Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a Wild Card on the Mazda MX-5 Cup Calendar
 July 8, 2024| 
  • Series News
24-MX5-CTMP-preview

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 8, 2024) - The Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by Michelin has not raced at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park since 2016 and things have changed quite a bit. Mazda’s signature spec series comes to CTMP with new cars, new tires, new prize money and plenty of new drivers.

 

Since the Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup last went to CTMP, the series updated to the ND2 model Miata and to a sequential SADEV gearbox. Most recently, the series has switched to Michelin tires. All these updates all but guarantee that track records will be reset.

 

A driver who could potentially set those new records is Gresham Wagner (No. 5 McCumbee McAleer Racing). Wagner took control of the point lead at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where he became the first repeat race winner of the season. Just like the MX-5 Cup races themselves, being in the lead is never comfortable, and that is true in the championship battle as well.

 

Wagner is just 60 points ahead of Jeremy Fletcher (No. 22 McCumbee McAleer Racing) and 90 points ahead of 2023 series championship runner-up Aaron Jeansonne (No. 24 JTR Motorsports Engineering). If Wagner has a successful weekend, he may be able to pull away from the rest and inch closer to his second Mazda MX-5 Cup championship and the $250,000 check from Mazda that comes with it.

 

“CTMP definitely stands out as one of the big focus points for the year, I think for everyone, both because of its timing in our schedule and because everyone is very aware of everything it will take to figure it out and be successful — both teams and drivers,” Wagner said.  “It marks the beginning of the final run of races toward the finale, so there’s a lot of pressure to perform, and the track just adds extra challenges for all of the drivers that want to come out with strong finishes.”

 

Though Wagner broke the streak of different race winners in Round Eight, there are two other drivers that could add to the tally and become first-time winners themselves; Fletcher has been a consistent podium finisher, but has yet to stand on the top step and Nathan Nicholson (No. 56 JTR Motorsports Engineering) has also shown the form to win an MX-5 Cup race.

 

A rookie, Nicholson is in an intense battle for Rookie of the Year. He and Westin Workman (No. 13 BSI Racing) have been taking turns leading the fight for the $80,000 Rookie of the Year prize. The two are currently just outside the top five in points; Nicholson is in sixth with 40 more points than Workman in seventh.

 

Former Rookie of the Year Connor Zilisch (No. 72 BSI Racing) is back for another two rounds of MX-5 Cup fun. Zilisch became the seventh different race winner of the season at Mid-Ohio. He adds that to his impressive list of motorsport wins this year including the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring in the LMP2 class. Zilisch turns 18 this month, which means he can make his Xfinity Series debut in the fall.

 

There is a sole Canadian in the MX-5 Cup ranks: Jonathan Neudorf (No. 55 BSI Racing). Growing up in Alberta, however, means he’s never even been to CTMP let alone raced there.

 

There is one driver who has raced at CTMP before: Alex Bachoura (No. 33 Spark Performance) took part in the series’ 2016 visit. He finished 10th and 12th in the doubleheader.

 

Rounds Seven and Eight at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are the wild cards of the season.  The track is demanding and fast, and with practically zero track experience across the grid, there could be some surprise podium finishers.

 

Race 1 takes place Saturday, July 13, at 5pm ET. Race 2 rolls off at 2:30pm ET, Sunday, July 14. Both races will be streamed live on RACER.com and IMSA.tv.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 24-MX5-MVS-Announce
     7.17.24| 
    • Series News
  • 24-MX5-BSI-CTMP
     7.17.24| 
    • Team News
  • 24-MX5-CTMP-Race2
     7.14.24| 
    • Series News
  • 24-MX5-CTMP-Race1
     7.14.24| 
    • Series News
  • 24-MX5-CTMP-Qual
     7.13.24| 
    • Series News