Six drivers competed in the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout on Wednesday, held at the Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds in Mountville, South Carolina, for $100,000 to compete in the 2020 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich.
From a deep field of drivers with varying backgrounds in amateur sports car racing, Jared Thomas from North Vernon, Indiana was selected as the winner. Thomas is a Senior at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis majoring in Motorsport Engineering and represented his school in 2018 at the 61st Annual Purdue Grand Prix, winning the event. Thomas has competed in Spec Miata since 2017, with a highlight performance of second place at the 2019 NASA Nationals at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Thomas will compete in the 2020 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup in the Soul Red Crystal Global Mazda MX-5 Cup and will contend for the $75,000 Rookie of the Year title.
“First and foremost, I just want to thank Mazda, Michelin and BFGoodrich, and my competitors here today,” said Thomas. “This is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in racing and something in my life that I will always remember. I am able to share this with my Dad, who helped me to build my Spec Miata and has been with me since the very beginning at age five, gave me all of the opportunities and has been there at each step.
“Mazda really made sure in preparing for the Shootout that we had a business plan, and they made us work really hard on it.”