The Contenders: Nikko Reger

Nikko Reger is one of four drivers in championship contention for the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires entering the doubleheader season finale this weekend at Petit Le Mans in Road Atlanta.

Eighteen-year old Nikko Reger from Houston, Texas is Copeland Motorsports’ breakout star this season, but despite his success, Reger is a relatively new competitor in the Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series. Last year, he secured a third place finish in the Skip Barber class before moving up in 2016, but don’t let his inexperience fool you. Reger is determined, dedicated and focused to winning.

Reger has claimed the most wins this season with three first place finishes at Watkins Glen International, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America. Despite his success at the top, he has also experienced some short falls. With a penalty in the first race of the season which left him with no points from the race, Reger had an early uphill battle to catch those ahead of him.

Despite this, Reger would come back in an unprecedented way with multiple wins and constant podium finishes. However, his luck would run dry mid-season as an unfortunate racing incident at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park left him with a DNF, which dropped him lower in the championship hunt, but he isn’t giving up. He will need a near flawless race weekend in the upcoming doubleheader event as he trails Nathanial “Sparky” Sparks by 103 points.

To accomplish this, his training regime, one of the most intense in the paddock, is in full swing ahead of Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

As a national taekwondo champion, Reger uses his discipline from the sport and transfers it to his racing. “Although vastly different in concept,” says Reger, “the training for fighting keeps my physical abilities sharp and my focus even sharper. All of this training results in discipline, pushing boundaries, and perseverance. I don’t really train as much to look good, or to lift heavier things, I train to get my mind, my reflexes, and my body moving as fast as the car does. Whenever I’m in a race car I like to know my body can handle anything that occurs on track, and as long as my body is in the game, it makes it a million times easier to keep my head in the game.”

Reger will be able to show off his training in Atlanta for the season finale. He will have to catch Sparks as well as Ara Malkahasian while holding off veteran John Dean II if he wants to coveted Mazda Road to 24 Scholarship title.

Both 45-minute long races will be lived streamed on http://www.ustream.tv/MazdaLIVE
8:00 a.m. (Eastern) Thursday, September 29, 2016 – Race #1
5:45 p.m. (Eastern) Thursday, September 29, 2016 – Race #2

About MX-5 Cup
The MX-5 Cup race cars start as complete MX-5 road cars from the Mazda Hiroshima, Japan factory before being transported to engineering development partner Long Road Racing in Statesville, North Carolina where they are produced into a race car. The process includes disassembly of the production car, welding and paint of a full roll cage and interior, and assembly of the race car, adding more than 250 motorsports-specific parts. Other components of the car, including the Mazda SKYACTIV 2.0 liter engine are sealed to ensure even competition and a cost-effective platform.

The Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires is the signature spec series for the Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24), the sports car counterpart to the Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI). On both paths, Mazda-powered champions earn a Mazda scholarship to advance their career. The MX-5 Cup champion earns a $200,000 scholarship.

Information on the car is online at www.mazdamotorsports.com.

About Mazda Motorsports
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.