Mazda MX-5 Cup reveals Battery Tender, schedule, global ambitions

1 Comment

It’s been a big couple days for the Mazda MX-5 Cup series, one of the more entertaining sports car series in the U.S.

Starting Monday at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the series announced Battery Tender as its new title sponsor. The official series name is Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Here’s the full release.

For the 2014 season, the total series payout was in excess of $500,000. The top prize of the Mazda MX-5 Cup is a Mazda Scholarship towards the next higher rung of the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy ladder. 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion Kenton Koch will use his scholarship to move up to IMSA Prototype Lites for the 2015 season.

The 2015 season will consist of six weekends supporting the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Verizon IndyCar Series, and the NASCAR XFINITY Series. All weekends will be doubleheaders.

source:

March 18-20  Rounds 1 & 2 Sebring (with TUDOR)
April 10-12  Rounds 3 & 4 NOLA (with IndyCar)
May 1-3      Rounds 5 & 6 Mazda Raceway (with TUDOR)
July 10-12   Rounds 7 & 8 CTMP (with TUDOR)
August 28-30 Rounds 9 & 10 Road America (with NASCAR)
October 1-2  Rounds 11 & 12 Road Atlanta (with TUDOR)

Additionally, the company also announced that the new, just revealed, 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be raced in a new Global Cup series, in North America, Europe and Asia.

Starting in 2016, there will be multiple Mazda Global MX-5 Cup series around the world, all using identically-prepared cars. Full details of the Global MX-5 Cup, including which countries will be involved and when the races will take place, will be announced as they are confirmed. The Global MX-5 Cup will culminate at the end of 2016 with a Global Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, to crown the series champion. Among other prizes, the series champion will receive a one-day test in Mazda’s top-level TUDOR United States SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV prototype race car.

“Since the first Mazda MX-5 Miata took the green flag back in 1990, the car has been the ideal platform for both veterans and rookies alike,” John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda North American operations, said. “Because the MX-5 is inherently such a good car to drive, it is an ideal platform to learn basic and advanced racecraft, and this has made the professional MX-5 Cup series very successful to date.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).