After the supposed Nascar RaceEx World Circuit Cup turned out to be a sham, Fil-American race driver Michele Bumgarner is now turning her attention to the Pro Mazda Championship (Mazda Road to Indy) series. This time, however, she will be backed by Berjaya Auto Philippines, the country's authorized distributor of Mazda vehicles.
"It's a win-win situation for both Michele and Mazda Philippines," said the driver's father and manager, Lee Bumgarner. "For Michele, she gets the support of Mazda's distributor in the Philippines, and for Berjaya Auto Philippines, they get a well-known race driver from the Philippines who's making her way up in one of America's top racing series."
Nothing concrete has been set on how Berjaya Auto Philippines will be supporting Bumgarner since the two parties have only recently signed a memorandum of agreement. Berjaya Auto Philippines chief executive Steven Tan told TopGear.com.ph that his company will back Baumgarner's bid in the Pro Mazda Championship in "whatever way it can."
"We have yet to iron out the details of our partnership, but we'll definitely support Michele in any way we can," said Tan.
According to the senior Bumgarner, the 23-year-old Michele is currently looking at several teams to drive for in the 2014 season, so she'll be spending the rest of 2013 familiarizing herself with the series. If Michele's bid in the Pro Mazda Championship is successful, her father believes she could join the IndyCar Series by 2016.
Let's all wish Michele the best as she proudly carries the Philippine flag in America's premier open-wheel racing series.
Photo by Vernon B. Sarne