Palmetto, Fla. (21 February 2017) - After a record-setting season that featured the competition debut for the all-new Mazda Global MX-5 Cup machine, the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires championship will launch a new era in 2017 as the series moves to a new sanctioning partner, new operational management structure, and a record prize package on offer.
With the 2017 season marking the first with new sanctioning partner INDYCAR, the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup is poised for a future of sustained strength as Andersen Promotions has assumed operational responsibilities with the support of Mazda Motorsports. The series has been integrated into the Andersen Promotions portfolio of championships, which also includes all three championships in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires: Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, and USF2000 Championship.
Founded by Dan Andersen and now steered by COO Michelle Kish, Andersen Promotions has stewarded consistent growth since taking over the three open-wheel programs. The series have thrived with the introduction of new cars as the robust scholarship opportunities have helped to activate both grid growth and upward professional mobility from the talented graduates.
The Global MX-5 Cup marks the sports car focal point for the Mazda Road to 24, and with the spec Mazda MX-5 machine available for $58,900, is widely acknowledged as the best value in sports car racing. Adding to that reputation is the considerable prize package that sees the series champion earn a $200,000 Mazda Motorsports scholarship.
New for 2017 is a $50,000 prize for the top finishing rookie runner. In total, MX-5 Cup pays more than half-a-million dollars in prize money and scholarships.
The INDYCAR sanction will see the series integrated into four Verizon IndyCar Series race weekends, with industry veteran Vince Kremer moving into the role of Race Director for the championship, which will kick off with a double-header race at Barber Motorsports Park on April 22-23 as part of the IndyCar race weekend.
Kremer joined INDYCAR in 2012 as Technical Director for Indy Lights, and was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 2013. A native of St. Louis, Kremer has more than 25 years of experience in motorsport. Kremer started his racing career with Team Penske, where he worked in a variety of roles. Before joining INDYCAR, Kremer spent 14 years with HVM Racing, where he served as team manager among other duties.
As a key property within the Mazda Motorsports landscape, Mazda’s David Cook will continue to provide support for the racers and teams in his role as Manager, Mazda Motorsports Business Development. Additionally, experienced series manager Keith Dalton will continue to bring his renowned attention to detail to the day to day and at track operation of the series.
The series has launched a renewed website (http://www.mx-5cup.com) that better reflects the Andersen Promotions family of championships with updated content, visual branding and communications.
Also joining the championship in 2017 as the media relations agency of record is Sunday Group Management, which will support the growing series under the leadership of Matt Cleary and in coordination with long-time Mazda Motorsports Communications Officer Dean Case.
While there are a wide range of new elements for the 2017 MX-5 Cup season, some key elements have remained consistent including the deep support and marketing activation from series partners Mazda, Battery Tender, BFGoodrich Ties, Mazda, VP Racing Fuels, and Pagid Racing.
Mazda’s long term vision and investment in the North American series is serving as a template for future MX-5 Cup based championships around the world.
“Global MX-5 is an extremely important part of our motorsports program because it delivers outstanding value, is amazing entertainment, and it provides a path for our drivers to continue to move up in the sport,” said John Doonan, Director Mazda Motorsports. “So with the incredible sales for our Global MX-5 car, having this new working relationship with Andersen Promotions, and having our friends at INDYCAR providing the sanctioning for the series, we are thrilled to have all of these pieces of the puzzle coming together. We had an amazing season last year and are ready for an even better one in 2017.”
The 2017 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup championship will feature 12 races through six event weekends. The final event of the year is the second-ever staging of the Mazda Global Invitational at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca which will see MX-5 Cup drivers from around the globe do battle in a one-race shootout to close out the year.
2017 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires schedule:
Spring Training Barber Motorsports Park March 3-5
Rounds 1& 2 Barber Motorsports Park April 21-23
Rounds 3 & 4 Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 16-18
Rounds 5 & 6 Road America June 23-25
Rounds 7 & 8 Streets of Toronto July 14-16
Rounds 9 & 10 Watkins Glen International September 1-3
Rounds 11 & 12 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca September 22-4
Global Invitational Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca October 13-15