Mazda, SCCA renew sanctioning agreement

Mazda Renews Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Sanctioning Agreement with SCCA Pro Racing 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...

Mazda Renews Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Sanctioning Agreement with SCCA Pro Racing

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.

About SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup:

Stepping up in place of the former MAZDASPEED Miata Cup, the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup made its debut in 2006. Featuring identical Mazda MX-5s on spec Kumho tires, MX-5 Cup gives drivers the opportunity to run on high-profile weekends in an economical, entry-level racing series. The 2008 MX-5 Cup schedule features eight races at prestigious events across North America, and with grids composed of roughly 30 cars at each race, MX-5 Cup has become one of the best shows in motorsports today. The season champion is awarded a factory supported Mazda ride in the series above. 2007 MX-5 Cup Champion Jason Saini is racing a MAZDA6 in the 2008 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship. Visit www.mx-5cup.com to learn more.

About SCCA Pro Racing:

A wholly owned subsidiary of Sports Car Club of America, Inc., SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. is a leading sanctioning body for motor sports events in the United States. A member of the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States (ACCUS), SCCA Pro Racing operates and sanctions the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Championships, the SCCA Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, as well as provides sanctioning and various operational services for other racing series. For more information, please visit www.sccapro.com.

About Mazda:

Mazda is the brand of choice for road-racers across North America. More than 9,000 grassroots racers compete in various classes with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). Racers who are years away from earning a driver's license can now begin their professional motorsports careers in the Mazda family. A driver can begin in karts and progress through the Skip Barber series, Club Racing Formula Mazda, professional Star Mazda and finally to Formula Atlantic, all with Mazda. No other car company has ever connected the dots this way.

On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you'll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the largest road-racing class in the world is Spec Miata, with more than 1,500 first- and second-generation Miatas tearing up America's racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda's involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world's premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing. For more information on MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, visit www.MAZDASPEEDDevelopment.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Skip Barber , Jim Jordan , Jim Daniels , Jason Saini