Get ready for the Green Flag to wave for some fast paced racing in 2016 courtesy of the Mazda MX-5 Cup Racing Series. There’s some big news on the international racing front for Mazda lovers and race fans. Mazda has announced that they plan on racing the new 2016 MX-5 Miata in the new Global Cup series which will run in North America, Europe, as well as Asia. The company made the announcement at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) tradeshow in Las Vegas.
The move into Global Cup racing for the fourth generation of the Mazda MX-5 Miata makes complete sense as the car is the best-selling in roadster history. It’s also one of the most popular cars for road-racers in the world according to the press release from Mazda. According to the official release, and John Doonan who is the director of motorsports for Mazda North American operations, the first official race for a Miata took place back in 1990.
"Since the first Mazda MX-5 Miata took the green flag back in 1990, the car has been the ideal platform for both veterans and rookies alike," noted Doonan. "Because the MX-5 is inherently such a good car to drive, it is an ideal platform to learn basic and advanced race-craft, and this has made the professional MX-5 Cup series very successful to date."
Mazda is no stranger to the racing world. The company is the only Asian car company to score an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That win came in 1991 and since 2000 Mazda has held the naming rights at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. On a grass roots level the Miata is one of the most popular cars in local, regional, and national racing events held under several sanctioning bodies.
The biggest sanctioning bodies for Mazda Miata racing in the United States are the Sports Car Club of America, the National Auto Sport Association, and Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs. All three host road racing events geared towards Miata spec car drivers. The term “spec” refers to Mazda a Miata racing using certain competition specifications.
The news of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup Racing Series is huge for Mazda race fans as it will place an emphasis on the car as well as the driver on a global basis. The green flag for the unique series will drop in 2016. What makes it unique? The fact that the Mazda Global MX-5 Cup series will take place in multiple countries using identically prepared cars. The series will open the door for Miata drivers to make a splash on the international racing scene!
"We're excited to take the elements of success of the existing Mazda MX-5 Cup series, and introduce them to a new global audience," Masahiro Moro, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Global Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for Mazda Motor Corporation noted in the press release. "It has long been our goal to see Mazda fans around the world competing in identical MX-5s, and the launch of the 2016 MX-5 Miata is the perfect time to make this goal a reality."
All of the cars will be as identical as possible in order to emphasize the skill level of the driver. According to the press release a single manufacture will produce the “ready to race” Miata race cars for the Global Cup series. The cars will utilize a 2.0 liter SKYACTIV-G four cylinder engine. Full details of the 2016 events will be announced as races and venues are confirmed.
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