Everyone in attendance for the Final poses for a group photo – well done guys! – Photo: Mazda/ Friends of MX-5

News broke on Sunday of the results of the European MX-5 Cup Final come to light, with great news for one of our two representatives – Oliver Allwood, frontrunner in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship, successfully made it through both knock-out stages to become one of the final 5 drivers to be chosen!

Oliver and reigning MX-5 SuperCup champion Alan Henderson both made the trip to Spain with the competition taking place at the Parcmotor Circuit in Barcelona. They were joined by fellow racers from the UK, Poland, Sweden, Austria and the Netherlands, as well as hand-picked MX-5 enthusiasts and those who had qualified via the online racing simulation iRacing. After the first day of test and trials, the 20 competitors were whittled down to just 10, with the second day’s competition then reducing the remaining contingent to the all-important 5 drivers that made up the finalists.

These 5 drivers, including Allwood, will travel to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September to battle it out amongst a field of tough and equally skilled racers – all of which will be competing in the latest specification Mk4 Mazda MX-5 Global Cup Car. Those who competed had the chance to sample the car during the two day competition, allowing them a glimpse of what they could or would be enjoying later this year in the USA. This came alongside challenges that tested their dynamic driving, race track driving, reactions, basic fitness and even media skills.

Speaking about his experience, Allwood said: "The Friends of MX-5 training camp in Barcelona was really tough, all the drivers there were really competitive so being selected in the top 5 to go to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is really exciting. The Global Cup Car has a lot more grip and power compared to a Mk1 MX-5 so it took a little getting use to, but once you learn to trust the grip you can really start to push. I’m really looking forward to racing in America and pitting myself against the best Mazda MX-5 drivers in the world."

Sadly, Henderson was unable to make it through to the second stage of the competition, however this doesn’t take away whatsoever from his evident talent and skill, seeing as he is currently the reigning MX-5 SuperCup champion and continues to aim to defend his title. The fact he was able to make it to the Final itself is testament to his abilities. We say a hearty congratulations to Alan for making it that far and wish him the best of luck for the remainder of his 2016 campaign.

We also say the same in equal measure to Oliver, who will do our championship proud by representing us, no matter what the final result may be. Both Oliver and Alan are back in action this weekend at Brands Hatch on July 9/10 in their respective championships. If you get the chance, come down and meet them!

A massive thank you has to go to Mazda Europe, Friends of MX-5 and everyone involved in making this initiative as incredible as it was. We look forward to seeing how Oliver gets on in September as he will do the UK proud, no matter what the results may be. We're intrigued to see who could be next from our championships to potentially earn a shot should the initiative carry on next year and beyond!

Scott Woodwiss


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