Diversity Shines at This Weekend's Global Mazda MX-5 Cup at Road America
Two of the series' top racers, one 25 years old and the other 15, stormed the famous Wisconsin road racing circuit.
The Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup never disappoints when it comes to white-knuckle racing, but rounds five and six held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin solidified the spec series' reputation as one of the most exciting and diverse in all of motorsport.
This weekend's double-header saw a total of 30 racing drivers compete for bragging rights and the chance to win a $200,000 prize from Mazda. On Friday, it was 15-year-old Robert Noaker who charged to the front of the pack after starting in seventh place, even after a yellow flag due to a collision on Turn 1 bunched up the field for multiple laps. Noaker, who won his first race at the young age of 15 at Mid-Ohio in 2018, is officially the series' youngest one- and two-time race winner. Interestingly enough, he's no longer the youngest active racer in the series, as there are two 14-year-olds also competing this year.
Saturday's round six turned things up to 11 with current championship runner-up Selin Rollan starting from pole and fighting Sick Sideways Racing teammate Drake Kemper for most of the 45-minute race. After settling for second place for most of the race, the 25-year-old racer made a brave final-lap move for the lead and ultimately captured his third victory of the season.
"I went into today's race with the same mentality [as Friday], to just keep it clean and have a good race," said Rollan. "I've been on a bad streak with race control and I wanted to end the streak, and today, I did. I made that move on the last lap and they were fighting behind me, so I kept my head down and I knew they wouldn't get a run on me. Third win of the season is great; I didn't think this was going to happen.”
Rollan now holds a solid second place in the 2019 championship with 138 points, just three points behind Kemper and five ahead of third-place Bryan Ortiz. Despite starting third on the grid Saturday, Noaker couldn't replicate Friday's results but crossed the finish line in a solid seventh place, which awarded him sixth place in the championship with 96 points total.
The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup now heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 20-22 for rounds seven and eight of the 2019 racing season.