Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Delivers an Unforgettable First Half of 2019
 July 17, 2019| 
  • Series News
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(17 July 2019) - With nearly 1,000 passes and a margin of victory of just over three seconds—total—through the first six races, the Battery Tender ® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires ® has once again delivered an incredible season of racing—and it is only halfway done.
 
The introduction of the new, more powerful ND2 Mazda Miata MX-5, large fields of racers fiercely fighting for the significant funding on offer from Mazda, and live streaming for every race available at MazdaMotorsports.com have all contributed to making 2019 another Global MX-5 Cup season for the storybooks. 
 
New Faster Class
The secret to this level of competition starts with a field of hungry racers, a focus on parity and consistent rules to deliver low-cost racing. With 2019 featuring a new two-class (ND1 and ND2) structure, the series has delivered both value and record setting speed as the parity continues. 
 
The ND2 is the new version of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car, now equipped with the 7,500 RPM SKYACTIV®-G 2.0-liter engine available in the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The ND2 class has been setting new track records, thanks in part to the new, 181-horsepower version of the Global MX-5 Cup car. The ND1 class still features the previous generation Global MX-5 Cup car.
 
Championship Prize 
Racing with cars that start on showroom floors, it is the driver that makes the difference—and who reaps the rewards.  The 2019 ND2 class champion will receive a $200,000 career-advancement scholarship from Mazda to use toward the Mazda Road to 24 ladder while the ND1 class champion will receive a $100,000 scholarship that can be applied to the 2020 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship. 
 
The Rookie of the Year in the ND2 class will receive a $75,000 scholarship from Mazda.  
 
Battles Unlike Any Other Series
As the signature series for the Mazda Road to 24, the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup is an established proving ground for young up-and-coming talent to develop their skills as they advance their motorsport career. The 2019 championship opened in a big way on the famed Circuit of the Americas, supporting the NTT IndyCar Series. In the opening round, the Mazda MX-5 Cup drivers delivered more than 220 passes leading to an incredibly slim 0.0664-second margin of victory for Drake Kemper over Bryan Ortiz as the top-five finishers all crossed the line within a half second of the race winner. 
 
The close racing from the front to the back of the grid has defined Global Mazda MX-5 Cup for years, and 2019 has backed that up.  As the drivers enter the second half of the 12-race championship with the Mid-Ohio event later this month, the field has boasted an average of 170 passes per race. 
 
Adding to the competition is the rookie battle. Leading the rookie championship is 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout winner Michael Carter (No. 08 Copeland Motorsports), who scored his first pole and podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park earlier this season. Carter has scored a total of five top-10 finishes. Ahead of the 2019 season, Carter, 16, won the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout along with $100,000 in support from Mazda toward his MX-5 Cup season. Copeland Motorsports rookie Tyler Maxson, 14, is another strong young talent entered in the Mazda MX-5 Cup ND2 championship. The young racer is second in the rookie points, and has been consistently scoring at the top in standings with six top-10 results so far this season.
Robert Noaker (No. 13 Sick Sideways) is the youngest driver to win a race in Mazda MX-5 Cup history, which also earned him the title of Guinness World Record holder as the youngest person to win an IndyCar-sanctioned race. That winning momentum continued into his sophomore season as he added another win at Road America to his growing list of accomplishments.
 
John Dean II (No. 16 Sick Sideways)  is dominating the ND1 class with a nearly perfect season of wins that has vaulted him to a 38 point advantage as he chases the $100,000 prize. His winning streak ended at the previous event  at Road America with a photo finish that saw Dean II finish behind Hernan Palermo (No. 20 Slipstream Performance) by a mere 0.0127-seconds.
   
High Profile Event Weekends
For the first time in Mazda MX-5 Cup history, the highly competitive series introduced a 2019 schedule that supports the NTT IndyCar Series for all of its six events as part of the move to INDYCAR sanctioning in 2017. The schedule includes both new and fabled venues for the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup field. The high profile events put Mazda MX-5 Cup drivers and teams in front of thousands of new fans and with the addition of live race streaming from Mazda Motorsports, the audience for the Mazda MX-5 Cup races have continued to grow around the world.
 
Partners
The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship is owned by Mazda North American Operations, and the series continues to benefit from the support of title sponsor Battery Tender ® and presenting sponsor BFGoodrich Tires ®, both of which have renewed their support of the championship, while Andersen Promotions continues with its third season as the promoter of the series.
 
Connect with MX-5 Cup
The next stop on the Battery Tender ® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires ® schedule is the Mid-Ohio 200 July 26-28.
 
Livestream on mazdamotorsports.com 
Race updates will be available via Twitter @globalmx5cup, with results to be posted with news and updated photos at https://mx-5cup.com
 
Instagram @globalmx5cup
Facebook @mazdamx5cup
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