This past weekend I was at the IMSA race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. I was there for my standard duties providing IMSA hot laps for Mazda VIP guests as well as for coaching Ashton Harrison in the final round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series.

It was a picturesque weekend on the Monterey Peninsula, with slightly warmer than usual temperatures but a lot of gorgeous sunshine. Ashton got her weekend off to a fantastic start, outpacing her class in practice and grabbing the pole position in qualifying. This was a really gratifying event for both of us. It was Ashton’s best performance of the year, which is just a great way to end the season!

Photo by Jamie Price.

Photo by Jamie Price.

Race 1 was one of the most exciting races of the season as Ashton slashed the lead down to just car lengths with only a couple of laps remaining. She had an incredible battle for the lead, and although she came in second, the finish was nose to tail.

Race 2 was an opportunity for redemption, and it got off to a great start as Ashton pulled a commanding lead in the opening laps, only to have an uncharacteristic electrical issue with the car. It was a tough pill to swallow in the final race of the regular season, but lucky for Ashton, she’ll be competing in the world finals in Spain next month.

The weekend was also gratifying because of all the excited Mazda guests that I got to meet and take on hot laps. They got to experience the circuit in the 2019 Mazda 6 hot lap car. Among the VIPs were a lot of people who work for Mazda and already have a big appreciation for the brand. That appreciation grew after they got to see what even a Mazda street car—albeit a turbo-charged Mazda 6—can do around that track.

After so much fun in Monterey, I’m fortunate to do it all again this coming weekend during the Global MX-5 Cup finale back at the same place. It should be very exciting to watch as the MX-5 Cup competitors battle for the $200,000 Mazda scholarship and championship.