Names of the 12 finalists set to compete in the 16th running of the Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout have been revealed. The list features a number of familiar faces along with some promising bright new stars.
After being selected as a nominee, drivers were asked to submit a racing resume with career highlights, a bio explaining why they are a great fit for Mazda and a video detailing their interest in MX-5 Cup, what makes them successful and what they do away from the track to support their racing career. A panel of racing professionals and Mazda Motorsports staff reviewed the videos before selecting 12 individuals to invite to the Shootout.
Drivers selected for 2023 Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout:
Cam EbbenChase Jones
Hannah GreenemeierJulian DaCosta
These finalists will converge on Carolina Motorsports Park, November 15 – 16. There, each will be fitted to one of three Mazda MX-5 Cup cars prepared by Flis Performance. All drivers will have several timed lapping sessions around the track and debrief sessions with a driving coach afterwards.
“Mazda is committed to helping aspiring racers achieve their dream and the long history of the MX-5 Cup Shootout, which was first launched 2008, demonstrates that,” said Jonathan Applegate, Senior Manager, Mazda Motorsports. “It’s no secret that funding can play just as important of a role as talent when it comes to motorsports. If our shootout scholarship gives a driver the extra financial push they need to reach their goals, then we’ve accomplished a great thing.”
Lap times are not to be the sole determining factor in a winner; drivers will also be judged on their ability to understand data, improve over the course of the weekend, media savvy and general attitude and composure.
The winner of the Shootout will receive a scholarship valued at $110,000 to compete in the 2024 Mazda MX-5 Cup season. A runner-up will receive a $75,000 value scholarship and the best performing female driver will also receive a $75,000 scholarship.
Numerous drivers who have won the Shootout have gone on to become an MX-5 Cup Champion and collect the $250,000 prize that comes with it. That impressive list of successful Shootout graduates includes the most recent and first repeat champion in series history, Jared Thomas.