MX-5 Cup champ Ortiz look back on winning, then to the future

MX-5 Cup champ Ortiz look back on winning, then to the future

Mazda Motorsports

MX-5 Cup champ Ortiz look back on winning, then to the future


Winning the MX-5 Cup championship provided Ortiz the opportunity to drive the new Mazda3 TCR in 2020

Bryan Ortiz has been trying to win the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires championship for three years. His hard work has now paid off, and he’s already been rewarded by the announcement that he will be driving the new Mazda3 TCR next year in Michelin Pilot Challenge competition.

“The first year, I didn’t know what to expect and I think I was a little too aggressive at some points,” he says of his Global MX-5 Cup performance. “Last year we were the fastest car, we just got caught up in three different incidents that were not under our control. Finishing only one of those would have gotten us the championship. This year it was, let’s finish every race [and] be as consistent as possible. That’s what we did, finishing in the top six every race.

“I think Selin [Rollan] was the fastest guy out there all year long and [Robert] Stout, mid-year on, was another one that that was extremely fast,” Ortiz continues. “But they made mistakes or had bad luck at some point. We did it even having issues … I think consistency and being there every race was the difference this year.”

Ortiz, who hails from Puerto Rico, first got hooked on racing when he was 11-years old and went to watch a friend race karts. He started racing karts himself, did some Formula Renault racing, and was eventually chosen to participate in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, but sponsorship woes kept him from advancing too far up the stock car ladder. Then he was racing in Puerto Rico and Florida for a fellow Puerto Rican and coaching his son before getting on board with the Bella Group, distributors of Mazda and other brands in Puerto Rico. That’s how he first went racing in MX-5 Cup.

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