Ron Cortez started the Teen Mazda Challenge to provide an easy avenue from karting to car racing. Open to drivers between the ages of 13 and 20, the series is running in several NASA regions and has sent many drivers to the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, including three with Teen Mazda Challenge backgrounds this year alone. Unfortunately, Cortez passed away early this year, leaving some uncertainty regarding the future of the program. But James Brown has picked up the ball and run with it, making sure the program not only survives, but thrives.
“I had been with Teen Mazda Challenge with my own son for four years, then with a new driver, Hannah Grisham, after my son passed away four years ago,” explains Brown. “I didn’t want to see the series die. It was very important to me to see it keep going because it’s been so instrumental in helping so many drivers. So I just tried to put together all the people that had an interest and a stake in Teen Mazda Challenge and said, ‘Look, this is what I’d like to do.’ Fortunately, we all agreed.”