Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car A racer has found success with the MX-5 Cup car and is running second in the driver standings
Elivan Goulart took an NC MX-5 to the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car A championship. He started his title defense with that same car, but he and team S.A.C. Racing soon realized the ND MX-5 Cup car was the one to have as the class progressed.
With two races left, Goulart is second in the points, trailing by 12. The good news is that first in the standings is his teammate, Matthew Fassnacht, and as a result of their dominance in 2017 – four wins and 14 podium finishes combined – S.A.C. is closing in on the team championship and Mazda has a virtual lock on the Manufacturers Championship in the class.
“It’s the best of both worlds, because the team overall is running really well,” Goulart says. “We’ve had some really strong results. Matt’s had some wins, I’ve had some wins and we’re both looking pretty good in the points.”
The doubleheader finale takes place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Oct. 15-16, with two races on that Saturday. The racing in the class has often been fantastic, and newcomer Kenny Murillo Jr., who brought his team to the series four races ago and scored victories in the last three, has only added to that. Goulart expects no less at Mazda Raceway.
“[In the first race at Circuit of the Americas] the duel was spectacular, and we’ll try to keep that going forward,” Goulart says. “Matt and I are teammates, but there’s no team orders. The main thing is to race each other hard, race each other clean, and may the best man win.”
At Circuit of the Americas in early September, the 11-car TCA field featured five MX-5 Cup cars and one NC MX-5. Goulart suspects that the MX-5 Cup car will continue to spur entries and help grow the class.
“It’s a turnkey solution,” he explains. “You get the car, and there’s not a whole lot you can do to it. You put the hardtop on it and you’re pretty much in good shape. The costs are contained to a pretty good degree, so it’s easy to budget, and it’s affordable. It’s a fantastic entry-level series for our class in Pirelli World Challenge, and there’s no better platform than the MX-5 Cup car at the moment.”
At Mazda Raceway, the Touring Car field will be separated into Touring Car and Touring Car A/B for their races. Both TCA races to crown the champion – and both races for the MX-5 Cup Challenge – will take place on Saturday.