Following the conclusion of the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup season at VIRginia International Raceway, series competitors, staff, friends and family gathered at the track, Oct. 4, to recognize the season's top performers.
After joining the series a round late at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May, Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., was next to untouchable in his first full season of MX-5 Cup. Never before has the highly competitive series witnessed such domination by a single driver. Driving the No. 84 AMG/Traqmate/Luna-C Racing MX-5, Lamb earned seven pole positions and eight-consecutive wins in 2009, rewriting the series record books in the process. With 529 points (including drops), Lamb became the fourth MX-5 Cup Champion in series history.
Three new awards were created for 2009, one of them being the Rookie of the Year Award. It was no surprise that the honor went to 2008 MX-5 Cup Shootout winner Justin Piscitell, of Patterson, N.Y., who started his very first season of professional sports car racing with a podium finish at Road Atlanta. Piscitell claimed a total of five top-three finishes in the No. 89 ALARA Racing/DAMG Racing/MAZDASPEED MX-5 and earned his very first pole position at Road America. Including dropped races, Piscitell ended the season third in the Championship, with 475 points.
Another new award presented at the MX-5 Cup banquet this season was the Team Championship. The trophy was presented to the team with the most points accrued within the top 25 in the Championship. Though they missed out on the Drivers' Championship for the first time since the series began in 2006, Team MER came away with the Team Championship, a testament to the squad's tireless hard work and consistency throughout the season.
The CarboTech Hard Charger of the Race Award is not new to MX-5 Cup, but this season, CarboTech offered a Hard Charger of the Year Award to the driver who advanced the most positions over the course of all 10 rounds of the Championship. In 2009, that driver was Randy Hale, pilot of the No. 21 Hale Motorsports/Patron Tequila MX-5, who picked up a total of 30 spots on track this season.
For now, the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup heads into hibernation until 2010. Keep checking www.mx-5cup.com
for the latest news and developments regarding the 2010 season, and follow the series on Twitter @MazdaMX5Cup.