Global Mazda MX5 Cup Set to Launch at COTA
 March 18, 2019| 
  • Series News
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Austin, TX (March 18, 2019) -  The 2019 Battery Tender ® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich season will launch this weekend as part of the inaugural visit to the Circuit of the Americas for the NTT IndyCar Series. The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup  season will see the 2019 championship play out with six event weekends, all hosted in conjunction with IndyCar events. 

The battle for the 2018 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship came down to the final race of the season, with Nikko Reger claiming the title and the $200,000 championship prize ahead of Bryan Ortiz and Rookie of the Year Selin Rollan.  It was another fan favorite season of on-track action, as 2018 saw 2,467 passes for position in twelve races, which were won by six different drivers, with an average field size of over 28 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup cars. 
 
A new version of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car, now with the 181-horsepower, 7500 RPM SKYACTIV®-G 2.0-liter engine available in the Mazda MX-5 Miata, will debut in 2019. 
 
With the introduction of the updated Miata, the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup will now feature a two-class structure. The ND-2 class will showcase the new, 181-horsepower version of the Global MX-5 Cup car, while the ND-1 class will utilize the previous generation Global MX-5 Cup car.
 
The 2019 ND-2 class champion will receive a $200,000 career advancement scholarship from Mazda, while the ND-1 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 ND-2 class will receive a $75,000 scholarship from Mazda. 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.
 
The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup has gone from strength to strength as the category delivers on its promise of outstanding competition that sees the races staged at high profile events and delivering incredible value.  The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship has a long-established ethos of close competition. The belief that racing should be fun, reasonable, competitive, and that every driver should have an equal chance at victory is what drives the category.
 
Revealed to the public in late 2015, the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup race machines start life as production vehicles and are then transformed by Long Road Racing to be ready to compete. Even with safety cells, upgraded performance equipment, and a strong support package from Long Road Racing, the SKYACTIV-powered Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car comes delivered at under $60,000. 
 
“With over 200 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup  cars sold to date, we are really pleased with how racers have responded to the ND platform," said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. "This weekend will be the first time that we witness the newest version of the MX-5 Miata, with the higher-revving, 181-horsepower SKYACTIV-G engine, on track in competition. The MX-5 Miata has always been a favorite among the racing community, but the offering of a turn-key race car, the Global MX-5 Cup, has been successful beyond our dreams. The Global MX-5 Cup races here at Circuit of the Americas were absolutely amazing in 2018 and we are so glad to be back. Hold on to your seats, this field of drivers is going to put on quite a show this weekend and throughout the 2019 Championship.”
 
Selin Rollan, who emerged from the 2017 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout to capture the $100,000 package from Mazda towards his 2018 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup program in the No. 87 Mazda Road to 24 Sick Sideways entry, proved to be the star of the show in the first race of the COTA weekend as he scythed his way through the field in rainy conditions to win the race. 
 
“I am very excited to return to the track where I got my first MX-5 Cup start and win,” said 2018 race winner Selin Rollan. “Memories were made there that I will always cherish! I feel a little more confident going in this year and am hoping to repeat last year’s performance.  It’s nice knowing a little more about the series and how most drivers race. The track itself is great. I love the opportunity for drafting and race craft, as well as the technical esses and elevation changes. I can’t wait to see the turnout we get this year with IndyCar running as well!”
 
The other 2018 COTA round winner Bryan Ortiz is chomping at the bit to get back to action as he looks to claim the championship in his third season of Global Mazda MX-5 competition. 
 
“Definitely it helps to know that you were competitive and able to run up front, but this series is so competitive and close racing that anything can happen,” said Ortiz. “Still, we will go back with the same confidence and looking for that top step of the podium again!  The facilities at COTA are great and also it has a little of everything.  Long straights, fast corners, slow corners, esses, just everything and it makes it a complete track.  I have not done much on the racing side in the off-season but I've used iRacing a lot.  So I am ready for the challenge and crazy to start this season already!” 
 
Texas is well represented on the entry list, with drivers Alex Bachoura (Houston), Michael Globe (Brenham), Hernan Palarmo (Houston), David Staab (Dallas), Cory Rueth (Austin), Zach Lee (Houston) all listed on the provisional entry list.
 
There will be at least one new face in the paddock in 2019, as eighteen-year-old Michael Carter, from Savannah, Georgia, was recently named the winner of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout and will receive a scholarship to compete in the full Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series with Copeland Motorsports
 
“I feel nothing but excitement heading into my first Global Mazda MX-5 Cup event,” said Carter. “Everything that my family and I have worked towards in racing is finally becoming a reality and it is just a dream come true. I am really looking forward to getting this season started and see where it takes us.  I got the chance to race my Spec Miata in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour event at COTA in early February in order to prepare for this first race. I really love the flow of the esses. Overall, it is a very fun and challenging track and I am really looking forward to the exciting racing that comes with it.”
 
Another new name to keep an eye on is Loni Unser, who will make her Global Mazda MX-5 debut with Sick Sideways racing as she looks to open a new chapter in her family’s rich history of racing. 
 
Updates will be available via https://twitter.com/GlobalMX5Cup, with results to be posted with news and updated photos at https://mx-5cup.com
 
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