In the Media
July 19, 2018
Chicago club racer takes a shot at the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup
Thomas Bernacki couldn’t have planned it better if he tried. With the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires accompanying the Verizon IndyCar Series at Road America only a week after the SCCA June Sprints, where Bernacki won a pair of races in Touring 4, it was the perfect opportunity to enter his first professional race – which happened to be at his home track.
“I thought it would be an excellent transition from racing in a club series to racing in a pro series at the same track on back-to-back weekends,” said Bernacki.
The 23-year-old racer, who works in the family business of DPR Art Rescue, which restores antiques and art, is looking to race the full season of MX-5 Cup next year. To that end, he’ll also race in the next MX-5 Cup doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and perhaps one or two more events this year. For a person whose ultimate goal is the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Bernacki believes MX-5 Cup is the correct beginning.
“For me, it was an ideal transition from club racing into professional racing,” he said. “My ultimate goal in racing is to become a professional driver in sports car racing, and I believe the MX-5 Cup series is a great steppingstone for anyone that wants to get into professional racing – the racing is very close, all the competitors come from various backgrounds, and Mazda does a great job with organizing various events and professional series. They do a great job with the Mazda Road to 24 ladder and the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, and it’s very encouraging to have a manufacturer that is so involved.”
Bernacki has been racing his Touring 4 NC MX-5 for two years, racing an NA and NB Miata in Spec Miata prior to that. Consequently, Bernacki has now raced every generation of Miata, and driving the T4 car and the Global MX-5 Cup car on consecutive weekends gave him a good idea of how the two compare.