJ Wilson Racing this year. CJ has demonstrated a true passion for the sport and has not shied away from providing opportunities for talented youngsters,” said Jeremy Shaw, Founder of the Team USA Scholarship. “Joey was a late starter in the sport but obviously a fast learner. I invited him to a shootout to select the Team USA Scholarship winners last fall and was impressed not only by his pace but, particularly, his ability to get up to speed right away. I have no doubt Joey will fit into the team seamlessly and continue to hone his skills.”
The synergies of this partnership are not lost on John Doonan Mazda’s Director of Motorsports. “There are special moments in our sport when all the planets align. What better way to express the Mazda brand and our strategy of developing young drivers than to have one of our scholarship drivers – and someone of Joey’s talent and career aspirations – land at CJ Wilson Racing, a team owned by one of our Mazda dealers, CJ Wilson. CJ and I have talked for many years about his personal passion for this sport and his interest in helping young drivers grow their careers. In this case, it all came together.”
Bickers will get his first taste of the intensity of MX-5 Cup competition with rounds one and two of the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires taking place at Sebring International Raceway this Thursday and Friday.