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 eighth 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.
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.
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 2013 season consists of twelve forty-minute timed races spread over six weekends. All weekends will be doubleheaders with the exception of Coronado and Houston, which will host a single contest. 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.
Round ten of the 2013 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup was held at the Grand Prix of Houston. Drivers would compete on the ten-turn 1.634-mile temporary street circuit for forty-five minutes.
The practice and qualifying sessions were held in the evening.
The points leader, Christian Szymczak, captured his tenth consecutive pole in the No. 34 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5.
Sharing the front row with Szymczak is the other title contender, Elliott Skeer, driving the No. 17 MAZDASPEED / Pelican Windows Mazda MX-5.
Lining up in the third position will be the driver of the No. 13 Mazda MX-5 and Szymczak’ Alara Racing teammate, Jeff Mosing.
Rookie Sebastian Landy, the driver of the No. 49 Excitation.com Mazda MX-5, qualified fourth fastest, his best effort of the season.
Rounding out the top five is series veteran John Dean in the No. 16 Projections Research / Sick Sideways Mazda MX-5.
The provisional pole belonged to Patrick Gallagher at 1:23.842. However, the No. 28 Howard Concrete Pumping Mazda MX-5 failed the post-qualifying technical inspection. Officials discovered the ride height of the car did not meet the specifications. Gallagher was scheduled to start from the rear of the grid in eighteenth place.
Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge competitor Kento Koch earned his tenth class pole of the season.
|1||MX||Christian Szymczak||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:24.157||69.898|
|2||MX||Elliott Skeer||MAZDASPEED/Pelican Windows - Mazda MX-5||1:24.823||69.349|
|3||MX||Jeff Mosing||Alara Racing/Twister Trailers - Mazda MX-5||1:24.901||69.285|
|4||MX||Sebastian Landy||Excitations.com - Mazda MX-5||1:25.029||69.181|
|5||MX||John Dean||Sick Sideways/Projections Research - Mazda MX-5||1:25.052||69.162|
|6||MX||Ara Malkhassian||Alara Racing/Alara Garage - Mazda MX-5||1:25.591||68.726|
|7||MX||James Vance||Exposystems - Mazda MX-5||1:25.728||68.617|
|8||MX||Nathanial Sparks||OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld - Mazda MX-5||1:26.037||68.370|
|9||MX||Zachry Lee||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:26.601||67.925|
|10||MX||George Jackson||Speedcraft Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:26.813||67.759|
|11||MX||Bryan Hixon||MAZDASPEED/Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:28.222||66.677|
|12||MX||Harrison Williams||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:29.013||66.084|
|13||MX||Charles Paquin||Track Pro - Mazda MX-5||1:29.662||65.606|
|14||MX||Brent Mosing||Alara Racing/Twister Trailers - Mazda MX-5||1:30.360||65.099|
|15||MX||Emilee Tominovich||CJ Wilson Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:31.318||64.416|
|16||MX||Marc Boily||CJ Wilson Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:33.756||62.741|
|14||MX||Tim Probert||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||No Time||No Time|
|16||MX||Patrick Gallagher||MAZDASPEED/Howard Concrete - Mazda MX-5||No Time||No Time|
|1||SBMX||Kenton Koch||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:25.540||68.767|
|2||SBMX||Robby Foley||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:26.942||67.658|
|3||SBMX||Lucas Bize||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:27.498||67.229|
|4||SBMX||David Knight||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:27.688||67.083|
|5||SBMX||Drake Kemper||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:28.446||66.508|
|6||SBMX||Russell Muck||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||1:28.456||66.500|
|7||SBMX||Fred Chin||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||No Time||No Time|
|On the penultimate lap of the IndyCar race, there was contact between Dario Franchitti, Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso. Franchitti’s car was catapulted into the catch fence. The damage was extensive not only to the fence but to the concrete retaining wall as well. As a result, the track promoters cancelled the remaining races on the Sunday afternoon schedule, including the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup.|
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