Series for first-generation Miatas on vintage racing weekends will have a championship and look at growth over its inaugural season
After a successful launch in 2017 that saw steadily growing fields of 1990-’97 NA Miatas, the SVRA Mazda Miata Heritage Cup will return for a second season. There will be a six-race championship, plus a non-points event at the Slaying the Dragon Hillclimb.
“We are thrilled to continue to grow this strategic relationship with Mazda,” says Tony Parella, SVRA President and CEO. “It was clear to me this year that the Miata drivers were all about prepping their cars to car show quality, but also racing them hard. The Mazda Miata Heritage Cup is working exactly as we hoped by opening vintage racing to young drivers with a price point more affordable than just about any category of serious auto racing.”
Bret de Pedro, principal of RP Performance, both raced and supported customers at the final round of the 2017 Heritage Cup at VIRginia International Raceway and is looking forward to more in 2018.
“I drove myself – and I don’t usually drive very often. It’s as much fun as I’ve had in a long time,” says de Pedro. “The cost is beneficial to most of these people; we end up paying less than we would for a regular test day for four full days of racing. Plus you’re there with a lot of cool cars and you get to spectate and walk through the paddock and enjoy some of the nice vintage stuff that they get out there.”
De Pedro says he expects to take cars to several events this year, including VIR, Road Atlanta, Road America and Mid-Ohio. The series begins at Roebling Road near Savannah, Ga., on Feb. 14-16. That weekend will include a driver’s school for new racers. After that, the six-race Heritage Cup championship will go to Road Atlanta (March 28-31), Auto Club Speedway (April 27-29), Road America (May 17-20), Mid-Ohio (June 21-24), and VIRginia International Raceway (Sept. 20-23). When the regular season is done, the Heritage Cup will be included in the non-points event at the Oct. 5-7 “Slaying the Dragon” Hill Climb in Robbinsville, N.C.
“We are pleased to support SVRA again in 2018,” says John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations. “Mazda Motorsports has a long history dating back to the 1960s, so it is only fitting that the Miata has a special championship in America’s premier vintage series. The Miata is a well-proven, time-tested racing platform and cars are widely available, as well as parts. The racing this year was terrific and the drivers really enjoyed it.”
For de Pedro, he expects the class to grow based on the positive feedback from those who competed in 2017.
“A lot of people were disappointed they didn’t make it [to an event last year],” he says. “But after we got back and talked about it, a lot of people were really sorry they missed it.”