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Just two months after the official unveiling of the brand new, fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 comes news that in 2016, it’ll go racing.

At this year’s SEMA show, Mazda announced this little roadster will enter a new ‘Global Cup’ racing series, held across North America, Europe and Asia, kicking off in 2016, long enough for the dust to have settled on the raod-going version of the new MX-5.

All the cars will be identically prepared, and the end of the season will culminate in a ‘Global Shootout’ at the Laguna Seca in California to crown the series champion. Oh, and the winner of this series will also nab a one-day test in Mazda’s TUDOR sportscar championship racecar. That’s quite a prize.

The technical spec of the car and indeed the race schedule is still all under wraps, but confirmation of the car’s engine has at least been given: it’ll run a 2.0-litre ‘SKYACTIV-G’ high-compression four-cylinder petrol engine, driving of course, the rear wheels. Each car will be sold ‘race-ready’ from a single supplier, so keep some pennies handy.

Mazda will commence tyre, suspension and powertrain development of the prototype MX-5 Cup racer this winter. For the time being, the company will field the current, third-gen MX-5 for the 2015 MX-5 Cup, as a swansong to that car.

“Since the first Mazda MX-5 took the green flag back in 1990, the car has been the ideal platform for both veterans and rookies alike,” explains John Doonan, Mazda’s North American motorsports director.

“Because the MX-5 is inherently such a good car to drive, it is an ideal platform to learn basic and advanced race-craft,” he added.

Have a quick flick through the pics. You want a go immediately, right?

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