Fassnacht and Sword Performance Set for St. Petersburg Doubleheader
 February 24, 2022| 
  • Team News

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (February 23, 2022) – Aidan Fassnacht and the No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 Cup team look to lockdown a pair of solid race results this weekend in Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2022 IMSA Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires on the streets of St. Petersburg.


This weekend's MX-5 doubleheader features 45-minute sprints Friday at 4:40 p.m. EST and Saturday at 10 a.m. EST in support of Sunday's featured Grand Prix of St. Petersburg NTT IndyCar Series race. Both MX-5 sprints can be viewed live around the world at www.IMSA.tv with accompanying live timing available at www.IMSA.com/scoring.


The St. Pete races follow last month's season-opening rounds at Daytona International Speedway that marked 18-year-old Fassnacht's professional racing debut. He was on pace and well within the front half of the competitive 30-car field in practice and qualifying at Daytona, but weather conditions for both races included a wet track that was just dry enough to compete on BFGoodrich Tires slicks for each run. Those tricky conditions, and some hard knocks racing in close quarters with the competition, left Fassnacht in 17th and 23rd at the race finishes, respectively.


"We absolutely did not get to show our true pace in Daytona with all of the variables at play, including the weather," Fassnacht said. "I know that the No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 team and myself have the ability to be frontrunners in this series, so having a weekend where weather will not play a factor is a chance to prove that."


Unlike the cold and rain-plagued Daytona opener, this weekend's weather forecast for St. Petersburg calls for Florida-perfect temperatures nearing the 80s with sunny skies.


"A small part of me wants another weekend with wet and mixed conditions to put what I learned at Daytona to use and prove to myself that I have the ability to run up front in the wet, but it will be nice to get a "normal" weather weekend under my belt," Fassnacht said. "Especially when you factor in that the consequences for a mistake are so high at a street circuit like St. Petersburg, where track limits are concrete walls that will end your race in one go."


Another motorsports first for Fassnacht this weekend is that St. Petersburg is his debut race on a street circuit.


"My street circuit experience is limited completely to a couple of races on my simulator rig in iRacing at Long Beach, so it will be interesting to see how that experience will translate, if at all," Fassnacht said. "It's a new challenge for sure, but one that I'm greatly looking forward to. The close walls of a street circuit demand perfection every lap and can make the speeds feel much faster, which is something that I feel will play into my hands."


The St. Pete weekend follows Daytona as the second race in Fassnacht's season-long partnership with Sword Performance and its series of performance hydration beverages, which are built around a system of proprietary electrolyte replacement products and heat stress subject expertise. Fassnacht not only carries the logo on the side of his McCumbee McAleer Motorsports MX-5, but uses the Sword Performance products to hydrate between sessions.


"Even though the results may not have been the strongest, my confidence has never been higher after Daytona heading into St. Petersburg," Fassnacht said. "Daytona was a great opportunity to familiarize myself both with the Sword Performance No. 15 MX-5 Cup car and the series itself. Daytona being my first ever professional race weekend, I had so much going on behind the scenes as I learned about the schedule and responsibilities of a pro driver throughout a race weekend, on top of on track activities. I still drove a strong weekend, but now that I have that experience to build on, I can focus on really showing my pace at St. Petersburg."




– A first year student at Boston College, the opening MX-5 Cup rounds in Florida give Fassnacht his first chances to juggle the busy life of being an aspiring professional race car driver and a fulltime student. "My professors at Boston College have been so accommodating with my racing schedule, as they put a high value on their students and their student's aspirations in and out of the classroom," Fassnacht said. "I actually will have to make up for an Economics exam I'm missing this Thursday the day after I get back to Boston, so you might catch me studying supply and demand and elasticity in the hauler for a little bit!"


– In addition to his Long Beach iRacing experience, Fassnacht is finding the time to squeeze in some St. Petersburg simulation runs. "I am excited for the opportunity to practice at SimMetric Driver Performance Labs, a local racing simulator company with an in-house designed simulator with a scanned St. Petersburg track as well as an accurate Mazda MX-5 Cup car model. I think that experience will prove to be crucial to my success on a track that I've never driven on before."


About Sword Performance: Sword Performance, Inc. is an American manufacturer of performance hydration beverages, built around a system of proprietary electrolyte replacement products and heat stress subject expertise. Sword Performance Inc. was founded with a purpose: to provide great-tasting, effective hydration to hard-working men and women everywhere. From stadium lights to job sites, Sword Performance hydration products are designed to work with the body to battle dehydration and fatigue. More information can be found at www.SwordPerformance.com.


About Aidan Fassnacht: A second-generation professional race car driver, 18-year-old Aidan Fassnacht is competing in the 2022 IMSA Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup for McCumbee McAleer Racing (MMR) in the No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 Cup. Fassnacht, a freshman at Boston College, raced a Spec Miata in Regional and National Sports Car Club of America events for two seasons before taking on the Spec MX-5 Challenge in 2021, earning a slot in the prestigious Mazda Shootout before signing with MMR for his 2022 MX-5 Cup rookie campaign.

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