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Mazda MX-5 Cup: Mid-Season Recap / CTMP Preview
Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires Heads to Canada to Kick-off the Second Half of the Season

IRVINE, Calif. (July 5, 2016) – The first six rounds of the 2016 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires has seen intense action and large fields.  This weekend, the battle moves North of the border when the MX-5 Cup joins the IMSA weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). The MX-5 Cup races will race on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

The races will be broadcast live on and will include commentary from the Radio Le Mans team.  The races will also be available on Fans Choice TV.

Rounds 7 and 8 Live Stream Schedule:

  • 6:15 pm (Eastern) Saturday, July 7, 2016 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Race #1
  • 3:10 pm (Eastern) Sunday, July 8, 2016 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Race #2

John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations, said, “Forty cars taking the green flag at Mazda Raceway was just the beginning.  Having four different winners from the first six races shows how competitive the series is so we can’t wait to see the action at CTMP, VIR, and Road Atlanta.”

The MX-5 Cup storylines to date have included:

  • Dean Copeland looking to maintain his championship lead and score his first professional championship. Copeland has been the model of consistency this season with three podium finishes.
  • Nathanial Sparks has been matching Copeland for consistency, having scored two podiums and five top-five finishes from the first six races. Sparks is just eight points behind Copeland.
  • Defending Series Champion John Dean II has been cursed with bad luck in the first half of the season. Dean has scored more poles, led more laps, and set more fast laps than any other driver but sits seventh in points due to being involved in multiple late race crashes.
  • Nikko Reger and Robby Foley have each scored two wins, but are lagging behind in points due to penalty points.
  • Chris Stone is the leading rookie, sitting sixth overall in points. Stone has scored a pair of top-five finishes.
  • The competition has seen a wide variety of teams challenging for wins and the championship. Six different teams are represented in the top-ten in driver points.

MX-5 Cup Points Update:

After the first six races, Dean Copeland leads the MX-5 Cup standings, thanks to consistent finishes.

The top twelve overall in points are:
1 Dean Copeland Bowie, Maryland Copeland Motor Sports 311
2 Nathanial Sparks Spanish Fort, Alabama Sick Sideways 303
3 Drake Kemper Toluca Lake, California Sick Sideways 254
4 Ara Malkhassian Houston, Texas ALARA Racing 251
5 Nikko Reger Houston, Texas Copeland Motor Sports 229
6 Chris Stone [R] Salt Lake City, Utah ALARA Racing 220
7 John Dean II Sebring, Florida Sick Sideways 196
8 Dan Martinson Rogers, Minnesota Atlanta Motorsports Group 186
9 Alex Bachoura Houston, Texas Slipstream Performance 183
10 Mark Drennan  [R] San Jose, California Winding Road Team TFB 177
11 Robby Foley Randolph, New Jersey Atlanta Motorsports Group 170
12 Sarah Montgomery Lafayette, Louisiana ALARA Racing 167


Track Location:
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
3233 Concession Road #10,
Bowmanville, Ontario,Canada L1C 3K6

Weekend MX-5 Cup Schedule Highlights:

Friday, July 8, 2016

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.                 Practice #1 – Battery Tender MX-5 Cup
2:05 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.                 Practice #2 – Battery Tender MX-5 Cup

Saturday, July 9, 2016

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.                 Qualifying – Battery Tender MX-5 Cup
6:20 p.m. – 7:05 p.m.                 Race #1 (45 minutes) Battery Tender MX-5 Cup

Sunday, July 10, 2016

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.                 Race #2 (45 minutes) Battery Tender MX-5 Cup

Previous MX-5 Cup Winners at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park:

2006 Todd Buras
2008 Robert Huffmaster
2010 Brad Rampelberg
2012 John Dean II
2013 Christian Szymczak (Race 1)
  Elliott Skeer (Race 2)
2014 Kenton Koch (Race 1)
  Kenton Koch (Race 2)
2015 Chad McCumbee (Race 1)
  Patrick Gallagher (Race 2)


Fastest Qualifying Lap: 1:34.749 (93.430 mph), John Dean, 2015

MX-5 Cup Fastest Race Lap:  1:35.350 (92.841 mph), Timothy Paul, 2015

MX-5 Cup Smallest Margin of Victory: 0.088-second, Elliott Skeer over Christian Szymczak, 2013

The Battery Tender 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.

For more information on the race weekend, including ticket information, go to:

Driver quotes:  We asked MX-5 Cup racers to reflect on the first half of the season and what they are looking forward to most in the final three race weekends.

John Dean II: “My season has been riddled with bad luck that has been out of my control, but I am keeping a positive attitude and having more fun driving my Global Mazda MX-5 cup than ever before.  I continue to prove my abilities by setting poles and track records.  I especially look forward to the rest of the season as we have some of the best race tracks in North America on our schedule, including my favorite track Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.  My teammates are full of unhuman like talent that keeps makes me push harder and harder and allows me to extract more from myself.”

Drake Kemper: “My season to date with Sick Sideways in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich has been quite the wild ride. The ups and downs of racing are always what makes this sport so much more mesmerizing and heartfelt than any other. The highest highs and the lowest lows.  Heading into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, my personal favorite track, I am still third in the championship, 57 points behind leader Dean Copeland and 49 points behind my teammate Nathanial ‘Sparky’ Sparks.  The Sick Sideways team has an unbelievable record of results at this track and we look forward to showing our pace, skill, and strategy to have a clean and fun weekend running up front.  This championship certainly isn’t over from my standpoint, I just need to be consistent, drama free, fast, but most importantly a good teammate for Sparky.  Our Team winning the championship is always the priority, no matter who the individual behind the wheel is.”

Kenny Murillo Jr.: “I’m working to find a ride for VIR but more focused on establishing a full season for next year.  I’m most looking forward to VIR. Road America gave us some great strategic and close racing and I’d figure VIR is going to be even better for the entire ALARA team. It’s great to see the final races will be streamed, especially globally.”

Ashton Harrison:  “I’m a Georgia native.  I live in Atlanta, so Road Atlanta is my home track and where I got started in motorsports. I’ll have about 30 guests coming to watch the MX-5 race at Road Atlanta, so to say my family and friends are excited is an understatement.”

Nikko Reger: “Well I believe my first half of the season has been an uphill battle, ever since my disappointing weekend at Mazda Raceway I have slowly worked my way back into the points battle with good finishes and a consistent Copeland Motorsports car. Looking forward to the next half, I hope the CMS team can continue on its momentum, pick up more wins and hopefully clinch the championship, but there is still so much more work to be done.”

About Mazda Motorsports 

Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.