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Mazda Australia leaves door open for MX-5 Cup

Racy: Mazda’s all-new MX-5 will provide the basis for a global one-make race series that – perhaps – will include Australia.

Global one-make Mazda MX-5 Cup racing series under consideration for Australia

5 Nov 2014

MAZDA Australia is doing its sums on a proposal to join a new MX-5 Global Cup one-make racing series using the all-new MX-5 roadster due out in Australia in mid-2015.

The first Global MX-5 Cup will kick off in 2016 in various countries around the world, culminating in a world shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, at the end of that year.

The winner will get a number of prizes, including a one-day test in Mazda’s United States Sportscar Championship prototype racer.

Mazda Australia senior manager public relations Steve Maciver told GoAuto the Australian arm of Mazda was considering joining the series, but was yet to make a decision.

“We are looking at ways to promote the all-new MX-5, and this could be one of them,” he said. “We are going through the machinations now, and we would expect to make a decision in a few months.

“It is not a straightforward decision as there are a lot of things to consider, but as it is not (starting) until 2016, so we have some time up our sleeve.”

Mr Maciver said some other markets such as the US, Japan and Europe already had Mazda Cup racing series using current MX-5 cars.

He said that to start from scratch would require a huge amount of work.

“Some time next year, we hope to know if it will be possible,” he said.

In Australia, MX-5s have long been popular club racers. For example, an MX-5 Cup series is staged by the MX-5 Club of NSW at Wakefield Park raceway, near Goulburn.

Australian motoring journalists were given a taste of Mazda Cup racing at Laguna Seca in September after Mazda unveiled the new MX-5 at nearby Monterey.

Mechanically, the race cars are largely production standard, but with racing seats, roll cages, full harness seatbelts and other safety items.

All have manual gearboxes, rorty exhaust system, sports suspension and the same high-performance tyres, theoretically making the cars near-identical in performance.

Mazda confirmed at the SEMA show in Las Vegas this week that the new cup cars will get the latest SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine – the more powerful of the two engines to be offered in the latest generation of the world’s most popular sportscar.

Details of that engine are due to be announced at the Los Angeles motor show later this month.

Announcing the new series, Mazda Motor Corporation global sales, marketing and customer service executive officer Masahiro Moro said: “It has long been our goal to see Mazda fans around the world competing in identical MX-5s, and the launch of the all-new MX-5 is the perfect time to make this goal a reality.” The global cup MX-5 will be developed by Mazda Motorsports, selecting tyres, suspension and powertrain and safety modifications to be announced next year.

In a first for Mazda, the Global MX-5 Cup race cars will be sold “ready to race” from a single supplier.

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