GLOBAL MAZDA MX- 5 CUP CAR
lmost from the very beginning
25 years ago, the Mazda MX- 5 Miata has
been raced. The three generations of MX- 5
are now likely the most-raced production
cars in the U.S., perhaps the world. And
the first two generations, the NA and NB,
serve as the basis for the most popular
club racing class in America, Spec Miata.
With the third-gen, Mazda created a
professional spec series, the SCCA Pro
Racing MX- 5 Cup. As the fourth-gen arrives
on our shores, there was never any doubt
that it would do the same with the new car.
But there are two big differences this
time around. First, not only will this car be
the basis for the Battery Tender Mazda
important to maintain absolute parity with
the build and specs of each of the cars,” says
John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports.
“That was the impetus for bringing it in
house. Secondarily, and ironically, our
customers in the U.S. were asking for it.”
While the 2016 MX- 5 Cup was the
target for the car in America, it’s unlikely
that the Global MX- 5 Cup car will remain
confined to that series. Ex-MX- 5 Cup cars
are already racing in a variety of series,
and that is likely to happen again.
“From the very beginning our goal was to
build a car that would be to the Global MX- 5
Cup specs,” Doonan says. “But other than
changing a decal package, and potentially
tires, customers could easily campaign the
car in SCCA Club Racing, NASA, World
Challenge or track days, and without making
a serious modification. Our hope was to
build the best value in sports car racing.”
That value, he adds, isn’t only in the cost
of the car, but the possible rewards. The
champion of the Battery Tender Mazda
MX- 5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires
earns a scholarship to move up the sports
car racing ladder with Mazda. The champion
of the Global Mazda MX- 5 Cup shootout,
the first of which will be at Mazda Raceway
Laguna Seca late in 2016, will earn a test
in Mazda’s TUDOR Championship-
contending Prototype racecar.
MX- 5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires in
the U.S., it will also serve as the racecar for
similar series in other parts of the world.
Second, instead of supplying a list of parts
and specifications for racers to build to,
Mazda is building the car itself.
It’s a route well traveled by Porsche,
Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati. But
when the 2016 Mazda MX- 5 racecar goes
on sale, it will be the least expensive
race-ready car sold by a manufacturer,
costing far less than even the cheapest of
those marques’ street offerings. Mazda’s
reasons for building it in-house are in large
part because it will be a global racecar.
“For the global series, we felt it was
Mazda’s fourth-gen Miata racer, in the form of
the Global MX- 5 Cup car, has some tough acts
to follow, but feedback from the development
program and testing says it’s more than up to it.
Drivers who’ve tested the Global MX- 5
Cup car during its development say that
it’s more nimble, better under braking
and acceleration, and quicker, too.