Winner of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout is near the top of the MX-5 Cup points
Midway through his first season of professional racing, Selin Rollan is already making a name for himself after emerging from the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. A winner in only his second Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires race â€“ an impressive come-from-the-back victory in the rain at Circuit of The Americas â€“ Rollan is fourth in the points overall and leading the Rookie of the Year standings by a sizeable margin. Even he admits his season is going a better than expected.
â€œIt has definitely been an enjoyable time and ride,â€ he says. â€œI am very grateful for this whole season and this year.
â€œIâ€™m definitely very surprised with how close the cars are and how close the competition is,â€ he admits. â€œI feel like in Spec Miata thereâ€™s a lot of parity â€“ there are different engines and different engine buildersâ€¦itâ€™s built to the same spec, but thereâ€™s still differences. [MX-5 Cup] is so much tighter in the field in that respect. I enjoy that â€“ it really lets the driver shine.â€
Rollan, who makes his living selling CX-9s, Mazda3s and, of course, Miatas at Classic Mazda in Orlando, honed his skills in Spec Miata and finished second at the 2017 SCCA National Championship Runoffs to Preston Pardus in a race that could have easily ended with any of several drivers taking the victory. That year, both Rollan and Pardus went to the shootout where they drove Long Road Racing-prepared Global MX-5 Cup cars at the Bondurant School facility at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix, Ariz. The judges settled on Rollan as the winner of the scholarship that consists of a Global MX-5 Cup car and much of the resources to campaign it for a season.
â€œAll my experience in Spec Miata definitely conditioned me for this very well,â€ he says. â€œEspecially coming from the Southeast â€“ itâ€™s weird, [but] even in karting I feel like the Southeast is just a strong division. I guess since itâ€™s always sunny and hot and you can race all year long.
â€œFor example, in the first two weekends of the year we have a big race at Homestead and a bigger race at Sebring and we pull like 60 or 70 Miatas. There is always competition. That attributed well to how I am doing in MX-5 Cup. I am fast, staying competitive and being there for every race,â€ Rollan says.
As the MX-5 Cup season continues, Rollan is looking forward to racing at Mid-Ohio, a track he has competed at before, and Portland, where heâ€™s never been. â€œI have seen some videos of [Portland International Raceway] and it looks like a simple track, but it should be fun in these cars,â€ he says.
Rollan is making the most of the opportunity he has with the Mazda Road to 24 career advancement scholarship, and knows he is where he is â€“ near the top of the points standings â€“ because of it.
â€œI am grateful for what Mazdaâ€™s done for someone who comes from club racing and amateur racing â€“ the opportunity that they give someone who works so hard for it and has shown that they do well,â€ he says. â€œObviously, everyone wishes they could give it away to more people, but one person a year is a big thing. I am thankful to them for allowing me to live this dream and Iâ€™m excited to see who else comes up through the ranks. I would like to be a judge for that, just to see people come up through that and see someone experience what I did.â€
The next race for the MX-5 Cup is at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 27-29 with the Verizon IndyCar Series. The series has been live streaming its races this year, so look for that to happen again at Mid-Ohio.