The engines have barely cooled from last round of the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires, but teams have already arrived for Rounds Nine and Ten at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The stage is set for an extraordinary event as the series shares the weekend with the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series for the first time in history.
Jared Thomas’ (No. 96 JTR Motorsports Engineering) streak of winning at each track came to an end at Watkins Glen International. Still, he earned a podium finish in Race Two and extended his lead to 415 points over Selin Rollan (No. 87 Hixon Motor Sports) in the championship. Both will leverage their previous experiences at Road America to keep the competition tight, especially since the average finish for the last dozen MX-5 Cup races there is only 0.452-seconds.
MX-5 Cup rookies were out in force in the previous rounds. Joey Atanasio (No. 43 Formidable Racing) earned his third podium finish of the year, solidifying his lead in the Rookie of the Year points. Bruno Carneiro (No. 22 Hixon Motor Sports) earned his first podium finish in Race Two and very nearly got his first win, but it was Aidan Fassnacht (No. 15 McCumbee McAleer Racing) who secured the victory after starting from last on the grid with perhaps the best drive the series has ever seen.
A rookie with a unique background will join the field this weekend. It was perfect timing for Mazda to invite NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman (No. 75 Thunder Bunny Racing), who has been a longtime MX-5 Cup fan, to make his series debut as a guest driver at Road America.
Stream all the Road America races live on RACER.com and IMSA.com/tvlive.
Saturday’s Round Nine and Sunday’s Round Ten races both take place at 9:05am CT.