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Mazda MX-5 Cup Series an important new rung on motorsports development ladder

ORLANDO, Fla. (December 6) - Skip Barber Racing School announced today the formation of an all-new regional race series featuring the Mazda MX-5 Cup car, one of the most popular sports cars used in amateur and professional road racing today.

The Skip Barber Mazda MX-5 Cup Regional Race Series will use MX-5 cars converted by Skip Barber Racing to similar specifications as those raced in the professional SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. Skip Barber's long history of producing regional and national race series events will enable the new championship to run its inaugural season on some of the country's most prestigious road courses, including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta. A full schedule of race dates and locations will be announced early in 2008.

"The MX-5 Cup Race Series is an important new rung on the Mazda-built motorsports ladder," said George Ayres, Skip Barber Chief Operating Officer. "Drivers can now move from our Mazda MX-5 Cup Three-day Racing School to the new MX-5 Cup Regional Race Series and from there into the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, Grand-Am, ALMS, SCCA and other sedan and sports car championships. Our new Series will provide a highly professional environment that emphasizes skill development and great racing at competitive prices. And because Skip Barber provides the cars and crew, all drivers need to do is bring their desire to win."

The Mazda MX-5 Cup car utilizes a Mazda 2-liter power plant that delivers 200hp and 190 ft lbs of torque. The drivetrain is a 5-speed manual transmission with a Mazda racing clutch assembly. All cars will run BFGoodrich G-Force tires. The new MX-5 Cup Regional Race Series will be modeled on the long-running Skip Barber open-wheel regional race series that features the winged and sequential shifted Skip Barber Formula 2000 race car. A season-long points system will track driver standings and recognize individual drivers for their achievements.

The new Regional Skip Barber Series also complements the fast-growing SCCA Spec Miata class, with nearly 1,500 first and second generation Miatas running on any given weekend in the U.S. The third generation Miata is known as the MX-5, and in 2005, the Sirius Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup was created as the entry level of production car-based competition in SCCA Pro Racing.

Headquartered in Lakeville, Conn., and operating out of five base locations (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California; Lime Rock Park in Connecticut; Road America in Wisconsin; Road Atlanta in Georgia; and Sebring International Raceway in Florida), Skip Barber is the world's largest racing and driving school, available at more than 20 race tracks across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Skip Barber Racing School, the company also runs the Skip Barber Driving School and the new High Performance Driving School. The company also operates five separate open-wheel racing championships. Skip Barber recently signed a long term agreement with Mazda North American Operations; Mazda sports cars are used in the Driving School programs and beginning in 2008, Mazda engines will power the Skip Barber fleet of more than 100 formula race cars, strengthening the North American motorsports ladder system of Skip Barber, Star Mazda and Champ Car Atlantic Powered by Mazda. More information on Skip Barber Racing is available by calling 860.435.1300, and at


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