TOPEKA, Kan. – The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup awards banquet, held last week at the Sonesta Gwinnett Place, in Duluth, Ga., celebrated the series shampion, as well as the rest of the MX-5 Cup field, for their season-long performances.
Christian Szymczak was the man of the hour as he received his championship hardware. En route to winning the title, Szymczak earned 635 points as a result of nine podiums, including four wins. He also scored the pole in 10 of 12 races.
In addition to winning the championship, Szymczak’s Houston-based ALARA Racing team took home Team of the Year honors. Szymczak led the team in the standings, but was followed by team principal Ara Malkhassian, Bryan Hixon and Brent Mosing, in positions six through eight. Harrison Williams who finished 10th, and Tim Probert in 12th, completed the team’s list of series regulars.
Elliott Skeer received the runner-up trophy for strong run in 2013. He scored nine podiums, including five wins, but fell a mere four markers short of the championship in the final tally.
Sick Sideways teammates John Dean, and Nathanial Sparks finished the season third and fourth, respectively. Dean recorded six podiums, with two wins toward the end of the season at Coronado and Road Atlanta, equaling 607 points. Sparks had four top-five finishes, with one podium to his credit, ending the season 15 markers behind his teammate.
Additionally, the team was honored with the Spirit of Mazda Award for their exceptional dedication and hard work throughout the season. The tipping point that earned the team the award came during the three event span that saw the series travel from coast to coast, starting at Coronado, just outside of San Diego, and ending at Road Atlanta.
On the cross-country trip Dean and Sparks elected to make the trip by themselves. Without the help of any support crew, they wore the hat of chief mechanic and driver at Coronado. It was much the same story for Houston, but there was some relief following a technical alliance brokered with Speedcraft Racing Development. At Road Atlanta, Dean and Sparks were joined by their normal support staff.
Finishing out the honorees were Patrick Gallagher who finished fifth and earned Rookie of the Year honors along with Brent Mosing who was awarded the Masters Award following an eighth-place finish in the standings.
Kenton Koch received his trophy for winning the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge and Lucas Bize took home the runner-up hardware with Robby Foley finishing in third.
Announcements regarding the 2014 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup schedule will be made in the coming weeks.