Mazda prides themselves on their involvement in motorsports. As their popular tagline says: “there are more Mazda’s raced every weekend than any other brand.” One of the main reasons for that is because Mazda tends to make participation in motorsports relatively inexpensive. This was further proven today when it was announced that potential racers can have the brand new, ready to go 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup for only $53,000. Now when Mazda says “ready to go” they mean it. The car will come with everything needed to run an MX-5 Cup race. The only thing the owner needs to worry about is transportation and entry fees but other than that the car needs nothing.
If you think $53,000 is a lot consider that this is the first time Mazda has sold complete race cars and if one was looking to build a Cup Car from the previous gen MX-5 they would likely end up spending anywhere from $65-70k. This makes the new cup car a massive bargain!
That is pretty awesome for those who are looking to make their way into the MX-5 Cup Series or any other type of racing in which the Cup Car is allowed to run. Obviously costs associated with running in a series will vary depending on how a racer goes about it. According to Mazdaspeed Motorsports, a typical race weekend (which includes fuel, tires, fuel for a tow vehicle, hotel, food, entry fees, practice, etc.) runs about $7,000. Again generally speaking that is a lot of money but relative to other series that isn’t too bad.
Either way, the barrier to entry when it comes to MX-5 cup racing just got a lot lower. If you want to get yourself a race car Mazdaspeed Motorsports officially starts taking orders today on their website and deliveries are slated to begin before the end of the year.
For more info scroll below for the official press release.
Mazda Announces Global MX-5 Cup Race Car Pricing
– Initial Orders Being Accepted for the $53,000 Ready-to-Race 2016 MX-5 Miata –
IRVINE, Calif. (October 1, 2015) – The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the most road-raced production car in the world. The reason is simple – great performance at an affordable price. The new Global Mazda MX-5 Cup race car follows that formula, and will be Mazda Motorsports’ first-ever ready-to-race MX-5 Miata. The new race car will be available at the special introductory price of $53,000. The race car ordering process begins on www.MazdaMotorsports.com with first deliveries scheduled to begin later this year.
Having a turnkey, ready-to-race car removes the effort of engineering and costs of fabrication, enabling the racer to focus on racing. All racers can purchase identically-built race cars so that driving talent will be the number one determining factor for on-track performance, rather than budget, engineering capability or fabrication skills. Production of the MX-5 Cup race cars starts with a street cars that receives motorsports specific modifications for race track safety and performance. The MX-5 Cup is an entry-level professional series, and is a part of the Mazda Road to 24, which helps promote racers up the ladder to the top levels of sports car racing.
“For the past decade, the third-generation sports car has been competing in our own MX-5 Cup series, and has been the ideal platform to showcase driving talent in a competitive environment on high-profile race weekends,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “With the launch of the fourth-generation MX-5, we are raising the bar by making it even easier for aspiring professional road racers to get involved. We expect to sell out the first batch of cars rapidly.”
The MX-5 Cup series champion earns a $200,000 scholarship to move to a higher level series with Mazda the following year. Additionally, the 2016 Global MX-5 Cup series will culminate with a global finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. with entrants from around the world to crown a global champion. A one-day test in Mazda’s top-level IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV prototype race car will top the list of prizes bestowed on the global champion.
The MX-5 Cup race car has been jointly developed by Mazda Motorsports and Long Road Racing in Statesville, NC. Long Road Racing will exclusively build the left-hand drive MX-5 Cup race car The team has evaluated key racing components and will announce several strategic component partners at a later date. Mazda factory race driver Tom Long has led the testing, along with fellow Mazda factory race driver Andrew Carbonell and Kenton Koch, the 2014 Battery Tender MX-5 Cup champion and 2015 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda champion. Tom Long has won races in all previous MX-5 generations, including the championship in the MAZDASPEED Miata Cup, and currently co-drives the Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Priority to purchase the new car will be given to current competitors in the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, and others who intend to compete in the 2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup. MX-5 Cup cars built by Long Road Racing will be eligible to compete in club racing with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA) as well as many track-day clubs.
Details for the ordering process, including financing options, are available at MazdaMotorsports.com, via our social media outlets: @MazdaRacing (Twitter), @GlobalMX5Cup (Twitter) and MazdaMotorsports on Facebook.
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.
Miss the Japanese Grand Prix over the weekend? Normally I’d give you crap about it but considering that it came on at odd hours for us American types I’ll give you a pass this time. So, if you’re not waiting for a replay and you want the results then scroll below for the podium as well as a video recap of the race from NBC sports.
WARNING SPOILERS BELOW!!!
2015 Japanese Grand Prix Results:
1st: Lewis Hamilton
2nd: Nico Rosberg
3rd: Sebastian Vettel
Current driver championship points top 5:
1st: Lewis Hamilton 277 points
2nd: Nico Rosberg 229 points
3rd: Sebastian Vettel 218 points
4th: Kimi Raikkonen 119 points
5th: Vatteri Bottas 111 points
Miss out on the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend? I don’t blame you. It was a prime weekend for BBQ and Footbal-Of course I blame you!! You missed one of the few night races in the F1 season? Are you kidding me?! Fine, fine I’ll let it slide this time and hook you up with the results but don’t let it happen again or I’ll…do absolutely nothing. Who am I kidding right? Anyway if you need to get caught up the official results are below along with a video recap of the race.
WARNING! SPOILERS BELOW!!
2015 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix Results:
1st: Sebastian Vettel
2nd: Daniel Ricciardo
3rd: Kimi Raikkonen
Current 2015 top 5 driver points standings:
1st: Lewis Hamilton 252 points
2nd: Nico Rosberg 211 points
3rd: Sebastian Vettel 203 points
4th: Kimi Raikkonen 107
5th: Valtteri Botas 101 points
Say what you want about Mazda’s market share when it comes to SUVs, economy cars, etc. There is no denying that Mazda absolutely owns the motorsports game in this country. Their famous “More Mazdas are raced every weekend than any other brand” isn’t just marketing hyperbole, its the truth. It is also one of the reasons why I personally have a lot of respect for the brand. As a lover of motorsports Mazda has been championing bringing up more young drivers through their (now global) Mazdaspeed Motorsports ladder (also known as the “Mazda Road To Indy”). Its the best program for any young racer looking to move their way up and eventually end up in a major racing series such as Indy Car.
The tradition continued last weekend when 21 year old American Spencer Pigot with Juncos Racing won the Indy Lights Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, earning the million dollar scholarship prize which entitles him to three Indy Car series races including the 2016 Indy 500. Despite there being an actual dollar amount attached to Spencer’s accomplishment, I’m sure knowing that he’ll have three shots to impress Indy Car teams in guaranteed rides including one of the most watched races on the planet, is priceless.
Spencer wasn’t the only winner over the weekend either. 19 year old Santiago Urruita of Uruguay won the Pro Mazda Series which earned him a trip to the next rung in the ladder: the Indy Lights Championship where he will have a shot at the same prize that Spencer won. The third championship winner of the weekend was Nico Jamin of France. Nico won the USF2000 series powered by Mazda and his prize gets him bumped up to the Pro Mazda series.
That’s three champions in one weekend! How awesome is that?! I am definitely looking forward to seeing how these three drivers perform in the next stages of their careers. If you want to follow, or even join the Mazdaspeed Motorsport ladder, check out their official website for details. You may just end up climbing it all the way to an Indy Car ride. For more info on the epic race weekend you can check out the official press release below.
Spencer Pigot Wins $1 Million Indy Lights Championship
Mazda Road to Indy championships also won by Nico Jamin and Santiago Urrutia
IRVINE, Calif. (September 13, 2015) – Spencer Pigot of Juncos Racing won the 2015 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship with two title-clinching race victories this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Pigot, a 21-year old Indianapolis resident, grabbed the title with a league-leading six race wins in 2015, and has earned a $1 million prize that assures him of entries in three races in the Verizon IndyCar Series next year, including the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The Mazda Road to Indy is a program that allows drivers to progress up through a well-defined racing ladder to the top open-wheel category in North America with scholarships provided by Mazda. Pigot is the first driver to win four full-season Mazda scholarships. His first scholarship came in 2009, when, at age 16, he won a full season drive in the Skip Barber National Series. After winning that championship in 2010, he earned a Mazda scholarship for the USF2000 Series. He twice finished second in that championship before moving up to the Pro Mazda category in 2014. Pigot won the Pro Mazda title last year, which earned him a ride in the Indy Lights series this season. Now, he will carry the Mazda Road to Indy banner into the IndyCar series.
“What a year it’s been,” said Pigot after his second race win in two days. “The Juncos Racing guys have been outstanding for me. The Mazda Road to Indy has been a dream come true. I can say I’ve done all of the levels and had success. If it weren’t for this program, I wouldn’t be here. And I wouldn’t be looking to go into IndyCar next year. I’m very excited for the future to see what we can accomplish. It’s the best problem in the world to have: deciding what we’re going to do with the scholarship. It’s pretty cool. My first scholarship was back at Sebring when I was 16 years old, and we’ve had a few since then. You know, to be here in the Mazda scholarship car at Mazda Raceway on the top step of the Mazda Road to Indy is the perfect send-off for me. My whole career has been in the Mazda Road to Indy and it’s very special for me and something I’ll never forget.”
“It’s very emotional for me to see Spencer win the championship,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda in North America. “We develop close relationships with these drivers as we help them follow their dreams. Spencer is clearly the ultimate embodiment of what we’re trying to do – he’s the proof of concept for the Mazda Road to Indy. He’s been with Mazda since age 16, and we couldn’t be more proud and more pleased to see him win yet another title and move up to IndyCar. If you add up the scholarships we have provided for Spencer, it’s more than $1,750,000, and he’s earned every cent of that. I can’t even express how happy we are that he’ll have a chance to race in the Indianapolis 500 next year.
“We believe deeply in promoting the superstars of the future, and we have two new names to add to our scholarship list. Nico Jamin was impressive this year to win the USF2000 championship. He’s very fast and consistent, so we’re thrilled that he will drive a Soul Red car next year in the Pro Mazda series. We’re also happy to support this year’s Pro Mazda champion Santiago Urrutia as he will race in the Indy Lights series with our backing in 2016. He’s really become a hero in his home country of Uruguay, and we love the passion and emotion of Santiago and his fans.”
Santiago Urrutia, Champion, Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires
Santiago “Santi” Urrutia, a 19-year old racer from Miguelete, Uruguay, clinched his first major motorsports championship this weekend at Mazda Raceway with two second-place finishes in the Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire series. Urrutia won three races this season, and had 10 podium finishes in 16 races. He had only one finish worse than seventh place. With the championship, Urrutia has earned the Mazda driver scholarship of nearly $600,000 for the 2016 Indy Lights season.
“It’s very special for me to win [the championship] here,” said Urrutia after securing the title Saturday, “because we lost the biggest driver from Uruguay here 16 years ago, Gonzalo Rodriguez. I was wearing a helmet like his this weekend and was so happy to win this championship. I am pretty sure Gonzalo was here, pushing me. I can’t explain how happy I am, I can’t believe it. This is not only the result of this year’s work, but past years. I appreciate all the hard work by everyone in Uruguay who helped me and everyone who came and pushed me to win the championship.”
Nico Jamin, Champion, Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda
Nico Jamin, a 20-year old native of Rouen, France, won the Cooper Tires USF2000 Series powered by Mazda with a record-setting, dominant season. By claiming both race victories this weekend at Mazda Raceway, Jamin grabbed 10 race wins for the year. He set new series records for the most pole positions (14) and the most podium finishes in a season (15). His title with the Cape Motorsports w/Wayne Taylor Racing team earns him a Mazda scholarship of more than $380,000 to advance next season into the Pro Mazda series.
“I was racing in Europe,” said Jamin, “and I knew the racing markets were very difficult for young drivers to get to the top step, which over there is Formula 1. It requires a lot of money and there’s really no help from [auto] factories like Mazda. In Europe, there’s nothing like that. So, I knew my chance could be in the USA. I had the opportunity with Cape Motorsports to drive a great car all year and to get the championship. And now, I’m very excited to work with Mazda and to drive a Soul Red Pro Mazda car next year.”
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to Indy includes USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights racing categories with Mazda power. In sports car racing, a similar ladder system involves a number of racing series, culminating with the Mazda Prototype team which races in the top level of IMSA sports car racing in North America. In the grassroots categories, more Mazdas road race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer.
One of the biggest new additions to Forza Motorsport 6 is night racing. Its what fans have asked for repeatedly before every new Forza game and this time they have it. Microsoft has given us a little bit of wiggle room on our full-game embargo so that we can show off a few slices of game play footage. In the video below we take on Spa-Francorchamps, (a track that isn’t in the demo) at night in an Audi R8 V10. Check it out below! For our full Forza 6 review stay tuned as it will release next week!
Over the weekend, a crazy and long Indy Car season came to an end in a pretty suspenseful way. You definitely should have watched it! But, you didn’t so that’s why you’re here and as usual I’m here to help you out. Simply scroll below for the official results of the GoPro Grand Prix Of Sonoma and learn who the new 2015 Indy Car champion is! Oh, there is also a video highlight reel of the final race below as well.
WARNING!! SPOILERS BELOW!!!
GoPro Grand Prix Of Sonoma Results:
1st: Scott Dixon
2nd: Ryan Hunter-Reay
3rd: Charlie Kimball
And your 2015 Indy Car Series Champion is…..
Scott Dixon! Yes the Kiwi has done it for the fourth time. What happened to Juan Pablo Montoya, the guy who was leading the championship for nearly the entire season? Well he had an unfortunate incident with his teammate and it put him back in the field. Scott Dixon took the lead of the race so at that point Montoya needed to finish 5th or better to win the championship. However the best he could muster was a 6th place finish which led to a tie in the points. When there is a tie in points the amount of race wins is used as a tie breaker. Since Scott Dixon won the race it was his third win of the season to Montoya’s two wins which gave Dixon the championship! Great for Scott Dixon, tough for Juan Pablo Montoya!
The next and final race in the Indy Car 2015 season is the Grand Prix Of Sonoma up in northern California. To promote the race, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was shut down (at least half of it was anyway) and five Indy Cars were sent across it to deliver the Astor Cup (series championship trophy) to the race venue.
While this event was likely at its birth a plan to simply promote the last race of the season, it was also turned into a tribute to Justin Wilson who tragically passed away earlier this week due to an accident. Leading the Indy Cars was Marco Andretti (Justin’s teammate) driving Justin’s #25 car. Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Graham Rahal followed while James Hinchcliffe brought up the rear driving a two seater Indy Car with the Astor Cup occupying the back seat.
Two safety vehicles were on hand as well, flying Justin Wilson’s flags to further honor the driver. You can watch a video of the event below.
I am sad to report that Justin Wilson has passed away due to injuries he suffered during the Indy Car race over the past weekend. Wilson was struck in the head by the nose cone of Sage Karem’s car after it spun and hit the wall in turn 1 at Pocono raceway. It appeared as if Justin Wilson was instantly knocked out when he was struck by the debris. After the safety crew realized that Justin was unconscious and unresponsive he was air lifted to the closest hospital. A few hours later a statement was released that Justin was in a coma and in critical condition.
Sadly yesterday afternoon Justin Wilson passed away at the hospital. Justin Wilson’s career has spanned decades and various disciplines but most of his success came once he arrived in the states to compete in the Champ Car series and then later the Indy Car series.
Justin Wilson was easy to spot due to his height (he was one of the tallest professional drivers in the world) and his smile. He was regarded by many of his fellow drivers as being extremely kind, warm, and giving. He always made sure that his driving contracts would include saving some space on his cars to promote charitable organizations that he believed in. He was also an advocate for driver and spectator safety in motorsports.
Justin is survived by his wife Juila and his two daughters. Justin also has a younger brother Stefan who is also a race driver and has competed in the Indy Lights series and the Indy Car series.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. I will miss watching Justin drive but I’ll continue to root for him.
In lieu of flowers his family and friends ask that if you can, donate to Justin Wilson’s children’s fund at the following address:
Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.
Formula Drift had quite the event in Texas over the weekend. The 6th round of the pro 1 championship and 7th round of the world championship seemed to be riddled with controversy and surprises. We’ll start with some surprises. A few seasoned veterans were taken out early by privateer drivers. For example, Tyler McQuarrie fell to Kristaps Bluss and his V8 powered BMW in the top 32. James Evans in the Sikky 350Z managed to move on past Vaughn Gittin Jr but that was mostly due to Vaughn having an argument with a wall, and losing. Either way, its pretty shocking to see names like McQuarrie and Gittin go out that early.
It was when the top 16 started that things got really crazy. It seems that there was more OMT calls in this event than in any other event in the history of Formula Drift. The guys at Wrecked Magazine are still working out the math on that but safe to stay there was a ton of OMT (One More Time) calls where some felt that there shouldn’t have been. This caused the event to go on much longer than anticipated as the OMT calls continued into the final four which came down to Ken Gushi vs Daigo Saito and Chris Forsberg vs Masashi Yokoi.
Gushi managed to defeat Saito (no easy task) to move on to the final and Yokoi (a new crowd favorite) defeated the reigning champ Chris Forsberg. Gushi and Yokoi battled hard but it was Yokoi who came out on top. Forsberg managed to nab 3rd spot on the podium, landing some decent points.
Fredric Aasbo still has a very comfortable points lead going into the final round at Irwindale in October but he still has more than a few contenders. It should be exciting to see how it all shakes out!
The weekend was a big one for motorsports fans. There was Indy Car in Pennsylvania (even though it ended on a bad note), Drifting in Texas, and Formula 1 in Belgium. If you happened to miss out on that last one, we have the official Belgian GP results for you below along with a race recap by the guys at NBC sports. Scroll down for all the info.
WARNING SPOILERS BELOW!
2015 Belgian Grand Prix Results:
1st: Lewis Hamilton
2nd: Nico Rosberg
3rd: Romain Grosjean
Current top 5 points standings:
1st: Lewis Hamilton (227pts)
2nd: Nico Rosberg (199pts)
3rd: Sebastian Vettel (160pts)
4th: Kimi Raikkonen (82pts)
5th: Felipe Massa (82pts)