Back To Mazda Race Series
If you’ve ever dreamed of buying a race car, the Mazda MX-5 might be your chance to realize it; that’s because when you purchase a Mazda MX-5 from your local Mazda dealership, you basically have 95% of a fully prepared MX-5 Cup entry.
By design, the series focuses on keeping the mechanical specs of the race cars as close to their road going siblings as possible. The purpose of this is two-fold: to keep the competitive focus of the series on the driver, as opposed to technological development, and to keep costs down for participation. Aside from understandable competition safety modifications, mechanical changes are limited to bolt-on modifications.

The MX-5’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine remains internally stock. In fact, an extensive engine sealing program coupled with a claiming provision ensures fairness down long straight-aways.

The claiming rule allows a car/team finishing 6th through 10th to claim the engine from a car/team finishing 1st through 5th. The claim must be issued 30 minutes after the race and will cost the claimer $3000. Any team that loses an engine in this manner will be provided a fresh engine by MAZDASPEED. The use of a MAZDASPEED intake (0000-06-5150-KT) and a MAZDASPEED high-flow exhaust (0000-06-5450-KT) is required and pushes power from 170 to the 200 hp range. All MX-5 Cup vehicles are equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and may be run with the optionally available limited-slip rear differential.
The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development MX-5 Cup suspension kit is sole approved suspension enhancement of 2006-spec race cars. The kit consists of coilover shocks with 5-way dampening adjustment, spec springs and stock height bumpstops as well as anti-roll bars.

The braking system has its own specs for rotor size but modifications can be made to backing plates and dust shields while pads, fluid and lines can be replaced, the latter can be upgraded to racing spec stainless steel or Teflon.

Wheels are limited to two 17 x 7 OE offerings, each weighing and costing the same. The series spec tire is Hankook’s DOT-approved 225/45-17 Ventus Z214, which sports a C50 compound. The wet spec tire is the Ventus R-S2 Z212.

All MX-5 Cup cars run with full safety equipment, including an eight-point roll-cage welded into the car, and a racing seat. Other allowed body chassis and cockpit modifications are made up of minor additions, alterations and exclusions that are typical for purpose-built racers. A full list of safety upgrades, such as an electrical shut-off switch and an incorporated fire-extinguishing system, are also required.

Other areas available to modification include the clutch, plug wires, battery and cooling system.

MX-5 vs. MX-5 Cup Comparison

Curb Weight


Braking System:



Factory Mazda MX-5

91.7 in.
157.3 in.
67.7 in.
49.0 in.
2441 lbs.

170 HP, 2.0L DOHC I4

5-speed manual
6-speed manual (available)
6-speed automatic (available)
Limited Slip Differential (available)

4-wheel disc w/ ABS  

Independent F+R w/ stabilizer bar

Michelin Pilot Preceda P205/45R17

Race Prepared MX-5 Cup

91.7 in.
157.3 in.
67.7 in.
49.0 in.
2600 lbs. (minimum with driver)

200 HP (Est.), 2.0L DOHC I4,
MAZDASPEED intake system,
MAZDASPEED exhaust system

6-speed manual, upgradeable clutch
Limited Slip Differential (allowed)

4-wheel disc w/ ABS, upgradeable fluids and lines
Independent F+R w/ stabilizer bar, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development MX-5 Cup suspension kit - coilover shocks with 5-way dampening adjustment, spec springs, stock height bumpstops, adjustable anti-roll bars

Hankook Ventus Z214 225/45-17

8-point roll cage, on-board fire extinguishing system, electrical shut-off switch