iRacing Guide: The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Car

Read all about the Mazda MX-5 Cup Car in iRacing

So you’ve signed up to iRacing for the very first time and you’ve set yourself up using the Coach Dave Academy Beginners Guide to iRacing, great work! Now it is time to get into the racing action. There are a few options as to what you can compete in as a Rookie, but the most popular choice is your road-racing Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car, so let’s dive deep into this and how it can help you with your iRacing career.

Where You Can Race It


The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car is a staple of the iRacing platform and it will feature in several different series’ as you rise through your licenses. Of course, as a Rookie you start in the Fanatec Global Mazda MX-5 Cup but as long as you have 3-5 totally clean races you will get a promotion to your next license rank. 

Your best option is to start at the back and be patient, avoid contact with anyone, avoid off track warnings, keep control of your car, keep it out of the walls. This will ensure you get the required safety ratings within 3 races. Of course things don’t always go to plan, so it may take you a race or two more than expected, especially if you give yourself little practice before hitting the track.

D License

When you have your D license you can find this micro machine in the Production Car Sim-Lab Challenge Series, which will also be your first introduction to multiclass racing alongside a whole host of other laser-scanned vehicles. Here, you will have a few requirements to meet before you progress to a C license. 

These are ensuring you have completed 4 races that count towards your MRP and that you have a safety rating of 3.0 (or 4.0 for fast track during the season). In the Production Car Sim-Lab Challenge series, you will tend to find around 4 free tracks from the 12 weeks, so, in theory, you can get to C license without spending a penny, but you will need to be patient. 

C License

The final series you can find the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car in is the Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series which you can compete in once you get your C license. As the name suggests, it isn’t aimed at beginners. 

On the flip side of track selection, here you will be lucky to get one free track in the series, so you really have to be a hardcore Mazda MX-5 fan at this point because it could cost you upwards of $130USD for tracks to complete the full season. Speaking of, have a read our Top 5 Tracks To Buy On iRacing Guide.

Understanding The Car

As a rookie, you do not have to worry about anything on this car: you don’t need to make sure your fuel is correct, you don’t need to check your tyre pressures and you do not have to touch the setup. Everything is fixed in the rookie series, so it’s all about learning how to master the art of driving the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car. 

This bundle of fun seems innocent enough, but let us tell you that it can quickly become a handful if you are driving it incorrectly. You can find yourself losing the rear on entry very easily, or you can over-rotate the car on braking – it’s all about the small smooth inputs whilst being able to keep the car on the edge of its grip threshold. 

Of course, when you race in the Production Car Sim-Lab Challenge or Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup series, you enter into an open setup series, so fine-tuning to extract maximum performance is necessary. This is where Coach Dave Academy can help you with some of the finest iRacing setups on the market. 

What the Coach Dave Academy Setup Engineers Say

Oriol Domingo from OriolRace Engineering who is working with Coach Dave Academy says “With the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Car, it is important to attack the apex and control the weight changes quickly. Since it is a fairly light car, you can lose traction very quickly if you are too abrupt with the steering wheel. At the setup level, we have to focus on the toe and the heights as they are the most critical parameters to be able to get a good feeling and a good top speed from the car. Optimal gear shifting is between the 7000-7200 rev range and you can use the gears as another tool to help slow, control and stabilise the car.

Done reading? Get racing, why not try: iRacing Sim-Lab Production Series Setups for the Mazda MX-5 – Developed by professional sim racers and engineers, the setups included in this bundle are designed specifically to enhance your performance in the Mazda MX-5.

Short And Long Term Racing

In short, you can fast-track your way to a C license within 1 week of dedicated racing in this car. You would start with those 3 clean races in rookie which would see you promoted to a D license within 24 hours. 

You would then turn your attention onto the Production Car Sim-Lab Challenge where you’d hope it’s not week 13 (when there are no official series running) and they are racing on a free track, where you would need to race until you get a safety rating of 4.0 for the in-season fast track promotion to C license. Then you open up a whole new world of cars, series and tracks you’ll be eligible to race, including things such as special events.

Or, in the long term, you can really take your time with things. After you are out of rookies, you can really commit yourself to multiple full seasons and stay in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Car for as long as you please. The perfect example of this is participating in the full seasons of the Production Car Sim-Lab Challenge and Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup, which will occupy you for at least 26 weeks.

Final Thoughts 

It doesn’t matter if you are new to iRacing, or an experienced iRacer with an A license, you will always find fun and competitive racing with the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Car. You can quickly develop a soft spot for this machine and always find yourself going back to it when you are looking for that quick fix of action and excitement. Don’t forget Coach Dave Academy is here to help at every step of your journey, just make sure you have the Coach Dave Delta app installed to access your new setups for each week of whatever series you choose to race in.

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iRacing Guide: The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Car
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