Since its launch in 1989, the MX-5 has become a bestseller for Mazda. In 2006, the company introduced the Mazda MX-5 Cup series. Now in its seventh season, the MX-5 Cup is popular with competitors and fans.

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.

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.

The suspension uses a coil-over kit with double adjustable shock absorbers and roll bars. BF Goodrich tires are mounted on 17X8” wheels. 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.

In December 2011, it was announced that the series would include a second class. Beginning this year, there is a category for Skip Barber Racing School competitors. The Skip Barber Racing School will provide an arrive-and-drive program in their Mazda MX-5s. The program costs $6,875 for a single race and $50,000 for the entire season of eleven rounds. The cost includes a test day, tires, fuel, entry fees, in car-video and data feedback, in car radio setup and television exposure.

The 2012 season consists of eleven 45-minute timed races spread over eight weekends. The first event of the year will be held in March at Sebring International Raceway and the year will end at Road Atlanta in October. Sebring, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta will be doubleheader races.

  • March 14-16 - Sebring International Raceway
  • May 10-12 - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
  • June 8-10 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • June 22-23 - Road America
  • July 20-22 - Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
  • September 14-15 - Virginia International Raceway
  • September 21-23 - Naval Base Coronado
  • October 17-19 - Road Atlanta

Rounds three and four of the 2012 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup were held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Drivers would compete in two forty-five-minute contests around the eleven-turn 2.238-mile road course.

The winner of the weekend's first race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was Elliott Skeer. Skeer qualified on the outside of the front row in the MAZDASPEED / Sparco Mazda MX-5. Unfortunately, on the way to the victory, he was penalized forty-championship points for avoidable contact. On Sunday, Skeer was gridded third and seeking redemption. However, he dropped down the race order and finished sixth.
When the Sick Sideways / Projections Research team arrived at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, they found their Mazda's had a handling problem. John Dean in the No. 16 Mazda MX-5 qualified eighth fastest for round three and finished in the fourth position. Changes to the cars were made overnight and appeared to address the issue. He started in the second position and claimed the victory.
Title contender Stevan McAleer put the No. 28 CJ Wilson Children's Charities / Blue Mercury Mazda MX-5 on the pole for Saturday's contest. However, McAleer could not hold off a hard-charging Elliott Skeer and finished in the runner-up position. In the weekend's final event, McAleer was gridded in the fifth spot. His car had an issue as he dropped the order and finished twelfth.
The second member of the Sick Sideways / Projections Research team was Christian Szymczak. Szymczak was not immune to the handling issues that plagued the team early in the event. He qualified third fastest for race one at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Like his teammate, John Dean, he slid down the lap chart and finished seventh. With the car fixed for Sunday, Szymczak moved from fourth to second.
Series veteran Ara Malkhassian drove the No. 11 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5. Malkhassian qualified fifth for round three. A mechanical issue for Dean Copeland and a handling problem for Christian Szymczak allowed him to finish third. But not without some drama; Malkhassian ran out of gas on the final lap. His fast lap on Saturday gave Malkhassian the pole for the finale, but he jumped the start, was penalized and finished fourth.
Dean Copeland was the driver negatively impacted by Elliott Skeer's avoidable contact penalty. He was in third position on lap five when Skeer hit him in the 'Corkscrew.' The incident damaged the transmission in the No. 7 Copeland Motorsports Mazda MX-5 and Copeland was forced to retire. The transmission was changed twice for the weekend's final contest; he started sixth and finished third.
The doubleheader weekend Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca attracted a healthy field of seven Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED Pro Series drivers. The class of the field was Kenton Koch. Koch piloted the No. 96 Skip Barber Racing Mazda MX-5. He qualified on the category pole for round three and finished tenth in the twenty-three car field. Koch was the pole-sitter in the finale and grabbed his second win of the event.
The podium for round four of the 2012 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In the center from the Sick Sideways / Projections Research team is the winner, John Dean. Standing on the left is Dean's teammate and the runner-up, Christian Szymczak. Szymczak almost caught Dean at the end of the race. Completing the rostrum in the third-place finisher, Dean Copeland.

12MXElliott SkeerMAZDASPEED/Sparco - Mazda MX-527-
21MXStevan McAleerCJ Wilson Children's Charities - Mazda MX-527-
35MXAra MalkhassianAlara Racing - Mazda MX-527-
48MXJohn DeanSick Sideways - Mazda MX-527-
516MXNathanial SparksOOTSK Performance - Mazda MX-527-
66MXSteve BottomSteve Bottom Racing - Mazda MX-527-
73MXChristian SzymczakSick Sideways - Mazda MX-527-
810MXMatt SchultzSMI Motorsports - Mazda MX-527-
99MXBrandon KiddModSpace Motorsports - Mazda MX-527-
107MXTim ProbertAlara Racing - Mazda MX-526-
1111MXBrent MosingAlara Racing - Mazda MX-526-
1215MXAri StrausCJ Wilson Children's Charities - Mazda MX-526-
1312MXGuy LaidigLaidig Racing - Mazda MX-526-
1414MXEmilee TominovichShepherd Electic/TrueCar - Mazda MX-524-
1513MXBeth ChrystChryst Brothers Construction - Mazda MX-522Mechanical
164MXDean CopelandCopeland Motorsports - Mazda MX-55Mechanical
1717SBMXKenton KochSkip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-527-
1819SBMXBryan HixonHotel Contessa - Mazda MX-527-
1921SBMXKevin MarshallMarshall Racing - Mazda MX-527-
2020SBMXDoug TuttleSkip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-526-
2123SBMXDouglas BrownBrown Racing - Mazda MX-523-
2218SBMXZachry LeeAlpha Motorsports - Mazda MX-517Off Course
2322SBMXDavid KnightKnight Racing - Mazda MX-59Mechanical

12MXJohn DeanSick Sideways - Mazda MX-518-
24MXChristian SzymczakSick Sideways - Mazda MX-518-
36MXDean CopelandCopeland Motorsports - Mazda MX-518-
41MXAra MalkhassianAlara Racing - Mazda MX-518-
511MXMatt SchultzSMI Motorsports - Mazda MX-518-
63MXElliott SkeerMAZDASPEED/Sparco - Mazda MX-518-
79MXTim ProbertAlara Racing - Mazda MX-518-
87MXNathanial SparksOOTSK Performance - Mazda MX-518-
98MXSteve BottomSteve Bottom Racing - Mazda MX-518-
1014MXGuy LaidigLaidig Racing - Mazda MX-517-
1112MXBrent MosingAlara Racing - Mazda MX-517-
125MXStevan McAleerCJ Wilson Children's Charities - Mazda MX-517-
1315MXBeth ChrystChryst Brothers Construction - Mazda MX-517-
1413MXAri StrausCJ Wilson Children's Charities - Mazda MX-517-
1516MXEmilee TominovichShepherd Electic/TrueCar - Mazda MX-517-
1610MXBrandon KiddModSpace Motorsports - Mazda MX-515Off Course
1717SBMXKenton KochSkip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-517-
1818SBMXZachry LeeAlpha Motorsports - Mazda MX-517-
1919SBMXBryan HixonHotel Contessa - Mazda MX-517-
2020SBMXKevin MarshallMarshall Racing - Mazda MX-517-
21 22SBMXDoug TuttleSkip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-517-
2221SBMXDavid KnightKnight Racing - Mazda MX-517-
2323SBMXDouglas BrownBrown Racing - Mazda MX-517-

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