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David Staab doesn’t need to drive a missile when he hits the racetrack. Just give him an ND2 Mazda MX-5 Cup car with VP fuel, A-plus responsiveness, and speed through the corners and this Dallas-based corporate restructuring attorney is ready to take on the pros of the Mazda MX-5 Cup race series. Patience and choosing the right battles have gotten Staab the gold in other series, and in the age of COVID-19, racetrack simulators and YouTube might do the same.
So let’s start with your car. Do you race primarily with Mazdas? Yes, up to this point, everything I’ve raced has been Mazda powered. The primary series that I’m focused on in 2021 is the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup, presented by BFGoodrich Tires, which is now sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association, or IMSA. In this series, all of the cars are “ND2” generation (2019-2021) Mazda MX-5 Cup cars built to the exact same specifications. The cars start as MX-5 road cars from the Mazda factory in Japan before being shipped to Flis Performance in Daytona Beach, Florida. Flis Performance then transforms the street cars into race cars by stripping out the interior to remove unnecessary weight and adding a roll cage, fireproof fuel cell, a sequential transmission, race suspension, and race brakes, along with approximately 250 other racecar-specific parts.
Is there something you like about Mazda versus other manufactures? First, they’re fun to drive. No, the MX-5 Cup isn’t a ballistic missile on the straights that is going to impress at a local drag strip, but it’s well balanced, ultra-responsive, and fast through the corners. In terms of cost, I believe the MX-5 Cup is still the least expensive factory racecar on the market from an established manufacturer. Mazda provides parts discounts for racers, and the cars have strong reliability, which also helps to keep costs down. Mazda also provides an incredible level of support for racers, including contingency awards, race series support, technical advice, and promotion and PR, among other efforts.
Got any Track Time Planned Soon?
Next up on the MX-5 Cup calendar is Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (May 14-16), Road America (Aug. 6-8), WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept. 10-12), and Road Atlanta (Nov. 10-12). All of the MX-5 Cup races will be broadcast live on NBC Sports TrackPass and IMSA.tv and will be replayed on NBC Sports. In December, I'm looking forward to the 25 hours of Thunderhill. - TBJ
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