Mazda announced the 2016 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires schedule today, following the series’ tradition of racing at iconic race tracks on major race weekends. The 2016 schedule includes one new venue and the return of a driver and fan favorite circuit. Each of the six weekends will be a doubleheader, making for a 12-race championship.
The MX-5 Cup is the signature spec series for the Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24), the sports car counterpart to the Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI). On both paths, Mazda-powered champions earn a Mazda scholarship to advance their career. The MX-5 Cup champion earns a $200,000 scholarship.
The 2016 season will feature the all-new fourth generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. For the first time, Mazda has commissioned complete turnkey racecars ensuring all cars are as close to identical as possible, all to ensure the best drivers rise to the top. The first orders for the new race car were accepted starting on October 1, 2015 and within the first 36 hours after the announcement, more than 40 racers placed $10,000 deposits for the $53,000 race car. More than 80 deposits have been accepted, and nearly 100 cars have been spoken for. Information on the car is online at www.mazdamotorsports.com
The 2016 season will kick off at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the IMSA WeatherTech weekend at the end of April. Mazda Raceway has hosted at least one MX-5 Cup race every year since the 2006 season opener.
New for 2016 is a visit to historic Watkins Glen International Raceway, where the MX-5 Cup teams will be sharing the May 13-15 weekend with Trans Am.
Next, the teams will travel to Road America to headline the SCCA June Sprints weekend. This weekend could also see crossover from club racing to the MX-5 Cup series, as the new MX-5 Cup race car has been approved for the Touring 3 class in SCCA Club Racing.
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will host the annual north-of-the-border trip in July.
August will see the teams return to VIRginia International Raceway for the first time since 2012. VIR is both a racer and fan favorite.
The season will conclude at Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Mans weekend. Road Atlanta has hosted the MX-5 Cup finale each year since 2011.
|1-2||April 28 – May 1||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||IMSA|
|3-4||May 13-15||Watkins Glen International Raceway||Trans Am|
|5-6||June 17-19||Road America||SCCA|
|7-8||July 8-10||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||IMSA|
|9-10||August 26-28||VIRginia International Raceway||IMSA|
|11-12||Sept 28-30||Road Atlanta||IMSA|