Aidan Fassnacht Continues Mazda MX-5 Development With Successful Test at VIR
 May 6, 2022| 
  • Team News

DANVILLE, Virginia (May 6, 2022) – Aidan Fassnacht has four races under his belt in his rookie season of the 2022 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tire, but there’s still work to be done. Fassnacht, with his No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 and his McCumbee McAleer Racing (MMR) teammates, went back to work for a two-day test last week at Virginia International Raceway.


The test came at an ideal time in the championship, as Fassnacht was thrown into the deep end on two tracks – the Daytona road course and the temporary street circuit of St. Petersburg – that he hadn’t seen at the same time he was learning the car and the series. The VIR test removed one of those variables, giving him a test on a track that he is familiar with.


“ViR was such an ideal track for us to visit, as each track we have been to prior has been a new track for me,” Fassnacht said. “It is great to get exposure to new tracks, but when trying to get adjusted to a new car in a new series and build confidence, racing tracks where I'm already comfortable is definitely a plus. I had already been to ViR twice and felt as though it would be a place where I could focus more on car development as opposed to track acclimation.”


Fassnacht had a couple of “character building” races on the streets of St. Petersburg in March and currently sits 25th in the competitive field’s point standings, and came just two weeks prior to rounds five and six during the IMSA race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.


“The test at ViR was such a productive two days in so many ways,” Fassnacht said. “Not only did I gain confidence and hone-in on setup with the MMR crew, but we were finally able to shake down the backup car and made some interesting findings that could see the No. 15 Sword Performance MX-5 squeeze out some extra performance come Mid-Ohio.”


Overall, it was a valuable two days for the 19-year-old, who is also juggling classes at Boston College in addition to his racing.


“I think VIR was a great track to test at for Mid-Ohio and for the rest of the season in general,” he said. “VIR has a ton of elevation change, a la Road Atlanta and Mid-Ohio. High speed and flow sections are key characteristics of VIR, like at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio respectively. In all, it is a track that has so much to offer, making it the ideal candidate for a mid-season test. I feel so much more prepared going into the rest of the season as a result.”


The next pair of the 10 races remaining on the 2022 schedule comes in just one week for Fassnacht, May 13-15 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – another first-time venue for Fassnacht. But with some experience gained from the test, the goal is to be in the mix there and everywhere else on the calendar.

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