Mazda SpeedSource racing showcased at February luncheon

By Juan G. Robbin - Photos by Pepe Forte

The 35 SAMA members and guests attending SAMA's February luncheon not only dined on the usually fabulous meal that is the custom at Smith & Wollensky's but also were treated to a program of a different sort by sponsor Mazda.

Sylvain Tremblay, owner/driver/engineer of the SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda team, talked about his career and showed a presentation previewing all that goes into building a successful race car such as the Mazda RX-8 that he and David Haskell, Nick Ham and Raphael Matos drove to victory in the GT Class at the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

There is tremendous attention to detail when building a race car. Weight costs speed, and Mazda and SpeedSource go to fanatical lengths, such as trimming the extra length off the smallest of fasteners, to take off as much weight as possible from their RX-8 race cars.  

After the presentation, those in attendance were able to get a close up look at the RX-8 sitting on display just outside the restaurant. Our thanks go to Tremblay and his team and Jason Medina of Hill & Knowlton in arranging the details of the luncheon for Mazda.  

Important business also was tended to at the meeting.

President Ron Beasley, who had announced at the January meeting that nominations for officers for 2009-10 would be accepted at the February meeting, opened the floor for nominations. There were none, and after a few minutes member Pepe Delfino made the motion to reelect the present slate for the upcoming year. Juan Robbin seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

Ron then asked if there were any objections, and there were none. Ron will continue as president, Paul Borden as vice president, Bill Adam as treasurer, and Jaime Florez as secretary. Their new term begins July 1.

Ron welcomed two new members. Dr. Ray Mummery, who assisted at the Rides-n-Smiles event in November, has volunteered his services to provide free medical exams for FAA and racing requirements for SAMA members. He is a regular at the meetings and may be contacted there.
Albert Rocca, Chief Executive Officer/Publisher of Auto Passion custom publishing, also has joined our organization and was attending his first SAMA event at the luncheon.

Ron also gave members a friendly reminder to take care of the cars that manufacturers graciously provide us for our reviews. Keeping press cars in excellent condition is a responsibility that should not be ignored.

“It’s easy to forget that these are not our cars,” Ron said, “and we need to make sure we take excellent care of them.”

Pepe Delfino is looking for additional content for the SAMA web site. Please email Pepe directly any reviews, press launch or interesting trip stories suitable for publishing on the site. For instance, if you are at an auto event and see a fellow SAMA member there, snap a picture and send it to Pepe at  pepedelfino@yahoo.com .

Cristina Rodriguez of Kiskinis Communications also reminded us of the Fort Lauderdale auto show coming up March 12-15 at the Broward County/Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center at Port Everglades. This event benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County and could use our support. Contact Cristina for press credentials for the show.

A “Green Car Event” is taking shape, (yes, really, it is taking shape). Please talk to Juan Robbin if you have any suggestions or ideas, or if you want to help out with organizing the event. This event could give us a heads-up on new technology coming to the auto industry.

Finally, SAVE THE DATE! Mercedes-Benz will host the next luncheon on March 19 at the ultra-swank Mondrian Hotel in South Beach. Definitely not to be missed.  Regrettably, Juan Robbin will not be able to attend as he will be in Cairo riding a camel.

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