ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (June 20, 2016) – The Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires reached the halfway point of the 2016 season with a Father’s Day doubleheader weekend at Road America. Despite tremendous pressure from the field, Nikko Reger (No. 01 Copeland Motorsports/Rockstar Wigs) from Houston, Texas, was able to fend off the pack and secure his second win of the season. The win moved him into fifth place in the season championship.
Reger started the race in pole position and did not look back. Combined with a round four win at Watkins Glen, he joins Robby Foley as a two-time winner this season.
With the most laps led, Reger’s performance seemed nothing short of dominant, but the win was far from easy as the lead draft rarely fell below five cars, and was often a freight-train of eight or more cars.
Series newcomer Tim Barber (No. 22 Windingroadracing.com) also had a stellar performance and narrowly missed the top spot by a mere 0.116 seconds. The top six finishers were covered by just 2.181 seconds
Dean Copeland rounded out the podium with a third place finish. His finish increases his points lead in the championship and the pursuit of the $200,000 Mazda Road to 24 scholarship.
Podium performances: Joining Reger on the podium was Tim Barber (No. 22 Windingroadracing.com) in second and Dean Copeland (No. 6 Copeland Motorsports) in third.
How did they do it? While the Saturday race featured a lead draft of 12-15 cars, the second race of the weekend was a mere five to eight cars fighting for the win. Nikko Reger had a plethora of hungry drivers looking for the top spot, but he was able to fend off the field to secure the win. Tim Barber narrowly missed the top spot by a mere 0.116 seconds. Reger’s teammate, Dean Copeland, picked up two spots from the start of the race to secure third. There was one yellow flag, due to an incident with Max Faulkner (No. 82 McCumbee McAleer Racing). Faulkner was uninjured.
Who were the hard chargers? After a crash on Saturday damaged his car beyond overnight repairs, John Dean II borrowed a car from McCumbee McAleer Racing, and started at the tail end of the field (35th). Dean methodically picked up 28 positions to finish seventh, the highest placed car outside of the lead draft.
Other notable racers who were in contention for the Battery Tender Hard Charger award include rookie Mark Drennan who was involved in the Saturday crash with John Dean II. Drennan began the race in dead last (36th) and was able to pick up 19 spots to finish in 17th position. Nicholas Evancich, who earned the Hard Charger Award on Saturday, improved 11 positions today (25th to 14th).
Complete Results: Posted to www.MX-5Cup.com
Nikko Reger (Winner): “The win today was incredible. I couldn’t have asked for more in a race, I believe I led every lap which is absolutely astonishing. First and foremost I have to thank my competitors, because I had the pleasure of running a fast and clean race with all of them. Also I am so glad to say I won today for my father, this morning, on the way to the track he had said the best father’s day present would be another win, and I drove with everything I had to get that for my amazing father. To win this race I had to have a few things, a Copeland Motorsports car and an extreme amount of consistency. From start to finish I don’t think the guys behind me gave me an inch and thanks to the incredible car, I was able to click off fast lap, after fast lap, without ever giving up any time. To Mazda, BFG, Battery Tender, Copeland Motorsports and everyone in between thank you all so much for an amazing race weekend, I couldn’t be here without you all, and I can’t wait to fight it out again in Canada.”
Dean Copeland (Points Leader): “The weekend started out on the shaky side. When we come to Road America expectations are high based upon our past success here. We struggled in practice and qualifying. I was very frustrated on Saturday, losing points to Drake (Kemper) and Nathanial (Sparks). I knew that today if I hooked up with my teammate Nikko (Reger), and maybe one other we might be able to break away from the craziness. The lead pack was 17-deep. That was madness. Today, our front pack of three was able to run really clean. Pretty special for both Nikko and me to have our dads here to share in the 1-3 podium finish.”
John Dean II (Battery Tender Hard Charger): “I knew it would be difficult to pass here so starting last in a field this deep would be a challenge. I have to thank Stevan McAleer and Chad McCumbee for loaning me a car to compete. Their car was fantastic. I just ran the set-up that Stevan had put on the car. The BFGoodrich Tires were unbelievable. It was extremely hot and the tires were amazing all race long.”
How did the rookies fare? Mazda Road to 24 scholarship driver Glenn McGee (No. 23 Mazda Motorsports / iRacing / Sick Sidewaya) from Tampa, Florida had his best finish in the series securing fifth. Other notable rookies include Nick Bruni (No. 76 MEATHEAD Racing) who began the race in 14th but managed to pick up multiple spots to secure his best finish in the series in the eighth position. Tom Martin III (No. 21 WindingRoadRacing.com) rounded out the top finish by the rookies with a 10th place finish.
Who is leading the championship? After six races, Dean Copeland extends his points advantage by eight points. Copeland is yet to win a race but consistent podium finishes have allowed him to garner the most points in the series.
|The top three overall in points are:|
|1 Dean Copeland, Bowie, MD||Copeland Motorsports||311|
|2 Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, AL||Sick Sideways||303|
|3 Drake Kemper, Thermal, CA||Sick Sideways||254|
|The top three rookies are:|
|1 Chris Stone, Salt Lake City, UT||ALARA Racing||220|
|2 Mark Drennan, San Jose, CA||Winding Road Team TFB||177|
|3 Marco Gallaher, Santa Rosa, CA||Winding Road Team TFB||165|
What’s next: Rounds seven and eight of the MX-5 Cup will be at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park during the IMSA weekend, July 8-10.
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.
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