Competition heats up for the Alana Long 100
Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (17 June 2019)- The 2019 Battery Tender ® Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich ® field continues to grow as the hugely competitive championship enters its mid-season point with the largest grid of the year this weekend (June 20-22) at Road America as part of the huge NTT IndyCar Series event on one of the most iconic tracks on the continent.
In honor of Alana Long, a cherished member of the Mazda Motorsports family who succumbed to her battle with cancer in April, the double-header race weekend will see the Alana Long 100 stage two 45-minute races with 33 MX-5 Cup machines set to compete.
Both races will be streamed live on www.mazdamotorsports.com.
The legendary 4.0-mile natural terrain circuit set in rural Wisconsin, has produced some incredible Mazda MX-5 Cup racing as well as grandstand finishes through the years. Last season, more than 300 passes were made in the final race alone. John Dean II swept the weekend to take two wins with just six tenths of a second advantage total for both races. Dean, who currently leads the ND-1 points championship, looks to defend his 2019 four-race winning streak and his Road America title.
“Personally I would like to win both races again this year,” said Dean. “Both (Hernan) Palermo, and (Nathanial) Sparky have been fast all year, so I just have to stick to my game plan. Last season the car was great at Road America. It was fast, handled perfectly, and seemed to be good to the tires over a long run. Sweeping a weekend is very difficult in our series due to the level of talent of all the other drivers, so coming out of Road America with two wins was a great feeling of accomplishment.”
Dean’s Sick Sideways Racing squad has continued to be a strong presence in Mazda MX-5 Cup competition.
“This year I have a large team full of fantastic drivers all of which can win races,” said Dean II. “It is important for our team to work together to come out on top. Road America is a long track and drafting is important. I would love to see my team sweep a podium this year. I know it’s possible!”
Dean leads the eight-car lineup for Sick Sideways Racing. His teammate Selin Rollan won races at the Circuit of the Americas and Barber Motorsports Park earlier this season in the ND-2 class.
Debuting this season with a larger, faster Mazda engine, the ND-2 cars are anticipated to once again set new track records on the historic 14-turn circuit. With more than 800 passes throughout the field this season through four races, the series has continued to burnish its reputation for generating some of the best racing on offer.
As the current Mazda MX-5 Cup points-leading team, Copeland Motorsports is growing its four-car effort to five beginning at Road America. Welcoming local Wisconsin-native Eric Palmer to the squad, a quintet of Copeland Motorsports drivers will travel to the Dairy State for rounds five and six of the 12-race series.
“I am joining a winning program and I want to win myself,” explained Palmer, who just started racing professionally this season. “Copeland Motorsports is leading the championship and has four drivers in the top-ten in points. They have a shot at race wins and podiums at each and every race and I am hoping to help increase those chances. Unlike many drivers in the series, I am relatively new to racing and have no karting experience, but I think that can have both advantages and disadvantages as I look to make the climb up the motorsports ladder.”
After the race weekend at Road America, Lemons of Love, a non-profit that provides support and community to those affected by cancer through comforting care packages and cancer resource center programs, will be delivering chemo care packages to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in Alana Long’s memory.
Lemons of Love is challenging drivers, teams and supporters to make donations at the link below to help it reach its goal of $10,000. Several prizes are up for grabs for the top-overall fundraisers.
Lemons of Love will also host a Long Road family lunch on Saturday, June 22, at the Mazda paddock at Road America. Supporters are invited to celebrate Alana’s life and love of motorsport from 11:30-12:45 p.m.
Sign up here for lunch: https://give.classy.org/100Lunch
Following the luncheon on Saturday, the large group of Mazda MX-5 drivers will be available from 1:00-1:30 p.m. CT for autographs in the series hospitality area located in the Battery Tender ® Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich ® paddock.
The first round of racing will begin at 4:25 p.m. CT on Friday, June 21, with the second race starting at 4:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, June 23. Both Road America races will be streamed LIVE on MazdaMotorsports.com with live timing and scoring for each session including Thursday’s practices and Friday’s 20-minute qualifying session starting at 9:30 a.m. CT on https://mx-5cup.com/results/live-timing.
Entry list available here: https://mx-5cup.com/docs/default-source/default-document-library/road-america-entry-listeebd122f8d4765b8b2f6ff0000cf2672.pdf?sfvrsn=9afa77e5_0
Follow along at http://www.mx-5cup.com as well as https://twitter.com/globalmx5cup.