Tremblay, SpeedSource Continue Daytona Celebration Heading to Homestead
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Tremblay, SpeedSource Continue Daytona Celebration Heading to Homestead
By Michael Harker

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 24, 2008) - SpeedSource team owner Sylvain Tremblay and his No. 70 Mazdaspeed/Castrol Syntec GT RX-8 team continue their celebration of the class win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Tremblay Nick Ham, David Haskell and Raphael Matos scored an historic seven-lap victory at Daytona over their TRG counterparts to keep Porsche off the top spot of the Daytona podium. Heading into this weekend's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, SpeedSource returns to defend last year's GT win, bringing the momentum of their victory into the season's second race.
Tremblayand Haskell continued their celebration as late as last week, when together they visited Mazda's operations in Hiroshima, Japan during a week-long trip. There, Tremblay gave several speeches, including a technical presentation on the development and build of the car, and participated in a roundtable discussion with several of Mazda's executives and leading engineers. Haskell also participated in the discussion and multiple media events.

The team was honored with a shamoji, a ceremonial wooden rice paddle presented by Mazda executives and autographed by the president and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation, Hisakazu Imaki. In Japanese tradition, the samoji is a symbol of good luck.

"It was a great honor," Tremblay said. "Though customs and languages may differ from one side of the world to the other, passion for motorsports brings people together in the best ways. We were deeply honored to receive such a tribute."

In a photo collage of Mazda's racing history, images documenting the finish of Mazda's last victory in any category in the Rolex 24 - which came in 2001 (1993 was the last GT win) - provided a fitting mix of emotions as celebration snapshots from this year's win in Daytona's Gatorade Victory Lane merged seamlessly with those from previous times.

The SpeedSource duo also visited Mazda's research and development center in Yokohama, where they checked out the 2009 Mazda RX-8 type RS on the Mazda Miyoshi Proving Ground. In between shuttling from place to place, they took time to sign autographs with Mazda fans and give away T-shirts and other gifts in accordance with Japanese customs.

Ultimately, however, one of Tremblay's his finest moments came during a tour in the rotary engine factory.
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