Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Set to Launch at COTA
 March 20, 2018| 
  • Series News

Austin, TX (March 21, 2018) - The 2018 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires season will kick off with a double-header event at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend.  The race weekend is the first of six double-header events that will comprise the 2018 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship season and will be staged at the Formula 1-grade facility as part of the World Challenge weekend.

 

With an incredible $200,000 prize from Mazda on offer for the championship-winning driver, a Mazda rookie award that has gone from $50,000 to $75,000 attracting a large roster of new rookie racers for 2018, an exciting new Challenger Class presented by Monticello Motor Club, and a large field of competitors for the COTA round, there are a lot of stories to follow. The 2018 championship kick-off marks the second season under the management of Andersen Promotions and with INDYCAR sanctioning for the Mazda-owned series.

 

The COTA entry list features 32 drivers, including eight rookies for the Texas event. 

 

The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship has a long-established ethos of close competition. The belief that racing should be fun, reasonable, competitive, and that every driver should have an equal chance at victory is what drives the category.

 

That philosophy starts with the racing car itself.  Revealed to the public in late 2015, the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup race machines start life as production vehicles and are then transformed by Long Road Racing to be ready to compete. Even with safety cells, upgraded performance equipment, and a strong support package from Long Road Racing, the SKYACTIV-powered Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car comes delivered at under $60,000. 

 

So it is hardly surprising that nearly 180 of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup machines have been sold, making it one of the most popular purpose-built race cars in North America. Global Mazda MX-5 Cup racing is also some of the most competitive on the continent. Last year, with 12 events run, there was a four second margin of victory—for all the race events combined.

 

Whomever emerges with that title in 2018 will carry some significant bragging rights—not to mention the $200,000 prize from Mazda that will go to the champion once again. The 2017 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion Patrick Gallagher converted that accomplishment into an outstanding opportunity in the IMSA SportsCar Challenge for 2018. 

 

Another racer who will be putting hard-earned support from Mazda to work this year will be Robert Stout, who scored $50,000 for his run to the Rookie of the Year honors in 2017 and will look to go even further in 2018 as he returns with McCumbee-McAleer Racing with the championship in his sights.

 

“We’re excited to be back in the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series for 2018,” said Stout. “The gang from Mazda have created the only real path to the pinnacle of the sport with their Road to the 24. Getting support from Lucas Oil and winning the rookie prize was key to being able to return this year after only missing out on the championship by a couple of spots last year. Hopefully we can give  McCumbee-McAleer Racing back-to-back Championships!”

 

Selin Rollan, who emerged from the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout to capture the $100,000 package from Mazda towards his 2018 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup program in the No. 87 Mazda Road to 24 Sick Sideways entry, will also be looking to turn support from Mazda into trophies starting this weekend. 

 

“I’ve only experienced COTA in iRacing—I’ve been on it every night for the last three weeks!” said Rollan, who is taking a couple days away from his day job selling Mazdas at Classic Mazda in Orlando, Florida for the race weekend.  “It is a tricky track, but I’m starting to get more comfortable on it. I am excited about the weekend. There were a lot of very fast guys at Spring Training and this field has some guys with a lot of seat time in these cars.  I know it is going to be very close at the front but hopefully when we get to racing, that will be my time to shine.”

 

New for the 2018 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup season will be an updated format that will see two classes of competition at every race with the launch of the Challenger Class presented by Monticello Motor Club. With sufficient entries, the Challenger Class will feature separate starts and will see the winner included in the overall podium ceremonies. Also new for this season is the inclusion of a Masters category for drivers 40 and over.  

 

There is also a new partnership in place with Fresh Air Cool Systems (F.A.S.T.), which will be awarding a cool suit to one lucky driver each race weekend via a drawing at every driver meeting. 

 

“The racing in Global Mazda MX-5 Cup is just incredible and represents the passion of Mazda so well—taking our products directly to the track,” said John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports. “We are thrilled to be opening our 2018 season this weekend and to be launching our new Challenger Class at COTA. We are so proud of the opportunity that Mazda creates for our racers as well as the support that Long Road Racing provides this paddock. There has been a tremendous response from our paddock, which is full of serious competitors that also share a great camaraderie.” 

 

The Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires 2018 season begins in earnest, March 23 – 25, at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Updates will be available via https://twitter.com/GlobalMX5Cup, with results to be posted with news and updated photos at https://mx-5cup.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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