Global MX-5 Cup car - Tokyo Auto Salon 2015

The Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BF Goodrich is a single-make motor racing championship sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) in the United States. Mazda MX-5 Cup is the professional Spec Miata series of Mazda Motorsports, promoted by . The pro Spec Miata series has its roots in 2003, but a unified national championship was launched in 2006.

History

The first generation Mazda MX-5 or Mazda Miata was launched in the U.S. market in May 1989 (model year 1990). The Sports Car Club of America placed the car in the Showroom Stock C class for production vehicles with a 1.600cc engine. The rules allowed the car to be entered in races when the model was one year old, in 1991. As production and popularity of the sports car grew, the SCCA developed a separate class for the car. After an exhibition race at Road Atlanta in 1999, an SCCA regional class was launched in 2000. In professional motorsport, the Miata's were entered in the SCCA World Challenge, but without major results.

Mazdaspeed Miata Cup

The Mazdaspeed Miata Cup was launched for 2003 with a Pacific and an Atlantic championship. The series first race was run at on May 3rd and 4th 2003. and won the two races over the weekend.[1] Niki Coello went on to win the Atlantic Tour championship.[2] won the inaugural Pacific Tour.[3]

Mazda MX-5 Cup

The introduction of the third generation Mazda MX-5 coincided with the unified national pro series in 2006.[4] The inaugural season started at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. A total of 22 racers started the inaugural race which was won by , from pole position.[5] The series was support event for the Rolex Sports Car Series at Laguna Seca, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio and Miller Motorsports Park. The series also supported events of CASCAR, ChampCar, American Le Mans Series and the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.[6] Jim Daniels clinched the championship with one round remaining.[7] The 2007 season started at the Grand Prix of Houston with the series first night race.[8] won five out of eight races to clinch the championship. Saini was promoted to the 2008 SCCA World Challenge with Mazda.[9] The 2008 season started with a Mazda Miata shootout. won the race between SCCA and NASA champions to receive a fully funded drive in the 2008 regular season.[10] Rampelberg finished sixth in the season standings winning races at Portland and Miller Motorsports Park. won the championship winning two races but finishing all eight races.[11]

Todd Lamb dominated the 2009 season. Lamb won eight out of ten races, consecutive. Marc Miller and won the remaining two races. NASCAR driver Ryan Ellis also competed in the series.[12] Rampelberg continued in the series winning the 2010 series.[13] In 2010 the series had its first standing start, at New Jersey Motorsports Park, previously only using a rolling start.[14] The 2011 season was a tough season for the series. The final rounds of the series saw only 16 entrants. Michael Cooper won the series as Rampelberg moved into the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

For 2012 Todd Snyder was appointed as the director of competition.[15] Snyder left the series at the end of the season to join the IMSA. The series created a partnership with the Skip Barber Racing School for young racers. was the first driver to win the class. The regular championship was won by .[16] Former single-seater racer Christian Szymczak won the 2013 series championship. , winner of the 2013 Skip Barber class, won the 2014 overall championship. This was the first back to back championship win for and team principal Ken Murillo.[17] In November 2014, Mazda unveiled the new Global MX-5 Cup at the SEMA tradeshow. The final season of the third generation car was won by with a 13 point margin on Patrick Gallagher.[18]

Global MX-5 Cup

In 2016, the Global MX-5 Cup was launched. The series featured the new fourth generation Mazda MX-5, and a new prize package. The winner of the series was invited to test a Mazda powered Lola B08/80 prepared by Mazda Motorsports.[19] Last season's championship contenders Dean II and Gallagher again competed at the front of the pack. Gallagher won the first race after Dean II started from pole position.[20] The championship was won by 26-year old . Sparks won a $200,000 scholarship to advance his racing career.[21] The season culminated with a new invitational shootout format. The Mazda MX-5 Cup Global Invitational debuted with nineteen drivers from eight different countries. The inaugural edition was won by Sparks. Former FIA GT1 racer Gabriele Gardel also competed in the race.[22]

For 2017, sanctioning of the series was taken over from SCCA Pro Racing to IndyCar. Promotion of the series was taken over by . Andersen Promotions, headed by Dan Andersen, also promotes and runs all series of the Road to Indy (USF2000, Pro Mazda Championship and Indy Lights). The Global MX-5 Series joined the IndyCar Series at the Grand Prix of Alabama, Kohler Grand Prix, Honda Indy Toronto and the Grand Prix at The Glen.[23]

Beginning in 2021, the series partnered with IMSA under a new sanctioning agreement. The series currently races at select WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events, while retaining a single IndyCar event (the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg). In 2022, the series will continue it's annual visit to Road America, but will be part of the NASCAR Cup Series race weekend.

Car

2003-2005

In the early Mazdaspeed Miata Cup accepted first- and second generation Mazda MX-5s. The series followed Spec Miata rules as issued by the SCCA, NASA and Midwestern Council. Tyres from the labels Toyo, Kumho and Hankook were allowed. Three types of MX-5's were allowed to run in the series. The edition of the MX-5 built from 1990 through 1993 featured a 1.600cc engine. The car had a minimum weight of 2.300lbs. The second type allowed were cars built from 1994 through 1998. The car featured a 1.800cc engine and had a minimum weight of 2.350lbs. Lastly cars built from 1999 through 2005 featured a 1.800cc engine and had a minimum weight of 2.400lbs.[24]

2006-2015

Between 2006 and 2015, the series used the third generation Mazda MX-5. The car featured the standard 2.0L engine prepared by Mazdaspeed.[25] Through the years, model years 2006 through 2014 were accepted. The engine featured modifications by Mazdaspeed such as a modified cold air intake. The gearbox was a stock 6-speed manual out of the Sport Package. The suspension and shocks were also provided by Mazdaspeed. Tires were provided by Hankook in 2006 and 2007. Between 2008 and 2009 the tires were provided by Kumho. As of 2010 the tires are provided by BFGoodrich.[26]

2016-present

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup edition at the Montreal International Auto Show 2016.

For the 2016 season, Mazda introduced the fourth generation Mazda MX-5. The car is built at the Hiroshima Mazda factory before being transformed into a MX-5 Cup car. The MX-5 Cup version was developed by Mazda North American Operations and . The engine is a 2.0 L SkyActiv-G (PE-VPS) I4. From 2016-2018, the series began with the ND1 iteration of the car, before introducing an updated ND2 class in 2019. For the 2019 season, the series utilized a two-class structure, with a premier ND2 class running alongside the legacy ND1 cars. The ND1 ECU was provided by , while the ND2 upgraded to a Bosch ECU with an increased 7,500rpm limit .[27] The ND2 upgrades also included an increase to 181 horsepower and a sequential gearbox. Tom Long was the test driver during the development phases.[28] In 2019, Long Road Racing ceased operations, with responsibilities transferred to Flis Performance.

Timeline

2000s 2010s
03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Mazda MX-5 NA Mazda MX-5 NC Mazda MX-5 ND
Mazda MX-5 NB
1.600cc 2.000cc
1.800cc
K H K BF
H
T

Champions

Mazdaspeed Miata Cup
Year Atlantic Tour Pacific Tour
2003 United States United States
2004 United States United States
2005 United States Tom Long United States
Mazda MX-5 Cup
Year Driver Team Shootout winner Skip Barber class
2006 United States Team MER
2007 United States Team MER
2008 United States United States
2009 United States Todd Lamb AMG Racing United States
2010 United States AMG Racing United States
2011 United States Michael Cooper AMG Racing United States
2012 United Kingdom CJ Wilson Racing United States Patrick Gallagher United States
2013 United States Christian Szymczak Alara Racing United States United States
2014 United States Alara Racing United States United States Drake Kemper
2015 United States Sick Sideways Racing United States United States Robby Foley
2016 United States Spark Performance/Sick Sideways United States
2017 United States Patrick Gallagher McCumbee McAleer Racing United States
2018 United States Slipstream Performance United States
2019 Puerto Rico Copeland Motorsports United States
2020 United States Carter Racing Enterprises United States
2020 United States Spark Performance United States
Global MX-5 Cup Invitational/ MX-5 Cup Challenge
Year Invitational Winner Team
2016 United States Spark Performance/Sick Sideways
2017 United States Patrick Gallagher McCumbee McAleer Racing
2018 United States Spark Performance/Sick Sideways

References

  1. ^ "2003 Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires Atlantic Tour Round One & Two". Black Top Racing. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  2. ^ Bryant, Thomas (November 2014). Mazda MX-5 Miata. Motorbooks. p. 134. ISBN 9781627884037. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Miata Cup: Pacific Tour Phoenix preview". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  4. ^ "#TBT Starting the Miata Sensation". SCCA. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Final Race Results Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, May 7, 2006". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ "Schedule". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 8 November 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ "Saini Closes MX-5 Cup Season At Road America With First-Ever Win". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 28 November 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "The 2007 Mazda MX-5 Cup Season Begins in Houston". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 6 November 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ "Season Points". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 8 November 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Rampelberg Wins Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ "Season Points". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Season Points". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ "Kent takes finale MX-5 Cup race of 2010; Rampelberg crowned champion". AWR Racing. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Evans To Start on MX-5 Cup Pole For First Standing Start In Series History". The Auto Channel. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Snyder To Serve As Director of Competition For SCCA Pro MX-5 Cup". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  16. ^ "Mcaleer Wins MX-5 Cup Finale To Punctuate Season Championship At Road Atlanta". PaddockTalk. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  17. ^ "KOCH TAKES HOME 2014 MAZDA MX-5 CUP CROWN". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  18. ^ "GALLAGHER SCORES THIRD BATTERY TENDER MAZDA MX-5 CUP WIN AT ROAD ATLANTA". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 20 October 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  19. ^ "MAZDA WAVES GREEN FLAG ON 2016 GLOBAL MX-5 CUP RACING SERIES". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 26 November 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  20. ^ "Patrick Gallagher Takes the First Win of the 2016 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires". MX-5 Cup. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Nathanial Sparks Wins 2016 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires and $200,000 MRT24 Scholarship". MX-5 Cup. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  22. ^ "Historic Green Flag Drops for Inaugural Mazda MX-5 Cup Global Invitational". MX-5 Cup. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  23. ^ "NOTEBOOK: INDYCAR TO SANCTION MX5 CUP". Indycar. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  24. ^ Bryant, Thomas (November 2014). Mazda MX-5 Miata. Motorbooks. p. 136. ISBN 9781627884037. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  25. ^ "2006 MAZDA MX-5 CUP RACE SERIES ZOOM-ZOOMS TO LIFE". Mazda Motorsports. Archived from the original on 19 November 2005. Retrieved 30 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  26. ^ "Car Facts". MX-5 Cup. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  27. ^ "Global MX-5 Cup Car Features". Long Road Racing. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  28. ^ "Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Marketing Booklet" (PDF). MX-5 Cup. Retrieved 29 October 2016.

External links