Penultimate race weekend with over $375,000 to race for
As part of the NTT IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Portland, the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires drivers head west to Portland International Raceway for the round of competition this weekend. The doubleheader race weekend will be streamed live on MazdaMotorsports.com (3:45 p.m. ET Saturday, 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday), starting five minutes before the green flag drops.
The 1.97-mile, 12-turn flat-surface circuit is the shortest road course on the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup six-event, 12-round schedule. With limited passing opportunities, the 25-car field has to make every turn count in the two 50-minute races to maximize points as the season-long championship comes to its final stages.
With four races left in the ultra-competitive 2019 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship, drivers are ready to battle for a total of $375,000 in support from Mazda.
The 2019 ND2 class champion will receive a $200,000 career-advancement scholarship from Mazda to use toward the Mazda Road to 24 ladder, while the ND1 class champion will receive a $100,000 scholarship that can be applied to the 2020 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship. The Rookie of the Year in the ND2 class will receive a $75,000 scholarship from Mazda.
Bryan Ortiz (No. 4 Copeland Motorsports) leads the ND2 championship by just two points over 2018 Rookie of the Year Selin Rollan (No. 87 Sick Sideways Racing), and only 12 points over fifth-place Robert Noaker. Arriving to the Pacific Northwest, Noaker is hot off another win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier last month.
“Last year, I got caught up in the first lap accident,” said Noaker. “After we worked on the car for 10 hours to get it back on the track for Sunday, the eighth place finish was pretty good and I was able to run the same lap times as the leaders. With just four races to go, now I don’t have to be as aggressive since I made up 33 points at Mid-Ohio. Four out of the last five races I have finished no worse than second. I feel really good about the momentum going into the last two weekends.”