Getting Ready for the Rolex With Some Pinewood Derby Racing

It's been a while since some of us have run a Pinewood Derby car. John Doonan, Mazda Motorsport's director, broke his car out of retirement.
Doonan's car--the orange one--picked up some Mazda support. David S. Wallens, our editorial director, built the No. 39 while a Cub Scout. Mrs. Editor (and her dad, she notes) built the blue one parked behind it.
Plenty of full-size race cars were present, too.
The main feature was reserved for the Cub Scouts. Two tracks allowed two races at a time.
Sadly, the Batmobile really did lose a wheel.
Time for the adults to race. Several factory Mazda drivers, including Tristan Vautier, were at the event. Tristan served as starter.
David's shorty wasn't the slowest car there, making it through one round of eliminations. (Click the image to see his lead!)
And like the little kids, the big kids also received ribbons. We'll be back next year.

For the past eight years, Orlando’s Classic Mazda has hosted a pre-season party—food, Mazda race cars and factory drivers. It’s now held the weekend before the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and this year something new was added to the schedule: Pinewood Derby racing.

Pinewood Derby!? Quick, where are our old cars? Fortunately an adult class was added to the card, meaning Editorial Director David S. Wallens, Mrs. Editor and Mazda Motorsport Director John Doonan could participate with cars built during their grade school years.

Interesting footnote: The top placing Cub Scout entries were No. 70 and No. 07. Coincidentally, Mazda will be running those two numbers on their prototypes this weekend.

Heading to the Rolex? Don’t forget to stop by the Grassroots Motorsports compound for a little hospitality.

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