2019 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion to drive for Mazda Motorsports in 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
Bryan Ortiz, the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich champion, has been named the first driver of the Mazda3 TCR.
Ortiz, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, became the first Puerto Rican driver to win an international racing championship when he captured the Global MX-5 Cup championship on September 21 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Utilizing the $200,000 career advancement scholarship awarded to the season champion, Ortiz will drive the Mazda3 TCR in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Ortiz brings a wealth of racing experience to the Mazda3 TCR program. Beginning his career at age 13 in karts, Ortiz made his first start in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series in 2005 and spent several seasons racing sports cars before racing as a member of NASCAR’s Diversity Program for three seasons. Since joining the Global MX-5 Cup in 2017, Ortiz has captured six victories and 18 total podium finishes.
“To have this opportunity that Mazda has given me is a huge honor,” said Ortiz. “Mazda gives aspiring drivers an opportunity that no other company does, and that’s to advance to the next step in their career. Now that I am the Global MX-5 Cup champion, I’m proud to represent Mazda and have the trust of the company to race the new Mazda3 TCR. Now, I’m focused on working with everyone at Mazda Motorsports to be ready to the first race at Daytona in January.”