Mazda has announced details for the inaugural Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Invitational where racers from Europe, Asia and North America will compete against one another at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California. This event is a non-points, invitation-only race, which will be held September 9-11, 2016, as part of a Mazda-exclusive weekend that also features Mazda Road to Indy and Mazda Road to 24, both of which are grassroots, Mazda Motorsports scholarship programs that help talented drivers advance their motor racing careers. 

Approximately 20 MX-5 racers from around the world – full entry list to be confirmed - will line up in for the Invitational, to showcase their racing talent in full race specification 2016 Mazda MX-5 Global Cup cars. The driver who scores the most points over two 45-minute races will be crowned champion. And the dream motorsport journey doesn’t finish there. The invitational winner, after successful simulation performance assessment on an advanced “Driver in the Loop” (DIL) simulator, will be invited to test a Mazda Prototype from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series.

The five European racers (from Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Germany and UK) taking to the grid at Mazda Raceway qualified for the MX-5 Cup Global Invitational via the Europe-wide Mazda Friends of MX-5 engagement initiative, during a special training camp event held at the ParcMotor Circuit near Barcelona, Spain, in July. Driving 2016 Mazda MX-5 Global Cup cars, an initial 20 competitors took part in a number of racing, endurance, reaction and simulator assessments at ParcMotor, with a knock-out process whittling that field down to the final five for the grand prize to race at the legendary Mazda Raceway.

Launched in April 2016, Friends of MX-5 engages with car lovers everywhere, be they MX-5 owners or not. The invitation to join Friends of MX-5 is open to anyone across Europe who wants to share in the fun and passion of MX-5. The chance to win a race seat in the inaugural Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Invitational race was one of many remarkable incentives and prizes on offer to all Friends of MX-5. Full details can be at the dedicated Friends of MX-5 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MazdaFriendsofMX5/.

Motorsport fans can follow all of the latest Mazda racing news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.