New Team Hits MX5 paddock-with 100 years’ experience
 January 24, 2022| 
  • Team News

Considered by many to be the most competitive and nail-biting form of road racing, the Mazda MX5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires season starts in a few days. Running in 2022 with IMSA, NASCAR, and IndyCar, it is a class to watch, especially the new teams trying to make their mark in the series. Formidable Racing is one of these new teams in the paddock but with 100 years of cumulative racing experience, they will be the ones to keep a close eye on as they go for Rookie of the Year and the overall Championship.


Chris Nunes at 19 years-old joins the Formidable Racing Team. As a 2021 Mazda Shootout scholarship recipient, and overall highest ranked Rookie in 2021, Chris Nunes at 19 years has 15 years of an extremely diverse background ranging from being a National Motocross Champion, off-road champion, kart champion, and a distinguished MX 5 competitor. Nunes is not only a consistently competitive racer but finds time to help others hone their skills. Notably couching the young Mazda Spec Miata Scholarship recipients to the even younger kids that want to follow his footsteps. Nunes admits helping others, helps him attain his racing goals.


“Keeping racing fun, which includes helping others is my key to success,” Chris shared. His training for the 2022 season is as diverse as his racing background and he will be one to cheer on as he aims for the championship.


Joe Atanasio at 17 years-old, with 13 years of impressive racing experience started his racing career at the young age of four in karting.  Racing and winning numerous karting events and experience with F4 and Spec MX-5 he earned an IndyCar and IMSA license by the age of 14. With too many wins to list, recently in 2021, Joe had an impressive second overall at the Spec MX-5 Championship against many seasoned professional drivers. Joe's speed and success will make him a strong asset to the team. He is focused on working with his teammates and has his sights set on Rookie of the Year. Joey stated, “my goal is to stay consistently in the top five, with multiple podiums, this is what it will take to win Rookie of the Year against the talented drivers I will be racing against”. Joe will undoubtedly be on the podium and add plenty of personality to the team.


These focused drivers are backed by Formidable racing which brings 100 years of experience to pull from. Chris Smith is the team owner with 28 years of industry experience including 15 years of Porsche championships. Other huge assets to the team include: John Dean, who is the team’s coach and car setup guru with 25 years of experience including multiple MX-5 championships. John is the “winningest” driver in the MX5 cup series to date. No doubt the entire field of racers are just thankful he is not racing against them for the championship. Ben Rudy and Garrett Thomas are the team’s car chiefs. They have a combined 19 years in the industry with both having a degree in Race Car Technology and years of experience with MX-5, this duo is the team's secret behind keeping the drivers consistent.


Formidable Racing is one to keep a close eye on. They are currently interviewing for 2 more drivers to join the team and have fun while learning a ton and making their mark. You can also become part of the team and promote your company by becoming a team partner.



Email Chris Smith (team principal) at for more information.

Twitter: @formidablerace      Instagram: @FormidableRacing   Facebook: @FormidableRacing


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