Testing for the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires at Barber Motorsports Park attracts 50 drivers
The 2017 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires season got off to a productive start as the INDYCAR-sanctioned series staged two days of Spring Training testing at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend.
Over 50 car and driver combinations took to the 2.38-mile circuit behind the wheel of the Global MX-5 Cup machine to make the most of the significant running time on offer, which generated over 3,300 completed laps of testing through the two-day test. Justin Piscitell, Tim Barber, Nikko Reger, Patrick Wilmont, Nathan Sparks, and Mark Drennan each closed out a session atop the timesheet, with Regerâ€™s 1:40.0932-second flyer setting the benchmark for the weekend.
The test not only provided the chance for the drivers and teams to prepare for the 2017 season at the track at which it opens, but it was also the first to be run under the new partnership for the Mazda-owned series that will see Andersen Promotions manage the series, with sanctioning and support from INDYCAR.
2016 Global MX-Cup champion Nathanial Sparks was in action as he looks to convert the $200,000 scholarship that he earned with the title last year into a successful title defense. Making his first official appearance was Matt Cresci, who won the 2016 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout and will be among the large crop of rookies who will do battle for the $50,000 scholarship on offer for the highest finishing rookie in 2017.
In addition to a range of media activities and driver briefings led by INDYCARâ€™s Vince Kremer, who will be the Race Director for the series, the weekend also included a reception hosted by the series to give drivers and crewmembers the chance to spend time with INDYCAR, Andersen Promotions, and motorsports representatives on hand.
â€œWeâ€™ve had a lot of planning meetings and conference calls through the off-season to prepare for the 2017 season, and it was great to continue to develop this new partnership with Andersen and INDYCAR in person this weekend,â€ said David Cook, manager, Mazda Motorsports Business Development. â€œWe had an outstanding launch season with the Global MX-5 Cup car last year, so there is a lot of momentum and excitement heading into this season, and this Spring Training was a great way to get things kicked off.â€
Added series manager Keith Dalton: â€œThis was a great way for us to kick off the season and our drivers made the most out of the opportunity to test here ahead of the race weekend, so it was very productive. It was also a very good way for us to welcome our new crop of rookie drivers, prepare for the season, and continue to develop our working relationships with Andersen and INDYCAR and everyone is looking forward to getting back here next month to start the championship!â€
The Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires season will open at Barber Motorsports Park on April 21-23, 2017.
2017 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires schedule:
Rounds 1& 2 Barber Motorsports Park April 21-23
Rounds 3 & 4 Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 16-18
Rounds 5 & 6 Road America June 23-25
Rounds 7 & 8 Streets of Toronto July 14-16
Rounds 9 & 10 Watkins Glen International September 1-3
Rounds 11 & 12 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca September 22-4
Global Invitational Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca October 13-15