Full Race Video: The Closest Finish In MX-5 Cup History

By Winding Road Staff

August 31, 2016

Here we have Shea Adam and Kenton Koch announcing the live stream of Race 10 of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup season. This race took place at VIRginia International Raceway on August 28, 2016. 

Winding Road Team TFB driver Mark Drennan is especially interesting to watch in this race. He starts P10 and spends the entire race working his way up to P1, which he eventually does. He leads the field onto the main straight on the final lap and then...well you should watch what happens: 

While Mark had a very good race and the team was pretty happy, there is something to be learned here. Even though Mark makes a mistake in T16 on the  last lap, which creates the exciting finish, that's possibly not the strategic reason the finish happened. In the world of "controlling the controllables", we actually put too much weight on that last lap by qualifying only P10. In MX-5 Cup, you have one qualifying session in which your best two laps set grid for Races 1 and 2 on the weekend respectively. For Race 1, Mark qualified fourth, and you can see here that he made his way to the front in just two laps, whereas in Race 2 it takes almost the whole race to go P10 to P1. For Race 2, Mark's second qualifying time is the one that counted and it was almost a second slower, which put him P10. That slower time came because it took several laps to link Mark up with Winding Road Team TFB competition director Tim Barber for solid drafting laps. In hindsight, the team could have planned to link up on the out lap, possibly improving the number of quick laps (once we knew SCCA Pro implemented a new rule for VIR  of releasing cars into quali with gaps and the qualifying session short because of a split field).  

Still, an exciting race with a solid, if somewhat frustrating, result. 

If you are interested in driving with Winding Road Team TFB for the 2017 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup season, contact Todd Therkildsen our manager of competition services.