Mazda announced the details of the new 2006 Mazda MX-5 Cup race series this weekend at its "home" race track, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as part of the festivities surrounding the Monterey Sports Car Championships. The new series replaces the hugely popular MAZDASPEED Miata Cup for first- and second-generation Miatas with a new Pro series strictly for the third-gen MX-5. (Earlier-generation Mazdas will continue to race in SCCA amateur events.) A tightly controlled "spec" series, the Mazda MX-5 Cup will be popular with drivers looking for an affordable "professional" series that puts them in front of sponsors and higher-level professional sportscar teams.

The series will be sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, and its eight races will run in support of the American Le Mans Series, the SPEED World Challenge Series, and other professional events.

With Hankook as the presenting sponsor of the series alongside Mazda, the 2006 season offers more driver incentives, better venues, and increased promotion.

This is close, competitive, fun racing. If you get a chance to see a race or two in 2006, you won?t be disappointed!

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