Using the largest motorsports trade show in the world as the venue, the world’s most popular sports car has joined forces with one of the world’s most popular brands, as Playboy becomes the title sponsor for the 2008 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. The MX-5 Cup saw thirty-percent growth in 2007 and is projected to become the number one spec professional series in the world. The series is also an integral part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder that promotes champions of Mazda series to the next level of their career.
“This is a great way for us to grow the series and reach an audience of enthusiasts who may not have had the chance to see an MX-5 Cup race in person”, noted Jim Jordan, Alternative Marketing Manager, Mazda North American Operations.
“We are excited to be working with Mazda on this program and can’t wait for the season to begin,” said Playboy Vice President and Publisher Lou Mohn. “We look forward to putting all of Playboy’s brand assets into high gear to leverage this initiative and reach racing enthusiasts and Playboy fans alike.”
SCCA Pro Racing President and CEO Robert Wildberger remarked “We’re excited to have such an established brand associated with what is quickly becoming one of the most exciting new series.”
The most raced car in the world is the Mazda MX-5 Miata. On any given weekend, half of the cars competing in SCCA Club Racing events are Mazda-brand vehicles, while thousands more autocross their daily driver Mazdas.
The MX-5 can be raced in a variety of configurations within many different clubs, with classes for every vintage of Mazda from showroom stock to all-out racer. For those looking to try their hand in professional racing, the MX-5 Cup is the ideal place. The cars are affordable, the racing is close, the venues are fantastic, and the races are televised.
The MX-5 Cup champion also receives a Mazda-supported ride in the following year’s SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship. This prize is valued at $250,000. 2007 MX-5 Cup Champion Jason Saini will be racing in the 2008 SPEED World Challenge in a MAZDA6.
The 2008 SCCA Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup schedule is a great balance of North American locations. The season begins with the Houston Grand Prix and concludes six months later at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
- April 25-27, 2008 Houston Grand Prix, Houston, Texas (with ALMS, Champ Car, Champ Car Atlantic, Star Mazda)
- May 2-4, 2008 Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia (with HSR Mitty)
- May 17-19, 2008 Mosport (with Canadian Touring Cars)
- June 20-22, 2008 Cleveland Grand Prix, Cleveland, Ohio (with Champ Car, Champ Car Atlantic, Star Mazda)
- July 25-27, 2008 Portland Grand Prix (with Champ Car, Champ Car Atlantic, Star Mazda)
- Sept. 19-21, 2008 Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah (with Grand Am, Champ Car Atlantic)
- Oct. 17-19, 2008 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, California (with ALMS, Star Mazda, IMSA Lites)