This past weekend was the finale to the 2018 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup season. It was different from any other event of the season because it was at a circuit the series had not visited before, Monticello Motor Club. This driver’s club track is nestled just outside of New York City in the Catskills. It’s a beautiful area and a nice, winding circuit with some challenging corners and some good distance at 3.6 miles.
The first day, which was practice and qualifying, was in wet to drying conditions, so that made it an extra challenge for competitors who were learning the track for the first time. The championship was on the line, so the energy in the paddock was intense.
With two races on tap for Saturday and the championship banquet that evening, a lot would be unfolding in the final 24 hours of the season. Race One had its fair share of excitement, with lots of battles throughout the 30-car field, and Nikko Reger took the win to extend his 1-point lead going into the final race.
In Race Two, after some serious moments in the beginning, the event finished in true dramatic fashion, with a green-white-checkered two-lap dash to the finish. It was anybody’s race, and although Bryan Ortiz picked up another win for the year, Nikko was able to retain his points lead to win the championship.
It was a very exciting season seeing this young and talented racer drive with great maturity and consistency, and that’s what wins championships. It was really a pleasure to see it all come to a close at the season finale banquet. The festivities were held in the museum at Monticello, which was a great site for an evening of celebrating.
The 2017 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout and scholarship winner Selin Rollan took Rookie of the Year honors and finished third in the championship. He now takes home a $75,000 scholarship for next season. Nikko gets a $200,000 scholarship for racing next year. I look forward to seeing what unfolds in the 2019 season for these talented drivers!