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

Round five of the 2012 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup was held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Drivers would compete for forty-five minutes on the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course.

Qualifying on the pole at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was Stevan McAleer. McAleer, who was second in the points chase, drove the No. 28 Numberix / CJ Wilson Children’s Charities Mazda MX-5. On the opening lap of the race, John Dean had contact with McAleer, which dropped him to fifth place. He started his charge to the front and finished first, grabbing the championship lead in the process.
The points leader heading to round five was John Dean. Dean qualified second in the No. 16 Sick Sideways prepared Mazda MX-5. Heading into the ‘Keyhole’ on lap-1, he hit Stevan McAleer and later in the event, there was contact with the leader, Dean Copeland. Dean would finish in second place, but his actions during the race resulted in a forty-point penalty and a $500 fine. He dropped to second in the standings.
Nathanial Sparks drove the No. 3 OOTSK Performance Mazda MX-5. Sparks recorded the sixth fastest time during the qualifying session. In the morning warm-up, the car had a miss. Hoping the issue was resolved for the race, he began his march forward. Sparks inherited a position when Elliott Skeer went off course. Then passes on Christian Szymczak, and a spin for Dean Copeland earned him a podium result.
Jeff Mosing was running a limited schedule this season, and one of the events he chose was the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Mosing was one of the four drivers that were part of the Alara Racing team. He piloted the No. 12 Alara Racing / Frank’s International Mazda MX-5. Mosing was gridded seventh for round five. He finished fourth when Elliott Skeer retired, Ben Copeland spun and Christian Szymczak fell off the place.
The second member of the Sick Sideways team was Christian Szymczak. Szymczak raced the No. 34 Sick Sideways / Projections Research Mazda MX-5. He qualified in the third position for the forty-five-minute contest. A poor start by the pole-sitter, Stevan McAleer, allowed Szymcak to grab the lead going into corner one. He held the top spot for much of the contest but eventually faded and finished in the fifth position.
Four entries were in the Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED Pro Series class. The fastest qualifier at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was Bryan Hixon, who was gridded nineteenth overall for the contest. However, during the race, the No. 62 Skip Barber Racing School Mazda MX-5 of Zachry Lee, who started twentieth, was able to pass Hixon. Lee won the category and finished nineteenth overall.

11MXStevan McAleerCJ Wilson Childrens Charities - Mazda MX-527-
22MXJohn DeanSick Sideways/Projections Research - Mazda MX-527-
36MXNathanial SparksOOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld - Mazda MX-527-
47MXJeff MosingALARA Racing/Frank's International - Mazda MX-527-
53MXChristian SzymczakSick Sideways/Projections Research - Mazda MX-527-
68MXAra MalkhassianALARA Racing - Mazda MX-527-
75MXDean CopelandCopeland Motorsports - Mazda MX-527-
810MXAlex RatcliffeCopeland Motorsports - Mazda MX-527-
89MXBrandon KiddModSpace Motorsports - Mazda MX-527-
1011MXTim ProbertALARA Racing - Mazda MX-5 - Mazda MX-527-
1114MXBrent MosingALARA Racing - Mazda MX-5 - Mazda MX-527-
1215MXThomas NeelPartsgroup Motorsports - Mazda MX-527-
1312MXHarrison WilliamsALARA Racing - Mazda MX-527-
1416MXBeth ChrystChryst Brothers Construction - Mazda MX-527-
1513MXAri StrausMonticello Motor Club - Mazda MX-527-
1617MXEmilee TominovichTrueCar/Shepherd Electrical - Mazda MX-527-
1718MXChristian TetzlaffLanier Tech - Mazda MX-527-
184MXElliott SkeerSparco/Milgard Windows - Mazda MX-510Off Course
1920SBMXZachry LeeSkip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-527-
2021SBMXPhil MatherSkip Barber - Mazda MX-527-
2119SBMXBryan HixonDucati San Antonio - Mazda MX-527-
2222SBMXDavid KnightSkip Barber Racing/Pharmanex - Mazda MX-527-

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