New Mazda Motorsports Director Nelson Cosgrove hopes to seize on momentum
Nelson Cosgrove, the new director of Mazda Motorsports, has a lot on his plate in the coming year. The RT24-P Daytona Prototype international program in IMSA has a lot of momentum going into 2020, with fans hoping for a victory in one of the Florida endurance races and for the team to be fighting for the overall championship. So is Cosgrove. Beyond that, Cosgrove will oversee the development of the Mazda3 TCR and also looks forward to taking a deep dive into Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires as well as grassroots racing, two areas he admits he has much to learn. But he’d rather come into a program that’s going full steam than one he has to get going, he says.
“I’ve done both in my career,” Cosgrove explains. “I’ve been in situations where you had to start from a period of struggle, and I would much rather be in a situation where you’re winning, because you have something you can build from. In motor racing, it’s very difficult to turn anything around, so I’ll take the winning-and-building-momentum program any day of the week.”
Replacing longtime program director John Doonan, who recently left Mazda Motorsports to head up IMSA, Cosgrove is still getting a feel for the Mazda Motorsports culture. But despite being new, he already has several clear objectives for Mazda’s professional motorsports programs.
“My top three goals are to win a race, to be up front and contend for wins, and make sure that we are competing for a championship [in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship],” he says. “I feel like the team and the drivers are at the point now where they’ve got confidence and they can close the deal. It’s great to watch those guys evolve and develop.
“I would love to win a few races, but I think it’s more important to be up front and compete every week, to be in contention, and we’ll see how the championship rolls out at the end,” he adds.