The Global Battery Tender® Mx-5 Cup Presented by BF Goodrich started off at the Circuit of the Americas this past weekend in Austin, Texas. Last year the entire season ended with a 4 second differential total between first and second! The start to this season was no different!
It is a surprise however that this was Bryan Ortiz’s first win in round number one. Ortiz had a couple of wins slip through his fingers during the 2017 season. Race number one came down to the final lap shoot out between Ortiz and Nikko Reger. Ortiz was able to clinch the win with only a 0.8790-second lead. To say these races are anything but thrilling would be an understatement!
Ortiz was beyond thrilled with his win, "I wanted to lead on the last lap, but it’s a good thing I missed third gear on Turn One a couple laps before the yellow and that put us in second before the final restart," Ortiz said. "I think if I was first, somebody would have drafted me on that last lap. It was a very crazy race. I was making a lot of passes and having a lot of fun, but definitely I wanted to win my first race here for everyone in Puerto Rico that have gone through a lot. The only thing I can say is: happy!"
A new addition to the series this year is the Challenger class presented by Monticello Motor Club. This class is open to anyone who is self-selected and approved by the series. Certain criteria does apply in which the competitors must be within 103% of the quickest time in the final practice in order to compete. The challenger class will be open to anyone who qualifies for an INDYCAR license, which includes members from all the series, track days, country clubs, and more. Congratulations to Charlie Belluardo for taking home the challenger class win on Saturday in Race one of the season.
After finishing in third place on Saturday, Selin Rollan clinched an impressive win on Sunday! After being hit with a penalty just minutes before the race, Rollan was forced to start in the back of the field. With 31 cars ahead of him and a wet misty track most drivers would have felt the odds were against them… Not Rollan! "People were being cautious, and I couldn’t be cautious," Rollan said. "I had to go forward and once I saw the front of the pack I thought 'wow, I’m actually catching them' and I caught them even before the double yellow, and I ran everyone down. These BF Goodrich rain tires are amazing, they are great, they stick."
Rollan won the Mazda Road to 24 shootout earning him a spot in the 2018 Global Battery Tender Mazda Mx-5 Cup Presented by BF Goodrich and a $100,000 support scholarship by Mazda. Rollan came into the series making a lasting impression! Race Number two on Sunday finished with an even closer margin of 0.132 seconds over Bryan Ortiz. Rollan has proven he is here to stay and is a serious series contender!
"After a start to the season like this we cannot wait to see what the remainder of the season has in store. We are extremely proud of the series, partnership, and honored to be able to support such amazing talent! Battery Tender® has been involved with several race series throughout the years and this is by far the closest and most exciting week after week racing we have ever experienced! We are the nervous, 'cheering parents' on pit lane of each race!" Director of Advertising and Marketing, Evin Prelec
Tune in for the 2018 Season LIVE on Mazda USA Youtube! Round 3 & 4 is April 20-22nd alongside INDY Car at Barber Motorsports Park. https://www.mx-5cup.com/schedule