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 tenth 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 cost includes a test day, tires, fuel, entry fees, in car-video and data feedback, in car radio setup and television exposure.
The 2015 season consists of twelve forty-minute timed races spread over six weekends. All weekends host doubleheaders. 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.
Rounds five and six of the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires were held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Drivers would compete in two forty-five-minute races around the eleven-turn 2.238-mile road course.
|The start of race one at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for round five of the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Leading the field of twenty-eight competitors into corner two are the front-row qualifiers Patrick Gallagher and Peter Portante. Gallagher is in the No. 44 Howard Concrete Pumping Mazda MX-5 and Portante is driving the No. 24 Intercity Lines Mazda MX-5.|
|John Dean, the points leader, heading into rounds five and six, drove the No. 16 Bulb Jacket / Sick Sideways Mazda MX-5. He was the fourth fastest in the qualifying session for race one. Dean moved up the order and, in the closing laps, passed the leader, Patrick Gallagher, for the victory. In the next contest, Dean started on the pole but could not hold the position and ran as high as third before finishing fourth.|
|Trailing John Dean in the points race was Patrick Gallagher. He piloted the No. 44 Howard Concrete Pumping Mazda MX-5 and qualified on the pole for round five. Gallagher led most of the contest, but with four laps remaining, he had a transmission problem and finished second. In the finale, Gallagher started in the second position. After a terrific battle, where he led all but one lap, Gallagher scored his first series victory.|
|The winner of the weekend's first Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge was Sam Adams. Adams qualified third in class driving the No. 67 Skip Barber Racing Mazda MX-5. He was in a three-way battle with Ben Albano and Robby Foley during the race. When Albano crashed, Adams was able to secure his first series victory. He did not fare as well in the weekend's last contest. Adams started third but finished sixth.|
|Former open-wheel racer Peter Portante drove the No. 24 Intercity Lines Mazda MX-5. Portante qualified on the outside of the front row for race one. He ran as low as sixth place but worked his way back to third on lap-17. Portante held the position to earn his first series podium. He started round six in the fourth spot. Portante ran with the lead group during the race and led a lap before finishing second.|
|The first lap at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for round six of the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Leading the field of twenty-seven competitors into corner three is the No. 16 Bulb Jacket / Sick Sideways Mazda MX-5 of the pole-sitter, John Dean. Behind Dean is the other front-row starter Patrick Gallagher driving the No. 44 Howard Concrete Pumping Mazda MX-5.|
|Drake Kemper won the opening round of the season at Sebring International Raceway. But two eleventh-place finishes at NOLA removed the driver of the No. 99 Royal Rugby Mazda MX-5 from championship contention. Kemper qualified third for race one at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and finished fifth. In the next contest, he started third and challenged for the lead before finishing in the third spot.|
|Four podium finishes, one of which was a win, gave Ben Albano the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge points lead. Albano put the No. 61 Skip Barber Racing Mazda MX-5 on the class pole for the weekend's first contest. Onlap-8, while battling with Sam Adams and Robby Foley, he crashed and was classified with a last-place result. In the finale, Albano redeemed himself. Despite running off the track, he grabbed the victory.|
|The podium for round six of the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Standing in the center is the winner, Patrick Gallagher. After three years in the series, Gallagher captured his first victory. Standing on the right is the open-wheel veteran Peter Portante, who finished in the runner-up position. Finishing in the third position was Drake Kemper.|
|1||4||MX||John Dean||Sick Sideways/Bulb Jacket - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|2||1||MX||Patrick Gallagher||Howard Concrete Pumping - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|3||2||MX||Peter Portante||Intercity Lines - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|4||6||MX||Ara Malkhassian||Alara Racing/Alara Garage - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|5||3||MX||Drake Kemper||Royal Rugby - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|6||5||MX||Kyle Loustaunau||Mazda Motorsports Development - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|7||7||MX||Nathanial Sparks||OOTSK Performance - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|8||8||MX||Dean Copeland||Copeland Motorsports - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|9||9||MX||Devin Jones||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|10||10||MX||Timothy Paul||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|11||13||MX||Sarah Montgomery||Travel Lafayette LA - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|12||15||MX||Zach Lee||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|13||11||MX||Matt Koskinen||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|14||18||MX||Hernan Palermo||CMS / Brimtek - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|15||14||MX||Keith Jensen||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|16||20||MX||Steve Bottom||Steve Bottom Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|17||19||MX||Brent Mosing||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|18||21||MX||Aurora Straus||ModSpace - Mazda MX-5||22||-|
|19||17||MX||Charles Paquin||ModSpace - Mazda MX-5||22||-|
|20||16||MX||Tim Probert||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||8||Did Not Finish|
|21||12||MX||Nick Idalsky||ModSpace - Mazda MX-5||3||Did Not Finish|
|1||3||SBMX||Sam Adams||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|2||4||SBMX||Nikko Reger||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|3||5||SBMX||Bryan Hixon||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|4||1||SBMX||Robby Foley||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|5||6||SBMX||Kieron O'Rourke||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|6||7||SBMX||Chris Beaufait||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|7||2||SBMX||Ben Albano||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||8||Did Not Finish|
|1||2||MX||Patrick Gallagher||Howard Concrete Pumping - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|2||4||MX||Peter Portante||Intercity Lines - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|3||3||MX||Drake Kemper||Royal Rugby - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|4||1||MX||John Dean||Sick Sideways/Bulb Jacket - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|5||5||MX||Ara Malkhassian||Alara Racing/Alara Garage - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|6||10||MX||Dean Copeland||Copeland Motorsports - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|7||6||MX||Kyle Loustaunau||Mazda Motorsports Development - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|8||7||MX||Devin Jones||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|9||9||MX||Nathanial Sparks||OOTSK Performance - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|10||8||MX||Timothy Paul||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|11||19||MX||Hernan Palermo||CMS / Brimtek - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|12||13||MX||Sarah Montgomery||Travel Lafayette LA - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|13||16||MX||Zach Lee||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|14||14||MX||Keith Jensen||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|15||17||MX||Brent Mosing||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|16||11||MX||Matt Koskinen||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|17||15||MX||Tim Probert||Alara Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|18||20||MX||Steve Bottom||Steve Bottom Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|19||18||MX||Charles Paquin||ModSpace - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|20||21||MX||Aurora Straus||ModSpace - Mazda MX-5||23||-|
|1||2||SBMX||Ben Albano||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|2||5||SBMX||Nikko Reger||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|3||1||SBMX||Robby Foley||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|4||4||SBMX||Bryan Hixon||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|5||6||SBMX||Kieron O'Rourke||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|6||3||SBMX||Sam Adams||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
|7||7||SBMX||Chris Beaufait||Skip Barber Racing - Mazda MX-5||25||-|
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