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U.S. Marine Sgt. Liam Dwyer to Drive Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 in 2014


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Freedom Autosport is proud to welcome U.S. Marine Corps
Staff Sergeant Liam Dwyer to the team for 2014. Dwyer will be driving
select rounds of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series with
Tom Long in the No. 27 Mazda MX-5.

Dwyer, 32, has competed in SCCA, NASA and vintage racing. In 2013, the
Bethesda, Maryland, resident earned numerous race wins, pole positions and
track records. He accomplished all of it while racing with a prosthetic
left leg, the result of an IED explosion during his deployment to
Afghanistan. Dwyer joins Matt Pombo as one of the two veterans driving with
Freedom Autosport this year.

As a longtime supporter of those who serve in the U.S. military and a
promoter of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Dwyer is a welcome addition
to the team. He will make his pro racing debut with a trio of events:

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif., May 2-3
Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn., May 23-24
Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va., August 22-23

“I wish I had a vocabulary big enough to describe my enthusiasm and
excitement for this!” says Dwyer. “I’m thrilled about this opportunity.
Freedom Autosport is obviously dedicated to veterans and making sure
veterans are taken care of at the track. This isn’t possible without Mazda,
Freedom Autosport and Long Road Racing.”

Dwyer joined the Marines in October of 2000, inspired to sign up when he
heard the news about the bombing of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole. He
started boot camp at Parris Island in January of 2001 and was later
deployed to Iraq. While there, Dwyer was the turret gunner of a Humvee when
it was hit by an IED. The left side of his body was peppered with shrapnel.

Dwyer recovered from his injuries and returned to civilian life until a
Major he had worked with called one day and asked him to join a special
team for Afghanistan. Dwyer re-enlisted, and in May of 2011 he was
searching a compound in Afghanistan when he stepped on an IED. It took off
his left leg, and Dwyer had severe injuries to his other limbs as well as
shrapnel in his abdomen and torso. Four other Marines were also injured in
the explosion.

Now, Dwyer has a prosthesis that begins above his left knee, but that has
not stopped him from pursuing the racing career he began after his
deployment to Iraq. Dwyer keeps contact with the clutch pedal via a bracket
and Velcro strap, enabling him to race without needing any hand controls or
additional modifications.

In addition to his own racing, Dwyer wants to get other veterans involved,
too. “I hope that I can motivate other veterans and amputees to get out and
do this. I hope to be a liaison between them and racing to show them this
is possible,” he says.

Dwyer will be at the season opener at Daytona International Raceway with
Freedom Autosport, and he will continue testing and club racing in
preparation for his IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge debut during
round three at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, May 2-3.

The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund is a nonprofit organization that provides
immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the
U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Urgently needed resources are
distributed to post 9-11 Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the
Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces.
Freedom Autosport is a longtime supporter of the Semper Fi Fund. For more
information please visit

On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of
America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you’ll see MX-5
Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing,
because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the largest
road-racing class in the world is Spec Miata, with more than 2,500 first-
and second-generation Miatas tearing up America’s racetracks, making it the
most-raced production car in the world. Mazda’s involvement in motorsports
extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the
world’s premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for
driving and racing.