The Mazda MX-5 Miata may be dismissed by those who don’t know better as a “chick car,” which is a bit of a shame considering that it’s one of the best-handling rear-drive roadsters on the market.
But it’s not just appreciated by fans on the road. It’s hugely popular on the race track as well. And to those for whom Miata means racing, Mazda has made two small announcements that could mean the world to some weekend warriors.
The first is the creation of a new racing class specifically for first-generation Miata spec racers. The Mazda Miata Heritage Cup was previously announced by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) but has now been expanded to include both the earlier 1.6-liter cars as well as the larger 1.8-liter versions that followed. So if you’ve got an NA Miata racer you’ve been longing to put on the track, your chance has come.
The first race kicks off not at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca but further south in California at Auto Club Speedway near LA. $295 gets you two hours of competitive (contact-free) track time across a two-day race weekend and test day, plus dinner for two – and is offset by a $250 participation bonus from Mazda.
More interested in racing a newer Miata? Mazda can hook yours up with a removable hardtop designed specifically for track use on the new ND-gen MX-5. This too was announced previously, but in a surprising reversal of the way things more often work, Miata has actually cut the price – and not by a little, either. So instead of $4,420, MX-5 Cup Hardtop will now cost $3,085. That’s a 30 percent discount, which will apply not only to new buyers but retroactively to anyone who’s already ordered one, and that extra $1,335 can be well put towards tires and fluids.
“We want to see as many Mazdas on racetracks in as many series possible, so this will undoubtedly help,” said Mazda Motorsport manager David Cook, championing what is “already one of the best bangs for the buck in motorsports today.”