Lally Excited About Global MX-5 Debut
 November 9, 2018| 
  • Series News
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(Sebring, Florida) 9 November 2019-With four previous Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich champions, the top two drivers from the Japan’s Global MX-5 Cup championship, and ten drivers that already have Global Mazda MX-5 Cup wins on their resume, the field for this weekend’s Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Challenge at Sebring International Raceway is loaded with talent. 

 

But one driver threw who his hat in the ring to claim the $50,000 prize for the two-race shootout (live streaming broadcast on Mazda USA's YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/user/mazdausa) had never even driven a Global MX-5 Cup machine before this weekend.

Five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner and three-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion Andy Lally was intrigued by the challenge, and also attracted to the cash, as he signed with long time friend Todd Lamb and Atlanta Speedwerks for the Sebring Challenge shootout event. 

“Last year, I found out about the big Global MX-5 Cup race during that race weekend, so I kind of kept an eye on it and Todd (Lamb) and I touched base about it a long time ago, but it was just in passing,” said Lally. “I’ve been friends with Todd Lamb for over 25 years and we used to race karts against each other back in the day.  When the series announced that it would be at Sebring he gave me a call and I said ‘absolutely!’’”

With close competition, hundreds of passes every race, and tight finishes, Lally is well aware of the competitive landscape he’s stepping into. 

“I know this race is going to be a scrap, I know it's going to be the best guys on the planet from Mazda’s ladder coming in here,” said Lally. “By no means an I under the illusion that this is some IMSA WeatherTech driver coming down to steal some candy from babies. I’ve watched a lot of these races and it’s rare they have a race that you get a driver that comes across the line clear to the checkered flag. These guys are two and three wide every other lap and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most. This is going to be an absolute scrap and that is my favorite kind of racing. Whether it’s IMSA, NASCAR or Global MX-5 cup, if there is a shot at a fun race I’m all about it.”

Lally’s 2018 season has seen him explore the limits in a wide range of machinery from NASCAR to IMSA WeatherTech competition, and he’s happy to add another new car to the list. 

“I’ve driven a lot of touring cars with a similar power to weight ratio and I did testing for SCCA about 12 years ago when they were developing their spec tire for the spec Miata, prior to the evolution to the MX-5 Cup car,” said Lally. “Once we got it set up to where I was happy with the balance it drove really similar to what it was going to drive like. The BFGs were really great to drive on and the balance of the tires was really good.” 

“I have a steep learning curve to try and adapt to this driving style and strategy but at the same time I can’t wait,” said Lally. “I’m chomping at the bit to see how we can do against these guys.“

While he’s focused on the races, he’s also making the most of the opportunity of the schedule for the off-season event. 

“I’m making a little vacation out of this trip and going to skate parks while I’m down here,” said Lally. “I am sort of making this a low-pressure deal but obviously paying a lot of attention to how we make this car fast and how to learn to race with these guys. Come Saturday and Sunday, Mazda has put up a lot of money to see who’s got it and who’s going to go for it and I want to be that guy.”

 

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