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< Back to News Home Rob Huffmaster makes the move to the pro ranks in the Playboy Mx-5 cup for 2008

Posted (02/12/2008) - For 2007, Rob Huffmaster set the goal to win the SCCA T3 National Runoffs Championship. To win one of the elusive Amateur titles is the goal of all sports car racers in America. After a long and adventurous year, Rob achieved this goal on rainy fall day at Topeka driving his Mazda RX-8. Now, Rob and Huffmaster Racing are making the next step up the Mazdaspeed racing ladder by entering the Playboy MX-5 Cup for 2008.

Rob will be competing in the full 8 race schedule. Huffmaster Racing will be partnering up with Team MER to manage the preparation and operations of the Mazdas in the series. Team MER is a performance shop & racing team based at Motorsport Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas. Led by Shannon McMasters, co-creator of the wildly popular Spec Miata class, Team MER has prepared the championship winning MX-5 for the past two consecutive years. In 2007, Team MER captured the top two spots in the year end points; Jason Saini in 1st and Andrew Caldwell in 2nd.

"We are very excited to be teaming up with Team MER. Jason Saini was of great assistance to us in 2007 in our preparations for the Runoffs. Huffmaster Racing is fully confident that Team MER will provide all the necessary tools to allow Rob to perform on the track." - states Ray Huffmaster, of Huffmaster Racing

Rob Huffmaster rolls into the 2008 Season off a crest of amazing success in 2007. Beyond his T3 National title, Rob racked up an impressive list of accomplishments and accolades. In total, Rob captured 3 victories, 5 podiums and 4 pole positions in the T3 class. Within the newly formed D Prepared class, Rob secured 2 Victories and a pole position, driving the Huffmaster Racing Mazda RX-8. And driving the team's Mazda RX-7 in the Improved Touring S class, Rob 3 victories, 4 podiums and 3 pole positions. The capstone to Rob's ITS season was capturing the American Road Race of Champions title at Road Atlanta.

In preparation for his 2008 season, Rob has been gaining some valuable seat time in race prepared Mazda MX-5s. First he co-drove a Team MER MX-5 in the Thunderhill 25 Hours, capturing a fine 3rd place. Then Rob was invited to the prestigious Mazda Shootout, held at Buttonwillow Raceway in January. All participants will be tested on their speed, data analysis, knowledge of chassis dynamics and PR prowess. Rob just narrowly missed out on winning the contest to 2007 Spec Miata champion, Brad Rampelberg.

"I am really excited about competing in the Playboy MX-5 Cup. All the events will be like the SCCA Runoffs at each race. It will be really competitive, but I know that Huffmaster Racing will be well ready with with Team MER preparing the MX-5." - states Rob Huffmaster

The MX-5 Cup is a professional race series for equally prepared production car based race cars, with limited modifications. Races are 45 minutes in duration, with over 30+ Mazdas competing on the track at once.

Designed as one of the first rungs in the Driver Development Ladder, the MX-5 Cup is an integral part of Mazda's North American driver development programs, joining the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered By Mazda and the Star Mazda Championship Presented By Goodyear. Combined with Mazda's participation in SCCA Club Racing, the SCCA SPEED World Challenge, the Grand Am Cup and Grand American Rolex Series, and the American Le Mans Series, they create a comprehensive motor sports program - one that could only come from the company that puts the soul of a sports car into every car that it builds.
Accompanying the announcement of Playboy Enterprises as the new title sponsor of MX-5 Cup, SCCA Pro Racing and Mazda North America presented an 8 race schedule for 2008.

2008 Playboy MX-5 Cup Schedule

Houston April 25-27
Road Atlanta May 2-5
Mosport Park May 16-18
Cleveland Grand Prix June 20-22
Portland July 25-27
Trois Rivieres August 15-17
Miller Park September 19-21
Mazda Racewa
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