The 2017 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires championship begins with a double-header at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series event.
Two 45-minute races on Saturday will start the 12th season of competition for the Global MX-5 Cup series, which puts the results into the drivers’ hands thanks to the incredible parity that comes with a uniformly-sourced car. Built to a homologated spec by Long Road Racing, the SKYACTIV-engined Global MX-5 Cup machines will once again put the focus on driver performance in 2017.
The visit to Barber Motorsports Park also marks the first event under the management of Andersen Promotions for the Mazda-owned series, which is now sanctioned by INDYCAR with Vince Kremer serving as Race Director.
The 34-car entry list features drivers from 17 states and two countries. Spring Training in March that saw six different drivers topped each of the six sessions at the 2.38-mile circuit. Nikko Reger posted the fastest time of Spring Training with a lap of 1:40.0932-seconds, while Justin Piscitell, Tim Barber, Patrick Wilmot, Nathanial Sparks and Mark Drennan each closed out a session on top.
Also adding to the competitive mix will be the $50,000 scholarship on offer from Mazda that will go to the highest finishing rookie in 2017. There are seven first-year racers who will look to get a fast start towards that prize this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
2016 Global MX-5 Cup champion Nathanial Sparks will look to convert the $200,000 scholarship that he earned with the title last year into a successful title defense. Making his first professional race start will be Matt Cresci, who won the 2016 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.
“We are thrilled to be starting our 12th season of Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup competition this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park with a very deep field of racers,” said David Cook, Manager, Mazda Motorsports Business Development. “Being a part of the IndyCar events is something that our teams and drivers really appreciate, and we expect that we will have two great races for the fans this weekend to kick off the season. The response to the Global MX-5 Cup car has been outstanding and everyone at Mazda is working to continue to grow the series internationally.”
Both races will be streamed LIVE on www.MazdaLive.com on Saturday, April 22. Race 1 starts at 10:00 am (CT) with Race 2 at 5:40 pm (CT).
2017 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires Schedule:
Rounds 1 & 2 Barber Motorsports Park April 21-23
Rounds 3 & 4 Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 16-18
Rounds 5 & 6 Road America June 23-25
Rounds 7 & 8 Streets of Toronto July 14-16
Rounds 9 & 10 Watkins Glen International September 1-3
Rounds 11 & 12 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca September 22-4
Global Invitational Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca October 13-15
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