Mazda MX-5 Cup: Expected Operating Costs

Although impossible to accurately predict, the expected and estimated costs of running the 2016 ND MX-5 Cup car will be in line with, and in some cases cheaper than, the previous generation.

In anticipation of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup season, we have been asked what it will cost. *As racing goes, it can be difficult to predict costs. With a new race car, we cannot be certain of the costs, but we can provide some insight based on the information we currently have. If purchasing the 2016 MX-5 Cup car or running in the MX-5 Cup series may be in your future, we suggest diligent investigation into the costs before making a decision. The following are estimates based on the information available at the time of this release for the cost to run the 2015 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires and some costs of the new car.

The 2016 MX-5 Cup car is new and considered a fixed expense. Although the pricing has not been released (ETA on price release 10/1/15), it will come in under $55,000. But what will it cost to maintain throughout the average race season? Although the 2016 MX-5 Cup car has not endured a race season being new, our development cars have over 6,000 combined track-tested miles to ensure the proper components were selected for their durability and performance characteristics. Parts normally considered as maintenance items during a race season on the NC (third-generation) chassis (e.g., hubs, bearings, calipers and transmission overhauls) have not been replaced on the new ND chassis yet.

The average replacement part expense for a typical season on the NC chassis for its first year of competition is about $4,300. Due to the lighter weight and improved braking system of the new 2016 MX-5 chassis (ND chassis), we expect hubs, bearings and brake related components to last longer, translating into lower parts expense as compared to the NC chassis. The ND’s all-new six-speed transmission with its heavy-duty components should also translate to lower overhaul intervals / cost.

What about crash damage replacement parts on the ND chassis? They must cost more being a new car, right? The answer is no! On average, the body panels are actually less expensive when compared to the NC chassis.
Also, replacement ND SKYACTIV engines and transmissions are about the same cost as their NC equivalent.

If you are the do-it-yourself type that has the talent, time and what it takes to campaign your own effort, this may be the route for you. Expect to spend about $7,000 per weekend (based on interviewing current MX-5 Cup competitors). This estimate assumes you already have a tow vehicle, trailer and the race car. Estimate includes entry fees, race tires and fuel, food, hotels, tow vehicle fuel and promoter test day fees. Sleeping at the track and a mac-and-cheese approach will lower your expenses. This does not consider taking vacation time away from work, if necessary.

Want someone else to do all the work for you? Then arrive and drive is for you. You will need your own personal safety gear (suit, helmet, shoes, HANS etc.) and provide your own way to the track and some expense for food; however, just about everything else is included with the agreed contract price. Having the peace of mind that an experienced, professional race team is handling all the hard work may be worth every penny spent! Prices will vary depending on the team, but make sure to compare their reputation and the services they offer as a higher price may be the better value:
• Coaching services
• Pre-season testing
• Personal Engineer / Mechanic / Crew Chief
• Hospitality area

Contact the teams listed below for 2016 season pricing:

Team Owner: Ara Malkhassian
Houston, TX

Team Owner: Jason Hoover
Team Manager: Tony Silva
Flowery Branch, GA
Jason: 678-936-6591
Tony: 916-215-9354

Team Owner: Kevin Copeland
Bowie, MD 301-467-6159

Co-Owner: Stevan McAleer
Co-Owner: Chad McCumbee
Supply, NC
Stevan: 845-260-3007
Chad: 910-279-4196

Team Owner: John Dean II
Sebring, FL 352-875-6856

Related Content:
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Development
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Driver Safety
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Braking
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Race Car Production
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Parity
2016 MX-5 Cup: Primed for Teams and Individuals
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: How it Drives
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: What Racers are Saying
2015 MX-5 Cup Contingency Payouts