DAYTONA, Florida (January 26, 2021) – Loni Unser returns to the Mazda MX-5 Cup series this week to campaign the season opening two races with Hixon Motor Sports. She will debut the all new Swamp Dragon hot sauce Mazda Miata.
“I’m thrilled to be back on track with the Mazda MX-5 Cup,” said Unser. “It has been a dream of mine to race Daytona and I’m grateful to Swamp Dragon hot sauce and Hixon Motor Sports for making it happen.”
Unser debuted in the Mazda MX-5 Cup with select series races in 2019, scoring Top 10 results in a highly competitive field. She switched focus to longer endurance formats of competition in 2020, developing consistency and pace, and returns to the MX-5 Cup series this week.
“The racing in the Mazda MX-5 Cup is incredible and I don’t think there’s a better series on earth to hone the craft,” said Unser.
The 23-year-old driver is ultimately eyeing the Rookie of the Year title. She is confirmed to return to MX-5 Cup racing next month with Hixon Motor Sports at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where the series is supporting NTT IndyCar racing.
The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series features spec racing that offers an ideal development platform for emerging drivers. The competition is close as drivers are challenged to maximize their own performance while competing door-to-door in equal vehicles.
Continuing her family’s racing legacy, Unser will race her grandfather Jerry Unser’s number, 92. Jerry Unser was the first of the famous Unsers to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and from then on the Unser family has won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 nine times and become known as “The First Family” of American auto racing.
This week’s Mazda MX-5 Cup competition takes place Thursday at 5 p.m. and Friday at 10:15 a.m. on the famed 3.56 mile, 12-turn road course. The races are part of a week of on-track action in Florida ahead of the 59th Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend.
All series competition streams live on IMSA.tv and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold this season and an hour-long Daytona recap is set to air February 10 on NBCSN.
With a background in line-finding sports including ski racing, Loni Unser started racing cars in 2017 and has shown promise in endurance competition in Spec Miata classes in NASA and the MX-5 Cup, as well as the World Racing League and ChampCar, among others.
Unser’s career is made possible through partnerships with companies that are supporting her early development. She has worked since the start with Cooper Tire, and supported the launch of their Tread Wisely app, placing her at the center of a campaign that provided an invaluable opportunity for her to grow as a marketing property and explore the role of brand ambassador.
She believes in the power of positive role models and hopes to inspire young girls through her activities on and off track and has competed with Shift Up Now as an ambassador for women in racing. Unser is a recent graduate of the Environmental Design program at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Unser continues to focus on her development as a driver and looks ahead to claiming her place in the record books. Her future plans will carry her to the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship and the storied tracks of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Hixon Motor Sports is a multi-car Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Team competing alongside the prestigious IMSA platforms on the best sports car weekends in North America. Hixon Motor Sports and its marketing programs are focused around exemplifying integrity, consistency, commitment, and being humble. It is our goal to foster and develop exceptional driving talent by providing the best opportunities through experienced crew and coaching and trackside support in the Global MX-5 Cup paddock.