Last week I had one of the more dynamic coaching opportunities in my career, traveling to the Dominican Republic to work with Mazda racers there. These Mazda friends from afar had contacted Long Road Racing about opportunities that included helping them get the most out of their current Mazda racecars.
Having never been to the Caribbean before, I really didn’t know what to expect. Upon our arrival in Santo Domingo, our Mazda friends greeted us and I was quickly amazed by the culture and beautiful landscape. I realized there was a lot I didn’t know about the Dominican Republic, and I was excited to learn more, although our main focus was about a subject I do know very well: the racetrack!
I was surprised to learn there are more than 100 competitors among multiple classes for their racing events. That’s a lot of competition for such a small country! The team we were working with runs a Mazda MX-5 amongst a field of 40 Hondas.
We had a couple of test days at Autodromo de Americas, in which we optimized setups on the racecars and got their drivers dialed in to these changes. It made me very happy to see them so pleased with not only the increased pace of the cars, but also their new personal best lap times at a track they have run on a monthly basis for years. Remember, there is no off-season thanks to the tropical weather, so they can race year round!
I left with great impressions from the team’s appreciation for our help as well as a better understanding of the Latin culture. I am very excited for another trip there, hopefully in the near future.