2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup will include series in North America, Europe and Asia with an end-of-season shootout at Mazda Raceway.
When the wraps came off the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 recently, most racers knew that it would eventually be the basis for the Mazda MX-5 Cup that began with the third generation of the MX-5 in 2006. Some aspects of the next generation MX-5 Cup car have been revealed today at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, but even bigger is the fact that the series is going global.
Starting in 2016, there will be multiple Mazda MX-5 Cup series around the world, including North America, Europe and Asia. It will all culminate at the end of the year with a Global Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to crown the series champion who, along with other prizes, will receive a one-day test in Mazda’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV Prototype racecar.
“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,” says Masahiro Moro, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Global Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for Mazda Motor Corporation. “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.”
The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup carries on a long tradition of MX-5 spec racing that began with Spec Miata, one of the most popular racing categories in the U.S. and Canada that is also gaining traction in other parts of the world.
“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,” notes John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda North American operations. “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.”
In a first for Mazda, the Mazda MX-5 Cup race cars will be sold ready to race from a single supplier. Final specifications for the car beyond the fact that it will be equipped with a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder engine have not been determined and the photos shown here may not reflect what equipment will be used on the racer. Mazda will be working over the next year to select the optimum suspension, powertrain and safety modifications for the car. The final specifications will be announced when Mazda is ready to accept orders for the 2016 series.
The third-generation cars will continue on for 2015 in the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich® Tires that kicks off at Sebring in March with a 12-race schedule. Beyond that, the current MX-5 Cup race cars will be eligible to compete in club racing, as many do now.