Kyle Loustaunau is NASA’s 2014 Western States Champion in Spec Miata and the winner of the 2014 Mazda Club Racer Shootout. He was named Rookie of the Year in the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series.
Kyle Loustaunau is NASA’s 2014 Western States Champion in Spec Miata and the winner of the 2014 Mazda Club Racer Shootout. He was named Rookie of the Year in the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series.

So the final race weekend in the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series presented by BFGoodrich Tires is over, and with that my first season in a professional race series comes to an end.

After getting a poor start in the second to last race of the year, I was shuffled back to eighth place where later a driver who lost control of his car would take me out. With nowhere to go, I ended up T-boning his car at about 95 mph. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured, but the car was totaled, and I was unable to compete in the last race of the season the next day.

Racing in the Mazda MX-5 Cup series this season has been a tremendous opportunity, filled with some amazing experiences and challenging difficulties. Throughout the year I’ve been lucky enough to meet and compete with some great people and drivers, and those friendships will be something I’ll always be thankful for. I have learned quite a bit, which has helped me become a better driver, and picked up the skills required to have success off the track.

That is really one the most important parts of maintaining a career in motorsports. Networking and meeting new partners is essential to maintain a lasting career in this business, and motorsports is more a business than a sport. Finding a ride in today’s economy can be tough, and seem darn near impossible, but there are opportunities out there if you work hard enough to find them. It’s all about being creative and thinking outside the box. Remember if someone is going to provide you with money to go racing, he or she is going to except to see a return on the investment. With all the different social media platforms, the ways to create exposure for someone or some company are endless. It’s up to you to stand out from the crowd in promoting your sponsors. So be unique and creative!

The results this year hadn’t been quite what I expected or wanted, but dealing with those challenges has made me a better driver and a stronger person than I was a year ago. Learning a new track at each event was quite a challenge, too, but the MX-5 Cup schedule brought us to six awesome venues, tracks I probably wouldn’t have gotten to race on if I hadn’t won the Mazda Club Racer Shootout.

Nothing I’ve done this year would have been possible without a massive amount of backing, and I’m very thankful for all of the support I’ve been given this year. First, I want to thank my family, who have helped me every step of the way, the entire Mazdaspeed family, who gave me this amazing opportunity, and of course all of my supporters here, whose support I’m tremendously grateful for.

2015 has been a season filled with lessons learned, and you can be sure that I will take what I have learned this year and come back stronger in the 2016 season.

Here’s a clip of Kyle Loustaunau’s season-ending wreck in the rain at Road Atlanta’s hairy and treacherous Turn 12. Buckle up. It’s a big hit.

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Image courtesy of Brett Becker