For those with the big-time sportscar dream but lack the funds to climb the racing ladder, Mazda offers them an intriguing opportunity. The ability to move up from Spec Miata racing into Global MX-5, then onto greater things entails a massive expense outside the reaches of middle-class mortals. Nikko Reger, a 20-year-old racer from Houston, has jumped a few rungs on the ladder after winning the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup at Monticello Motorsports Park last October. The fraught finale saw Reger emerge victorious over five other competitors; few series are as closely fought.
Reger’s turning the $200,000 in prize into a sponsorship opportunity with the Mazda Road to 24 to compete in the 2019 IMSA Protoype Challenge. The car fielded by Forty7 Motorsports is a Norma M30, and his co-driver is his younger brother, Timo Reger. The six-race season begins this weekend at Daytona International Raceway, where Reger will put all his skills reaped from racing in MX-5 Cup and USF2000 to the test.
The student-racer balances his hectic schedule with the help of John Doonan of Mazda Motorsports. The career coaching and opening of door he offered helped streamline the difficult decision making process, one which undoubtedly would weigh heavily on the thinly spread mind of a college student. They’ve got too much on their minds without the prospect of firing an LMP3 monster alongside a concrete wall at 200 miles an hour.
While Global MX-5 in not an inexpensive propostion in which to compete, it is one of the few spec series remaining that offer its victors the support to move up into a much costlier professional series. Though racing is not perfect, and not a strict meritocracy, it’s refreshing to see the young and the talented get ahead without having access to large sums of family money.
To keep tabs on Reger’s performance in the big, winged prototypes, the Daytona race will be streamed live on IMSA.tv Jan 5th.