Mazda today announced the 2019 schedule and prize package for the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich, which will see the series compete alongside the IndyCar Series in six race weekends from March to September.
The battle for the 2018 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship came down to the final race of the season, with Nikko Reger claiming the title and the $200,000 championship prize ahead of Bryan Ortiz and Rookie of the Year Selin Rollan. The season saw 2,467 passes for position in twelve races, which were won by six different drivers, and featured an average field size of over 28 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup cars. There will be at least one new face in the paddock in 2019, as eighteen-year-old Michael Carter, from Savannah, Georgia, was recently named the winner of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout and will receive a scholarship to compete in the full Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series.
A new version of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car, now with the 181-horsepower, 7500RPM SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine available in the Mazda MX-5 Miata, will debut in 2019. With the introduction of the updated Miata, the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup will now feature a two-class structure. The ND-2 class will feature the new, 181-horsepower version of the Global MX-5 Cup car, while the ND-1 class will feature the previous generation Global MX-5 Cup car.
The 2019 ND-2 class champion will receive a $200,000 career advancement scholarship from Mazda, while the ND-1 class champion will receive a $100,000 scholarship that can be applied to the 2020 Global MX-5 Cup championship. The Rookie of the Year in the ND-2 class will receive a $75,000 scholarship from Mazda. The series continues to benefit from the support of title sponsor Battery Tender and presenting sponsor BFGoodrich Tires, both of which have renewed their support of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, while Andersen Promotions continues with its third season as the promoter of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.
The season, which will again consist of six doubleheader race weekends, will begin at Circuit of The Americas in March and will then travel to Barber Motorsports Park in April, Road America in June, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in July.