CHARLES ESPENLAUB
Lutz, FL

2008: Switched to Tri-Point Motorsports, still piloting a MAZDA6. Earned seven top-10 finishes, including back-to-back fourth-place results at Sebring and VIR, where he qualified second. Ended the season eighth in the Drivers' Championship.

2006:
In second season with the Tindol Motorsports Mazda 6, racked up six top-10 finishes, and four top-five finishes en route to finishing eighth in the Drivers' Championship. Best result was second at Road America after starting from the pole.

PREVIOUSLY: 1996-2001, ran Speedvision Cup, Porsche Club, HSR, Motorola Cup and NASA events. Has also competed in SCCA Club Racing, Grand-Am and Grand-Am Cup. Ran seven Speedvision Touring Car races in 2001, with a best finish of ninth at Road Atlanta. In 2002, ran a full season in SPEED Touring Car in a Mazda Protege. He had two top ten finishes and one top five finish coming at VIRginia International Raceway. In 2003, ran a full season in SPEED Touring Car driving a Mazda Proteg E9 ES and recorded a season-best 10th place finish at Sebring after qualifying ninth. Competed in one SPEED GT race (Sebring) finishing 13th. In 2004, turned in three top-10 finishes, including a second-place run at Mosport after starting 28th. In 2005, after beginning season in familiar Mazda Protege, switched to Mazda 6 for Tindol Motorsports. In the Mazda 6, earned the first win of his career at Mosport after starting second. Also, earned the first pole position of his career at Cleveland before finishing second. In all, had seven top-10, four top-five and three podium finishes en route to finishing seventh in the Drivers' Championship.

PERSONAL: Charles is single and works as a driving instructor at the Panoz Racing School. Drives a VW Eurovan and a Nissan pickup on the street. Favorite movie is Fight Club and racing heroes are Andy Pilgrim and Michael Galati.

 


JASON SAINI
Fort Worth, TX

2008 SPEED Touring Car Rookie of the Year.

2007: Won the Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship, entitling him to a full season of Speed World Challenge racing thanks to Mazda's ladder system. Won five of eight races, never finishing out of the top five. Had two poles, and more fastest race laps than any other driver. Also partnered with Charles Espenlaub, Eric Foss and Marc Miller to race an MX-5 for Mazda in the 25hr race at Thunderhill, culminating in third-overall, and first in class – beating out the factory Honda by 1.5 seconds!

2006: Finished second in the inaugural Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship, while his teammate won the title. Scored his first pro-racing victory at the final round of the season at Road America. Ran in the top five at every race, got several fastest-race laps, and finished on the podium three times.

PREVIOUSLY: First started road racing in 2004, going directly into the Mazda Miata Cup pro-series. Finished in the top five in his fourth ever race. Ran the Miata Cup in 2004 and 2005, with several podiums, fastest race laps and one pole-position. Finished seventh in the 2004 championship, and fifth in the 2003 championship. Ran his first ever road race less than five years ago. Previously competed in autocross competition, scoring back-to-back National Championships in B-Stock in 2003, and A-Stock in 2004. Was the Pro Solo Champion in 2003 where he went undefeated, and has numerous wins in Tour, Pro Solo and Divisional Solo events. Had nearly a 70% winning percentage in autocross events. Since he started Professional road racing in 2004, Jason has won six races, gotten 10 podium finishes, four pole positions, and eleven fastest race laps.

MAZDA HISTORY: Has been racing Mazdas exclusively since 2004. In 2006, teamed up with one of the creators of the Spec Miata class to form Team MER, dedicated to Miata racing and the new MX-5 Cup. Has helped build the team into a winning organization, and works full time there. Has a car dealer, Autobarn Mazda, as one of his sponsors. Is the first recipient of the Speed World Challenge ride offered by Mazda's ladder system, fostering the careers of talented young drivers in America.

PERSONAL: Born January 12, 1978. Lives in Fort Worth with girlfriend Juliann who helps run the MX-5 Cup team Jason drove for. Likes independent music and film, and works every day at the Motorsport Ranch track in Fort Worth. Rides his mountain bike to stay fit, and gets on track at least every week to stay sharp. Likes Mexican and Italian food, and lists Road America and Mid Ohio as his favorite tracks.



ERIC FOSS
Fort Worth, TX

2008: Won the 2008 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, earning him a spot in a Mazda for the 2009 SPEED Touring Car season as part of the MAZDASPEED driver development program. Won 2008 SCCA Spec Miata National Championship.

PREVIOUSLY: Has 17 years of SCCA Solo and Club Racing experience, even running select Speedvision Cup races in 1997. Has competed in the Spec Miata class for two years. Has been a driving instructor for more than 10 years with Panoz, the Porsche Driving School and MER Spec Miata Advanced Clinic. In 2006 was named Atlanta Region National Driver of the Year. Entered first MX-5 Cup race in 2007 finishing third after starting from pole.

PERSONAL: Drives a Mazda RX-8 on the street and enjoys Mexican food. South Park is his favorite TV show. Klaus Ludwig is his racing hero and Road Atlanta is his favorite track.