The Mazda MX-5 Cup celebrates the excitement and record of the participants

The Mazda MX-5 Cup celebrates the excitement and record of the participants

With no fewer than 23 participants, including 10 starters, the Mazda MX-5 Cup will begin its fifth season on Friday April 14 with the VRM Spring Race at the Circuit Zandvoort. The class thus proves that the always exciting race is not only a feast for the eyes, but that the drivers also know that this is the cup where you can have the last kick that matters to them. Passing the field with a different front runner almost every lap has ensured that the Mazda MX-5 Cup has been a huge success for five years.

Text and photos: PR

Race design
Also in 2023, the race format will consist of two 30-minute free practice sessions, a 20-minute qualifying session and two 30-minute sprints. For the first race a ‘reversed grid’ is used where the first 10 finishers are sent back in the starting order. In addition to the general classification, there is also a sub-classification for riders up to and including the age of 24 and the Gold Cup for riders over 40 years of age.

Candidates for positions
Fortunately, we see a lot of familiar faces from previous seasons. Multiple champion Marcel Dekker wants to add to his title and will once again compete with title contenders such as András Király, Filip Wojtowicz and Dominique Kraan. Last season, Sam Jongejan and Jordy van der Eijk also showed that they can compete in the front line and they can probably also participate in the championship fight this season.


Among the predecessors of the Mazda MX-5, Lorenzo van Riet is definitely one to watch. He is switching over from the BMW M2 Racing Cup Benelux and was also a title contender there, so he will definitely report to the front row.
Brothers Timo and Daan de Graaff are playing their first match with the team Betcity and Tachyon. For both brothers, motorsport is something they were born with, because father Robert himself is an experienced driver who has found his inspiration in the Supercar Challenge. Whether his sons have inherited his talent will be clear this season.

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Interest from abroad
There is also strong interest in the Mazda MX-5 Cup from outside the Netherlands. For example, the American Alex Bachoura is again in Zandvoort. Last season he competed in his hometown Palermo during the Business Racing Festival and he was very popular with a top ten finish so far he wants to get on the podium.

Belgium is represented by three drivers, including two pioneers. The Polyparts team will also supply title contender Filip Wojtowicz’s Mazda next season.

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Delano De Ketele is the second driver of Polyparts. After a test day at Circuit Zandvoort in February, the 17-year-old karter from East Flanders was sure that the Mazda MX-5 Cup would be the next step in his career. 16-year-old Romy de Groote is the third neighbor to the south. He swaps his trusty kart for a Mazda MX-5 and makes his debut with the MSTC Racing team – Mazda Belgium.
Mazda MX-5 Cup success is also not seen in Germany. From the East comes a competition of two riders from two different teams. Paul Heinisch will drive for the NFR Motorsport team and Laurens Ruhl will defend the white-green colors of MV Motorsport.

His colleagues
The Dutch debutants are spread over most teams in the class. Leon Verseveld is Marcel Dekker’s teammate, Maikel Schilders competes with András Király and Jan Schouten competes for Ferry Monster Autosport.

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Familiar names
In addition to the ten frontrunners and well-known title candidates, we again see many reliable names among the participants. Father and son Kuiper are back with their Team Bratwurst. And Laszlo van Houwelingen, Lars van ‘t Veer, John Hoogland, Fred Blok and Frenk Vollebregt will also grace the grid.
With this great mix of young and old, experienced and novices, we are sure to start the exciting fifth season of the Mazda MX-5 Cup during the VRM Spring Race at Circuit Zandvoort.


The plan

Saturday mornings begin at 9:50am with a 30-minute free practice session, followed by another half-hour free practice session at 11:50am. At 4:50pm we’ll see how the cards stack up with 20-minute qualifying. The starting order of the top ten qualifying with the rest behind them determines the starting grid for the first race, which starts at 10:15am on Sunday. In the second race at 15:50, the fastest driver from qualifying can finally start from pole position. Both races last 30 minutes and one thing we already know for sure, there will be plenty of action throughout the field.

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Free tickets

KNAF, in collaboration with V-Max Racing Management, offers its licensees the opportunity to attend the Spring race at Circuit Zandvoort free of charge for two people. The promotion is applicable to all KNAF licensees, drivers and officers. Two cards will be issued after submitting the personal license. These cards are valid for the main stand and paddock. Parking is at your own expense.
KNAF license holders must register in advance via The cards can then be collected at the gate of Circuit Zandvoort or at the welcome center near the main gate of the circuit when presenting the KNAF licence.

All race reports are broadcast by RTL7 in the TV program Autosport NL.