New Mazda Cup series announced

SCCA MAZDA MX-5 CUP SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED New Series Features 2006 Cars, Nationwide Championship TOPEKA, Kan. (Dec. 30, 2005) -- SCCA Pro Racing announced today six of the eight races that will make up the inaugural season of the SCCA Mazda MX-5...

SCCA MAZDA MX-5 CUP SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
New Series Features 2006 Cars, Nationwide Championship

TOPEKA, Kan. (Dec. 30, 2005) -- SCCA Pro Racing announced today six of the eight races that will make up the inaugural season of the SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook, including events in conjunction with Grand-American, CASCAR and Champ Car.

The new Mazda MX-5 Cup replaces the old Mazdaspeed Miata Cup, and will exclusively feature 2006 Mazda MX-5 cars run with a spec racing kit available through Mazdaspeed. Cars will run as convertibles, as they are sold. Unlike previous iterations of the Miata Cup, which featured regionalized Championships, the 2006 season will feature a full nationwide Drivers' Championship.

Only fitting for the launch of the new series, the 2006 schedule begins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, Calif.) the weekend of May 5-7 in conjunction with the Grand-Am U.S. Sports Car Invitational.

From there, the series moves across country to compete at Lime Rock Park (Lakeville, Conn.) on the traditional Memorial Day weekend with Grand-Am, May 26-29.

Two weeks later, it's north of the boarder for a June 17-19 run with CASCAR at Mosport International Raceway (Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada). One week later, June 23-25, the series completes its busy first half of the season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, Ohio) for the Grand-Am EMCO Gears Classic weekend.

After a mid-summer break, in which one event will be added at a later date, the series travels across the Rocky Mountains for the September 1-2 Grand-Am Sunchaser Labor Day event at Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah.

After two weeks off, the MX-5 Cup travels to Elkhart Lake, Wis., to join the Champ Car World Series at Road America Sept. 22-24.

The series' eighth, and final, race will be announced shortly.

"We're very excited about the new series as it takes the old Miata Cup to the next level," SCCA Pro Racing Acting President Garret Mudd said. "The initial six races we've been able to finalize are outstanding events, and we're very close to finalizing the last two races. In the coming weeks, the schedule will be complete."

The SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup will provide an affordable, entry-level nationwide professional series whereby drivers compete in identically outfitted vehicles. As before, all components for the cars will be sold directly through MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, which also supports the program monetarily with contingency awards to successful drivers.

Mechanically, all MX-5 Cup cars will remain essentially stock, as delivered from the dealer, with only bolt-on modifications to the intake and exhaust systems. While the stock MX-5 Miata produces 170-hp, it is expected that an MX-5 Cup car will produce in excess of 200-hp. All MX-5 Cup vehicles will be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and may be run with the optionally available limited-slip rear differential.

Suspension will incorporate a fully-adjustable coil-over kit with double-adjustable shock absorbers and specified spring rates, as well as adjustable anti-roll bars front and rear. All cars will be required to run on series-sponsor Hankook Ventus DOT-approved race tires, and will use a 17x8" wheel of a specified weight -- again, to level the field and minimize costs. Additionally, brake pads, fluid and lines will be upgraded to racing components.

All MX-5 Cup cars will run with full safety equipment, including an eight-point roll-cage welded into the car, a racing seat, racing seatbelts and will incorporate a fire-extinguishing system.

For technical and parts information, please visit www.mazdamotorsports.com.

<pre> 2006 SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook Schedule

Date            Venue                                             With
May 5-7         Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif.       Grand-Am
May 26-29       Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn.                  Grand-Am
June 17-19      Mosport Int'l Raceway, Bowmanville, Ontario, CAN  CASCAR
June 23-25      Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio       Grand-Am
Sept. 1-2       Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah             Grand-Am
Sept. 22-24     Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.                  Champ Car

Note: Two events to be added at a later date

-sccaproracing-

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