The Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series Presented by BF Goodrich finally got its season underway at Road America last week. It was particularly significant for me because it was the second annual Alana Long 100, which is a really special commemorative event named in honor of my mom, who did a lot for Long Road Racing and the series throughout the years.

There were a lot of noteworthy things happening for the series at Road America, where 30 cars were in the field for the opening weekend of the 2020 season. For one thing, it was the debut of the new SADEV sequential gearbox, which we have been developing for the MX-5 Cup car.

We also had three of our Mazda Road To 24 (MRT24) participants entered as full-season competitors. This is the largest contingent of MRT24 drivers to enter the series in a single season, so it’s rewarding to see Mazda’s efforts to cultivate the next generation of drivers paying off. We even had the winner of the 2019 MRT24 Shootout, Jared Thomas, come home with a podium finish in the second race!

The youngest driver in the series, at just 16 years old, won both of the races at Road America. Despite his age, he’s already a veteran of the series – this is his third year.

Beyond it being a very special event for me personally, it was also so good to see all of the teams and competitors, both familiar faces and all of those who are new to the series this year. This season is going to be a very exciting one, and we head to Mid-Ohio next in just a few short weeks.