5XR Team Driver: John Davison
In our recent shift to supporting specific drivers instead of maintaining a membership program (our Team Support Program), one of our goals was to embrace and reward those who were existing members of our Team Support Program, and essentially “promote” them to our new Team Driver program. Especially those who were ultra-loyal to us! John Davison is one of those racers who always goes above and beyond to help get our name out there by both running our 5XR decals on his Spec Miata, and by recommending us to people in his racing circles (which is a BIG circle!).
In a previous article we highlighted the desired qualities of what we look for in a racer we want to invite to our Team Driver program, and what it means to us as a company who supports them. John certainly qualifies for all 5 of our listed qualities!
John is an Orlando FL Native now living in Jacksonville Beach FL (we like our locals!). He is a true “track brat” such as myself, having grown up at a racetrack and involved with racing from a young age. He has been a member of the SCCA since 1998 (six years old) during at which time his mother, Robin Ragaglia, raced with the SCCA in the 80’s.
- Fun Fact: Robin raced a Mazda RX2 in ITA class and Mercury Capri in GT3. She became one of the first female Central Florida Region Champions. Her husband, and John’s step father Jack Ragaglia also raced in the 90’s in the ITA class in a Mazda RX7. Robin is also the Central Florida Region Registrar, which is the go-to person for all race event registration.
- Fun Fact #2: Jack was once a team member of Dan Pardus’ (father of 5XR Team Driver Preston Pardus) NASCAR team.
- Fun Fact #3: John is good friends with Preston Pardus – who we recently partnered with – and is regularly seen in Preston’s race videos as they work together on track.
John has been coming to the track since he was a kid, and racing has always been a passion of his. I can relate to this as I grew up in the paddock of International Outboard Grand Prix (IOGP) races with my father Rick, who was a professional boat racer in that series. It’s this instilled love for racing we absorb as children that carry us into our own racing careers when we become adults, and is ultimately what pushes us through the struggles that often accompany a racing career. This is a hard quality to earn and I consider myself lucky to have had a head-start to knowing the high’s and low’s that are synonymous with racing before experiencing them for myself later in life.
John participated in his first Autocross in 2008, and continued until 2012 when he made the jump to SCCA Club Racing in a 1.6 Spec Miata. John groomed his skills with the Autotechniks Racing Team, which is a storied and well-respected Spec Miata outfit from South Florida consisting of a stable full of the fastest SM racers in the south. For the 2016 season, John joined the 5X Racing Team Support Program to build his new 1999 Spec Miata. In his first season with the new car, he won the Central Florida SCCA Region Championship (2016), easily the most competitive region in the SCCA with the most per-race SM entries (our annual “Turkey Trot” at Sebring regularly draws 70-car SM grids!). From there John has stepped up to include SCCA Major Tour events to his calendar, which is the SCCA’s top-tier amateur series (but really considered semi-pro). In only 6 US Majors Tour starts out of 8 scored races, he still finished 13th in points in the heavily competitive Southeastern Conference, which had 152 competitors total!
John’s goals in 2017 are to win the SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and to win the NASA East Championships at Sebring International Raceway. He is a fierce competitor with strong goals – which can surely be stemmed from his tenure as a Division 1 Collegiate Athlete (Soccer) at University of North Florida - and also is one of the most well-known guys in the Central Florida Region race paddock.
Not only a formidable racer, he is also a big personality in the Spec Miata community, which is oftentimes needed to bring issues and thoughts to light with the clubs. The depth of John’s involvement with the Spec Miata class was a beacon of light we saw in choosing him for our Team Drivers Program, and it’s clear that his passion for racing bleeds through off the track as well, as he is very active on racing related social media such as the Spec Miata Racers Discussion and Information Facebook Group where he helps me as an administrator, and on the Mazdaracers.com forum. With this, John knows A LOT of racers across the country and keeps in regular contact with them. Whether he knows it or not, he is an excellent networker, inevitably connecting and bridging people together within the racing community. He is truly one of those guys you can reach out to online or at the track that will help you in any way he can, whether it’s with the details of the event and how to register for it (his mom is the registrar), connecting you with a racer that you’d like to get a hold of, or just being that guy you can go to in the paddock to “get the scoop” from the day’s gossip and find out more about who is racing in the event and their background (I’ve often asked John who racers are that I haven’t met or heard of).
It’s for all these reasons 5X Racing is happy to help John with his racing goals in any way we can, and we’re also happy that John chooses 5X Racing for his Spec Miata parts needs.
You can get to know John better through his social media outlets:
Thanks for reading!