MX-5 Heads To Road America During June Sprints
Jun. 16, 2011 - ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup returns to action for round five this weekend with at Road America during the Weather Tech Chicago Region June Sprints, one of the largest events on the SCCA Club Racing schedule.
|Ara Malkhassian leads a train of MX-5 Cup cars last season at Road America.
ALARA Racing is a contender this weekend, starting with Ara Malkhassian in the No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5. Jeff Mosing, in the No. 10 Race Now For Autism/Frank’s International MX-5, has seen the podium in each race he’s participated in this season, but is still looking for his first win. Mosing was involved in a dramatic two-car accident battling for position last year, and is looking for a much better finish this weekend at the four-mile circuit.
Tyler Cooke showed promise in his MX-5 Cup debut at Lime Rock Park, and now moves on to the much faster Road America layout to test his skills in the No. 8 Natural Difference Skin Care MX-5. Tim Probert, driving the No. 26 ALARA Racing MX-5, and Harrison Williams in the No. 00 Albrecht & Associates/ALARA Racing machine will operate under the ALARA banner.
Dean Copeland, who became the first single-car team in series history to win with a victory at Lime Rock, returns in the No. 7 Copeland Motorsports/Sync Speed Mazda MX-5 and should be a contender again this weekend.
Always a threat to win is championship leader Mike Cooper in the No. 6 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5. The AMG stable is full of race contenders, however. Justin Hall is looking for his first MX-5 Cup win in the No. 4 Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5, as is MAZDASPEED Shootout winner Scott Shelton in the No. 3 MAZDASPEED/Mothers/iRacing/PurePower/BFG Mazda MX-5.
The man Copeland beat to the finish line on the last lap was Jason Saini, the 2007 MX-5 Cup champion and the driver of the No. 28 Autobarn Mazda of Countryside/New Balance/Phiten/SunTrust/CJ Wilson’s Children’s Charities Mazda MX-5. Saini, as part of the newly formed C.J. Wilson Racing, will be joined by Charles Paquin in the No. 27 ModSpace Motorsports/CJ Wilson Racing MX-5.
Among the single-car teams hoping to follow in Copeland’s footsteps are Beth Cryst in the No. 2 Chryst Brothers Construction MX-5, Randy Hale in the No. 83 Hale Motorsports MX-5, and Daniel Bender in the No. 18 Bravo Trailers MX-5.
The beauty of running a spec-series is that driver talent really has a chance to shine through. In MX-5 Cup, however, the additional alluring aspect is the car; the nimble, dependable and undeniably fun Mazda MX-5.
Mechanically, all MX-5 Cup cars will remain essentially stock, as delivered from the dealer, with only bolt-on modifications to the intake and exhaust systems. While the stock MX-5 Miata produces 170 hp, an MX-5 Cup car will produce in excess of 200 hp. All MX-5 Cup vehicles will be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and may be run with the optionally available limited-slip rear differential.
Suspension will incorporate a fully-adjustable coil-over kit with double-adjustable shock absorbers and specified spring rates, as well as adjustable anti-roll bars front and rear. All cars will run a 17x8” wheel of a specified weight – again, to level the field and minimize costs, as well as the spec BFGoodrich g-Force R1 Tire. Additionally, brake pads, fluid and lines will be upgraded to racing components.
All MX-5 Cup cars will run with full safety equipment, including an eight-point roll-cage welded into the car, a racing seat, racing seatbelts and will incorporate a fire-extinguishing system.
As always, all components for the cars will be sold directly through MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, which also supports the program monetarily with contingency awards to successful drivers.