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Is the MX-5 Cup Race Car the Ultimate Track Day Car?


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Johnny D

Johnny D

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While the bulk of media attention for the MX-5 Cup car has been for those competing in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, many of the MX-5 Cup cars will be driven hard, but never raced.  Why you ask?  Because when driving matters, there is no better car than a Mazda MX-5.  And for those who want to safely, and legally, drive faster than the speed limit, track days are a relatively low-cost, low-risk opportunity.

 

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Among the early buyers of the MX-5 Cup car was Scott Hunsberger.  Scott earned his footnote in Mazda history by being the first person to take the new MX-5 Cup onto the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

We asked Scott about his car.

 

“The car was awesome!  I had a blast.  I’ve been to several tracks now including Putnam Park in Indiana and Barber Motorsports Park.  What really surprised me is the interest in the car.  I must have talked to 30-40 guys about the car at each event.  From Porsche guys, to Spec Miata guys to Corvette guys, etc. Everyone wanted to check it out.  My buddies were giving me grief.  They wanted to know if I was a Mazda sales and marketing guy secretly on the payroll.  In all seriousness the car was a big hit.  The majority of people were both familiar and curious about the car, but had never seen one in person.  As you know there is a ton of interest/participants in High Performance Driving Events and a ton of different organizations that host track days.  I suspect many more than those who are participants in a race series.”

 

For 2017 Scott has set up an exciting goal – compete at the SCCA Runoffs at Indy.

 

“My plan is to take my MX-5 Cup car to MSR Houston in April for the Competition Driving School so I can get my SCCA Full Competition License.  Even at my ever advancing age, I’d like to compete in a couple races each year, just for fun.  As I’m sure you’re aware the SCCA Runoffs will be held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in September.  If all goes as planned, I’ll have my license in April; run a modified race schedule in the summer; win the Runoffs in September; and by this time next year you and I will be talking about me driving in the Rolex 24 behind the wheel of Mazda’s RT24P.  Now that’s a vivid imagination, or maybe just delusional BS!  J

 

“Kidding aside, my plan is to do 12-15 HPDE/Track day events with PCA and 10/10ths, etc.  I’m headed to Watkins Glen with the MX-5 Cup car in June to run with the Niagara Region of the PCA.  First time for the Glen.  Really looking forward to it. Work schedule permitting, it looks like MSR Houston; Watkins Glen; several events at Putnam Park (my local track that was just resurfaced last fall); Barber for a weekend in the late fall; perhaps Mid-Ohio; NCM; and a return to IMS in August with the Central Ohio PCA.  I know it’s ambitious but it’s winter in Indiana, so besides work and playing hockey once a week, you spend a lot of time sitting, staring out the window and devising ambitious track day plans - as Nancy, my significant other of 23 years, shakes her head in disbelief, or is that disapproval?!?”

 

We look forward to seeing Scott and Nancy at the Runoffs!

 

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