Video: Absolute chaos in the MX-5 Cup at Daytona

22nd February 2024
Simon Ostler

Perhaps one of the more overlooked forms of motorsport in the world, the Mazda MX-5 Cup surely deserves more attention, doesn’t it? A race series dedicated entirely to one of the very best cars in the world pound for pound, aside from being brilliant fun to watch, it must be absolutely thrilling to race in.

It’s fun enough thrashing an MX-5 along your favourite country road, rattling through the gears of that glorious six-speed manual gearbox. Imagine doing that around one of the world’s most famous race tracks?

You can almost feel the pain of these 181PS (133kW) 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines as they strain every sinew around the banking of the famous Daytona oval. The race takes on an almost NASCAR-like quality as this leading group searches for the slipstream in the closing laps. There’s no shortage of bumping and jostling to get prime position, with the chaos continuing through the infield section.

This race comes to a stunning climax on the final lap, with five cars in contention for victory as they head out on the banking for the last time. Then it’s all down to the slipstream, to see who can time their run just right, to see who comes out on top. In the end, the speed differential is quickly alarming.

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