When the contract to build the first 50 ND-generation Global MX-5 Cup cars landed on his desk, Mazda Motorsports director John Doonan didn’t touch it for a week. “I was worried that we’d never sell that many,” he laughs. His worry was misplaced; the first run sold out in hours. The Global MX-5 Cup car, which starts life as a plain white (because that paint color is the lightest!) MX-5 Miata Sport before receiving more than $40,000 worth of safety and speed upgrades from North Carolina’s Long Road Racing, has proven to be a rip-roaring success—and the Battery Tender MX-5 Cup, which offers owners a chance to run neck-and-neck on the country’s greatest road courses for cash and prizes, has been nearly as popular.
Ownership of an MX-5 Cup car is passport to a world of competitive opportunities, from the Battery Tender Series and SRO’s professional TC America events all the way to affordable endurance series like AER and WRL. There’s just one little problem: The original price of admission was $54,995 and it’s only gone up in the two years since. Isn’t there another way?
That’s where Lemons Of Love comes in. The nonprofit organization, which creates and delivers care packages to cancer patients, has deep ties to motorsports. In 2017, they raffled off an early-build MX-5 Cup and the tickets sold out quickly. For 2019, they are upping the ante.
A hundred-dollar raffle ticket gets you a chance to win a very special MX-5 Cup. To begin with, this is chassis #200, which represents a significant milestone for Mazda and Long Road Racing. As with all MX-5 Cups, this one’s white—but it also features a special lemon-yellow rollcage and interior. It will be supplied with a Sparco seat, a set of tires, and a package of prepaid race entries. Long Road values the whole package at $68,000.
The 2017 winner, Drake Kemper, plans to use the car to train new drivers in his own racing school. The 2018 winner, on the other hand, hasn’t even seen the car in the metal. Daniel Miller serves with the United States Air Force, and he’s been deployed to the Middle East for a few years. He’ll have a chance to meet his prize for the first time when he returns home in May. If you want to go racing with Drake and Daniel, and you’re $67,900 short of the required cash to buy a car of your own, now’s your chance.