TOPEKA, Kan. (Sept. 10, 2008) – Following the successful launch and three-straight years of growth with the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, Mazda North American Operations and SCCA Pro Racing have finalized an agreement to continue sanctioning services of the series through 2011.
SCCA Pro Racing’s relationship with Mazda’s spec series based around the iconic Miata convertible began in 2002, when SCCA Pro Racing sanctioned seven stand-alone Miata Cup events. The affiliation continued as the Miata Cup developed into a full-fledged championship series from 2003 to 2005 and was reinvented once again in 2006 as the MX-5 Cup with the new MX-5 Miata and a single-championship format.
“We are very proud to continue our strong partnership with Mazda and the MX-5 Cup program,” SCCA Pro Racing President and CEO Robert Wildberger said. “We’ve demonstrated that we operate this highly competitive series fairly and efficiently. Our talented staff cannot be given enough credit for that. The Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup program is an important part of the SCCA Pro Racing portfolio and will contribute to our company’s continued growth in the industry.”
In its first three seasons, MX-5 Cup has flourished. The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder has successfully bridged the gap from SCCA Club Racing to SCCA Pro Racing by selecting talented Club racers to promote to MX-5 Cup and awarding the MX-5 Cup Champion with an SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car ride. Additionally, Mazda’s recent partnership with Playboy Enterprises has produced exciting new promotional and broadcast opportunities.
“In just three years, MX-5 Cup has established itself as one of the best talent showcases in all of sports car racing – the success of Jim Daniels and Jason Saini in the SPEED World Challenge and Andrew Caddell in the Miller Mustang series being solid proof,” Mazda North American Operations Alternative Marketing Manager Jim Jordan said. “Our first MX-5 Cup race of 2008 saw a series-record grid size of 31 cars, and given the excellent partnership with Playboy and our one-hour per race TV broadcasts, we have a great future for the series. We’re pleased that we are able to extend our relationship with SCCA Pro Racing for another three years.”
There are currently three rounds remaining in the 2008 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. Round Six of the eight-race series will take place Sept. 19 – 20, at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Round Seven follows, Sept. 26 – 28, at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J. The 2008 season finale will take place where MX-5 Cup was born, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Oct. 17 – 19.
All 2008 MX-5 Cup races are aired on select DirecTV, Dish Network and regional cable stations in a one-hour, tape delayed format. All races are also posted on the MX-5 Cup YouTube channel following their TV debut and can be found at www.youtube.com/mazdamx5cup.