In 2008, Playboy became the title sponsor for the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup series.
The MX-5 Cup boasted a thirty-percent growth in 2007 and was projected to become the world's number-one spec professional series.
The series is part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder that promotes champions of the Mazda series to the next level of their career. The motivation for drivers to enter the MX-5 Cup division is an opportunity to earn a factory-supported ride in next year's SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship, valued at $250,000.
All Mazda MX-5 Cup cars receive only minor upgrades. Bolt-on modifications include a new intake manifold and exhaust system, which increases the engine output from 170 to 200-horsepower. All vehicles have a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential.
BF Goodrich tires are mounted on 17X8" wheels. The suspension uses a coil-over kit with double adjustable shock absorbers and roll bars. Brake pads, fluid and lines are upgraded for the demands of racing.
The Mazdas are fitted with an eight-point roll-cage welded into the car, racing seatbelts and a fire extinguishing system for safety.
The 2009 season consists of ten 45-minute timed races. The first event of the year was held at Road Atlanta and ended in October with a doubleheader at Virginia International Raceway.
Round six of the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup was held at Autobahn County Club. Drivers would compete on the nineteen-turn 3.531-mile road course for forty-five minutes.
|Todd Lamb, the driver of the No. 86 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5, didn’t make his first start of the year until round two at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. However, he has gone four for four since that event and captured the pole at each event. Predicting a victory at the Autobahn Country Club would not be a ‘longshot’ as Lamb qualified first. In the race, he went flag-to-flag for the win.|
|Local driver and rookie competitor Zack Ply drove the No. 27 Team MER / Insight Beverage Mazda MX-5. Sitting fourth in the standings, Ply has missed finishing on the podium a couple of times, but that would change at the Autobahn Country Club. The track driving instructor qualified third fastest. On the opening lap, he moved into second place. But Ply would exchange positions with Marc Miller before finally finishing second.|
|The round one winner at Road Atlanta was Marc Miller and he has finished second to Todd Lamb in every other event. He leads the points in the No. 28 Team MER Mazda MX-5. At the Autobahn Country Club, Miller started on the outside of the front row. Exiting corner one on the first lap of the race, he fell to fourth. During the contest, Miller would change places four times, but he finished third under pressure from Justin Piscitell.|
|The last three rounds have had the same podium finishers. Justin Piscitell has finished in the third position behind Todd Lamb and Marc Miller and, as a result, is second in the points chase. Piscitell pilots the No. 89 DAMG Racing / Mazdaspeed / Alara Racing Mazda MX-5. At the Autobahn Country, he qualified fifth fastest. Piscitell ran as high as third-place during the race but would finish in the fourth position.|
|Alara Racing entered five Mazda MX-5 Cup cars at the Autobahn Country Club. The No. 11 MX-5 was driven by series veteran and team principal Ara Malkhassian. During the qualifying session, he recorded the sixth fastest time. Malkhassian chased the seventh-place starter Nick Mancuso for much of the forty-five-minute contest. On the final lap, he found a way by Mancuso and crossed the finish line in the fifth spot.|
|The rostrum at the Autobahn Country Club for round six of the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. The winner, Todd Lamb, is standing on the top step for the fifth time this season. The result moved Lamb to second in the standings. On the left and earning his first series podium finish is the runner-up, Zach Ply. Completing the rostrum and finishing in the third position is the points leader, Marc Miller.|
|1||1||Todd Lamb||Atlanta Motorsports Group - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|2||3||Zach Ply||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|3||2||Marc Miller||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|4||5||Justin Piscitell||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|5||6||Ara Malkhassian||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|6||7||Nick Mancuso||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|7||10||Christopher Rhoades||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|8||11||Mark Jenkins||Team MER / JBR - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|9||8||Jeff Mosing||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|10||9||Stan Wilson||Hale Motorsports - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|11||14||Pat Womack||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|12||15||Lyonel Kent||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|13||12||Richard Fisher||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|14||16||Tim Probert||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|15||17||Mike Jenkins||Team MER / JBR - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|16||23||Alfred Ciaola||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|17||19||Steve Bottom||Steve Bottom Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|18||20||Harrison Williams||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|19||21||Michael Vitarelli||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|20||22||Brad Adams||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||15||-|
|21||24||Susan Krohn||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||14||Did Not Finish|
|22||18||Ben Anderson||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||9||Overheating|
|23||13||Mark White||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||6||Mechanical|
|24||4||Brian Domont||Team MER - Mazda MX-5||2||Mechanical|
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