New and renewed partnerships make the 2015 MX-5 Cup season look to be the best yet
As the series descends on Sebring in March, it will do so with a new title sponsor, now named the SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. The partnership with Battery Tender brings a new branch to the MX-5 Cup family. “Mazda had a great relationship with Playboy, but I think the truth be known they wanted a sponsor that was a little more family friendly in the non-bunny way,” says Mike Prelec Sr., CEO of Deltran Battery Tender. “We have had a very long and respectful relationship with John Doonan and his staff, so when they presented the opportunity we jumped on it.”
The Batter Tender brand is not new to motorsports, but some changes within its previous partnership resulted in them looking for other outlets. “The main reason was not knowing how the new Tudor series would turn out,” says Prelec. “After the announcement of the ALMS/Rolex marriage we decided to take a little time off from the professional side of racing – sit back and watch it unfold. The new TV package was not what we were accustomed to, but we had to find something that would keep us in racing, which is a big part of our customer base. NASCAR is a big machine; we are a small, family owned and operated business that was used to making one phone call to our contact at ALMS and getting a firm answer in a timely manner. That all changed when NASCAR took over.”
The Mazda relationship has always been close to home for Prelec and Battery Tender. “I am the proud owner of two Miatas, a 1992 spec car that we use for some of the Chump series 14 hour races, and a newer 2007 Cup car that I use for track days – hopefully in the near future I’ll get involved in NASA and SCCA events,” says Prelec. “Mazda and the Miata MX-5 has had a long and healthy relationship with professional and amateur racers like myself. Mazda presented us with the perfect avenue to stay in front of our customers. It’s a win – win! Zoom, zoom, zoom!”
Longtime partner and presenting sponsor, BFGoodrich Tires, returns to MX-5 Cup in 2015, continuing a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
“We continuously learn from our motorsports engagements,” says Tom Sullivan, Manager of Public Relations for BFGoodrich Tires. “It is especially important for our brand to work closely with a manufacturer like Mazda in helping develop tires for the street and track. Our participation with Mazda goes back four decades including a LeMans C2 class win in 1984 – And we currently support Mazda in club racing as well.”
On MX-5 Cup weekends, BFGoodrich offers trackside and technical support to competitors and has brought knowledge garnered within the series back to the Club level competitor.
“BFGoodrich will have a minimum of two engineers onsite at all events to assist racers to maximize the performance of their tires and car,” says Peter Calhoun, Motorsports Marketing Manager at BFGoodrich. “The g-Force KDW-R DOT R-compound wet solution was a development out of our learning in MX-5 Cup to offer a wet tire solution to our club racing customers. KDW [Key Dry Wet] is built to maximize road racing wet weather performance for those classes requiring a DOT tire solution, such as SCCA Touring or Super Touring.”