A while ago Mazda Racing announced that their extremely popular MX-5 cup would be going global and their new 2016 MX-5 roadster will take over as the new platform. That news made us all “squeee” collectively and I thought it couldn’t get much better than that. However, yesterday it was announced that RAYS Engineering yes that RAYS would be the official wheel for the Global MX-5 cup and that BFGoodrich would be stepping in as the official tire! How cool is that? Both companies will be making applications specific to the racing series. BFGoodrich will produce a custom variant of their “g-Force” racing slick while RAYS will produce what looks like a custom variant of their ZE40 wheel but I could be wrong about that.
Both BFGoodrich and RAYS have had previous experience working with Mazda with BFGoodrich providing tires for previous series and RAYS producing wheels for Mazdaspeed cars in the past. The MX-5 cup series is a favorite among grassroots racers for its low cost to entry and its huge support system. A full turn-key Global MX-5 Cup race car could be had for $53k which is extremely inexpensive relative to the cost of other brand new turn-key race cars available. Currently, 80 cars have been ordered for production during the off-season and there will more than likely be more on the way. So, who wants to let me borrow 53 grand? No one? OK, just thought I’d ask…
Anyhow for more information on the new partnerships and the MX-5 Cup series check out the official press release below.
IRVINE, Calif. (February 3, 2016) – Racing as we know it would not exist without great partners. Mazda announced two key partners for the 2016 MX-5 Cup – BFGoodrich Tires, and RAYS wheels, will be joining Battery Tender for the 2016 racing season.
“After extensive testing and evaluations, from both an engineering and business perspective, Mazda is thrilled to announce BFGoodrich Tires, and RAYS as strategic partners for 2016,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations. “With BFGoodrich, it’s perfect continuity as the racers know and love the BFG tires from the current series. The RAYS wheel, which will be a Mazda exclusive, offers great performance and great looks, a requirement in the Mazda world.”
“Since 2009, BFGoodrich Tires has been proud to partner and support Mazda MX-5 Cup” stated Peter Calhoun – Motorsport Manager BFGoodrich Tires. “2016 brings a new era with the global MX-5 Cup race car and BFGoodrich is elated to continue our partnership with Mazda, along with the development of a series specific BFGoodrich g-Force(r) race slick. BFGoodrich can’t wait for the 2016 season to kick-off as the large fields will produce some spectacular racing.”
Shigeru Mine, COO, RAYS CO., LTD, noted that: “We are very excited to be working with Mazda as the wheel supplier for the Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Series. We have a long history together including the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans victory as well as MAZDASPEED wheel programs. With the strong presence both in our home country Japan and globally, we look forward to the growth this will continue to have in 2016 and beyond.”
The price for the turnkey ready-to-race Mazda MX-5 Cup car is $53,000. Long Road Racing began production last month and will be busy during the off season with more than 80 orders in hand. Details for the ordering process, including financing options, are available at www.MazdaMotorsports.com.
Additional partners, and the complete 2016 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires race schedule, will be announced in the weeks ahead. The season will kick-off during the Continental Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda weekend at Mazda Raceway. April 29 – May 1.
Additional information on the MX-5 Cup can be found at www.MX-5Cup.com. You can follow the progress of the 2016 Global MX-5 Cup car development on the new Twitter handle: @GlobalMX5Cup
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com
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