The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the most road-raced production car in the world. The reason is simple – great performance at an affordable price.
The new Global Mazda MX-5 Cup race car follows that formula, and will be Mazda Motorsports’ first-ever ready-to-race MX-5 Miata.
Having a turnkey, ready-to-race car removes the effort of engineering and costs of fabrication, enabling the racer to focus on racing. All racers can purchase identically-built race cars so that driving talent will be the number one determining factor for on-track performance, rather than budget, engineering capability or fabrication skills. Production of the MX-5 Cup race cars starts with a street car that receives motorsports specific modifications for race track safety and performance. The MX-5 Cup is an entry-level professional series, and is a part of the Mazda Road to 24, which helps promote racers up the ladder to the top levels of sports car racing.
“For the past decade, the third-generation sports car has been competing in our own MX-5 Cup series, and has been the ideal platform to showcase driving talent in a competitive environment on high-profile race weekends,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “With the launch of the fourth-generation MX-5, we are raising the bar by making it even easier for aspiring professional road racers to get involved. We expect to sell out the first batch of cars rapidly.”
The MX-5 Cup series champion earns a $200,000 scholarship to move to a higher level series with Mazda the following year. Additionally, the 2016 Global MX-5 Cup series will culminate with a global finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif with entrants from around the world to crown a global champion. A one-day test in Mazda’s top-level IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV prototype race car will top the list of prizes bestowed on the global champion.
The MX-5 Cup race car has been jointly developed by Mazda Motorsports and Long Road Racing in Statesville, NC. Long Road Racing will exclusively build the left-hand drive MX-5 Cup race car. The team has evaluated key racing components and will announce several strategic component partners at a later date. Mazda factory race driver Tom Long has led the testing, along with fellow Mazda factory race driver Andrew Carbonell and Kenton Koch, the 2014 Battery Tender MX-5 Cup champion and 2015 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda champion. Tom Long has won races in all previous MX-5 generations, including the championship in the MAZDASPEED Miata Cup, and currently co-drives the Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Priority to purchase the new car will be given to current competitors in the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, and others who intend to compete in the 2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup. MX-5 Cup cars built by Long Road Racing will be eligible to compete in club racing with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA) as well as many track-day clubs.