Foreground, from left: Mazda Motorsports Officer Dean Case and master of ceremonies John Lindsey await the conclusion of the national anthem before giving drivers the order to start their engines.

To make a great Championships event, you need a little grandeur, a little something to mark the event’s significance. At the 2016 Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires, the first race on Sunday was preceded by an opening ceremony, which featured all the Spec Miata entries lined up on the front straight.

While all the cars were on display, master of ceremonies John Lindsey conducted interviews over the public address system and gave the go for the national anthem, which was performed by a local high school girl.

Bryan Cohn
Bryan Cohn

“Racing is more than just driving our cars,” said NASA Technical Director of Competition, Bryan Cohn, who put together the opening ceremonies. “It is about a spectacle, about excitement, about doing things that are different than normal. I think it adds stature to the event. It adds pomp and circumstance.”

Other racers and crew gathered around to watch the Spec Miata race, normally one of the highlights of a Championships event — and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. After the conclusion of the national anthem, Mazda Motorsports Officer Dean Case gave the order for the drivers to start their engines.

Of course, being Spec Miata racers, many of them already had done so.

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Image courtesy of Brett Becker