Vervantis sponsors MX-5 Cup for the first time and is delighted to be able to partner with McCumbee McAleer Racing (MMR) and rookie driver Jenson Altzman in the exciting Mazda MX-5 Cup series.
This past weekend at the WeatherTech Laguna Seca circuit in California saw Jenson finish in the top ten in both races, impressive for his very first season in closed wheel cars after cutting his teeth in karting. In the MX-5 cup series, every car is the same, with just the driver and set up making the difference. Needless to say, that makes for exciting close-quarters racing over two 45 minute races.
Who is Jenson Altzman?
Vervantis President Dan Moat said “I first met Jenson when he was just eleven years old and at that time yet to start karting, which anyone will tell you is late to start. Seven-time F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton started at 8 years old, however, Jenson didn’t get his first drive until he was 13, but his progress has been rapid. Jenson who was a front runner on the national karting scene made his debut in IMSA’s Mazda MX-5 Cup championship in 2021. A Phoenix native he had a successful test with MMR late last year and has made light work of the transition to sports car racing. This season is the first time he has raced a closed-wheel car rather than open-wheel karts and is currently sitting in 10th place overall in the standings from a field of 34, so naturally, Vervantis was keen to support a young local driver on his way up the leader board”.
MMR is impressed too at the speed their new driver is adapting to the car, style of driving, and in most cases circuits that are completely new to him.
What Type of MX-5 is Raced?
The MX-5 Cup race cars start as complete MX-5 road cars from the Mazda Hiroshima, Japan factory before being transported to engineering development partner Flis Performance in Daytona Beach, Florida, where they are produced into a race car.
The car is completely disassembled, and the tub is cleaned of seam sealer and sound deadening material, an IMSA, INDYCAR, and SCCA approved roll cage is TIG welded into the car. The cage contains complete NASCAR-style door bars on both sides of the car (making it the ultimate HPDE driver/instructor car) and is tied together across the firewall through the interior of the dash leaving a neat appearing and fully functional dash. After roll cage completion, the cage and tub of the car are painted in an automotive paint booth.
After cage installation and paint, the MX-5 Cup car is assembled with over 250 race car-specific parts. The parts added to the car provide handling, endurance, safety, and power enhancement specifically designed for the car after hundreds of hours and thousands of miles of both on-track and lab testing by automotive mechanical engineers and professional race car drivers. Component sealing and authentication tracking are done for parity in the various racing series in which the car competes.
If you’re new to the MX-5 Cup series you should check it out, the race is streamed live by IMSA, but you can catch it again on NBC SN on Tuesday, September 21, 4:00 pm ET.
Can’t wait till then? Then watch it here on YouTube where Jenson and Vervantis get a mention at minute 38:00.
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA
November 11th to November 13th, 2021 – Follow this link for the race schedule.