BK Motorsport has closed its doors for the final time following the retirement of team owner Bob Bach.
The team has been responsible for Mazda's entry in the American Le Mans Series since 2005 and scored the first victory for the Japanese marque at Mid-Ohio back in 2005.
Beyond that, the team also took a total of ten podium finishes but, despite switching to a closed coupe Lola chassis late in 2008, BK has now closed for business after Bach confirmed his retirement.
"I cannot begin to thank Robert Davis, John Doonan and the entire Mazda staff for their amazing support," he said. "We have been so proud to represent Mazda on and off the track. Recently, we also had the special chance to represent BP, Castrol, SPARCO, ASG, Peirspeed, Staubli, AER, Lola, BBS, Mother's Polishes-Waxes-Cleaners, Piloti and Nike Hydraulics. All of these Mazda partners have the same will to never give up attitude as Mazda and our team has had for the last four seasons. We thank them for their continuous support, as we could not have done it without them."
In addition to the ALMS programme, BK also raced in the Star Mazda Championship and Mazda's Club Racing from 2000, scoring the 2002 SCCA Runoffs National Championship in Formula Mazda.
"Retirements always leave mixed feelings," Robert Davis, the man responsible for Mazda's North American motorsports operations under the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development banner, said. "We're happy for Bob, but we're sad that we won't be seeing him at the track on a regular basis. Bob and the entire B-K team were a part of the MAZDASPEED family for almost a decade and will be missed on both a professional and personal level. B-K was a great example of a team moving up the ranks with Mazda.
“I remember when Bob was racing in the Star Mazda series before moving up to the American Le Mans Series. B-K will forever have a place in Mazda history having scored our first American Le Mans Series win in 2005. They have also been a tremendous help in developing the new Mazda MZR-R engine. We wish Bob the best in retirement, but suspect he'll still come out to watch us race at Road America."
Mazda's 2009 American Le Mans Series plans are in the process of being finalised and will be announced in due course.