Mazda family and friends were abound for Father’s Day weekend at iconic Road America for Round 5 of the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Road America continued its tradition of excitement with 30 minutes of intense race action before finishing under yellow with Robby Foley (No. 63 Mazda Motorsports/Atlanta Motorsports Group) scoring the win, his second of the season.
An incident in turn one in the final 10 minutes of the race eliminated pole sitter John Dean II (No. 16 Mazda Motorsports/Sick Sideways Racing) and rookie Mark Drennan (No. 50 WindingRoadRacing.com/TFB Performance) leaving Foley to fend off Nathanial Sparks (No. 8 Sick Sideways/OOTSK Performance) for the win. Due to car contact in turn one between himself and John Dean II, a penalty of 40 points was assessed to Foley.
Other notable performances include Tim Barber (No. 22 Windingroadracing.com) who set fastest lap and a new track race record 2.38.133 on his way to a fifth place finish in his first series start.
Podium performances: Mazda Road to 24 scholarship driver Robby Foley (No. 63 Mazda Motorsports/Atlanta Motorsports group) took the win by 1.068 seconds followed by Nathanial Sparks (No. 8 Sick Sideways/OOTSK Performance) in second. Rounding out the podium was Drake Kemper (No. 99 Royal Rugby Boot Co./Sick Sideways) in third.
How did they do it? Robby Foley began in 10th and didn’t take the lead until the 12th lap of the race when penultimate lap incident between the leaders John Dean II and rookie Mark Drennan turned the battle for third into a battle for the win. Prior to the incident, John Dean II had led every lap, but had never been able to shake a lead draft by more than a dozen cars.
Who were the hard chargers? Rookie Nicholas Evancich (No. 41 Sick Sideways) took the Battery Tender Hard Charger $1,000 award with 13 positions gained, moving from a 28th place starting position to a 15 place finish.
Other notable racers who were in contention for the Battery Tender Hard Charger award included Drake Kemper (No. 99 Royal Rugby Boot Co./Sick Sideways) who picked up 10 positions moving from 13thplace to a third-place podium finish.
Robby Foley Winner’s Quote: “I started 10th and just slowly worked my way forward. It was a matter of being patient and making smart passes. It was very much a drafting game. This was our first experience with drafting with so many cars in the new car. It was easier to suck up to the car in front, but harder to make the pass. We’re looking forward to another great race on Father’s Day.”
How did the rookies fare? Tim Barber (No. 22 Windingroadracing.com) finished fifth, Mazda Scholarship Driver Glenn McGee (No. 23 Mazda Motorsports/iRacing/Sick Sideways) finished in eighth place while Chris Stone (No. 12 UAO Clothing/JH Precision Machine /LYFE Motorsports) finished in 12th. Rookie Nicholas Evancich (No 41 Sick Sideways) finished in 13th.
Who is leading the championship? After the first five races, Dean Copeland maintains a narrow points lead in the MX-5 Cup standings.
|The top three overall in points are:|
|1 Dean Copeland, Bowie, MD||Copeland Motorsports||258|
|2 Drake Kemper, Thermal, CA||Sick Sideways||258|
|3 Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, AL||Sick Sideways||252|
|The top three rookies are:|
|1 Chris Stone, Salt Lake City, UT||ALARA Racing||196|
|2 Mark Drennan, San Jose, CA||Winding Road Team TFB||151|
|3 Marco Gallaher, Santa Rosa, CA||Winding Road Team TFB||145|
What’s next: Round six of the MX-5 Cup will be at Road America during the SCCA June Sprints on Sunday June 19.
About the MX-5 Cup
The MX-5 Cup is the signature spec series for the Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24), the sports car counterpart to the Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI). On both paths, Mazda-powered champions earn a Mazda scholarship to advance their career. The MX-5 Cup champion earns a $200,000 scholarship.
The 2016 season features the all-new fourth generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. For the first time, Mazda has commissioned complete turnkey race cars, with the goal that all cars are as close to identical as possible, ensuring the best drivers rise to the top. Over 60 of the $53,000 race cars have been delivered to date. Information on the car is online at www.mazdamotorsports.com.
About SCCA Pro Racing
SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sports Car Club of America, Inc.—a 60,000-member organization dedicated to motorsports events. SCCA Pro Racing provides full-service organization, operation and sanction for numerous professional racing series, documented within this website. Each series holds events on high-profile race weekends and annually crowns Champions. Known for its operational expertise, SCCA Pro Racing has been the choice of privately owned racing series, as well as those promoted by automobile manufacturers, to conduct all facets of their Championships.