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Twenty of Europe’s top sim racers are looking to take the next step toward a professional racing career Thursday in the Grand Finale of iRacing.com’s European MX-5 Cup.  The race will be broadcast on iRacingLive at 4:30 pm Eastern/20:30 GMT. 

The top three finishers in the 25 minute online race will be invited to the Friends of MX-5 European Training event at Mazda Space and the Parc Motor Circuit in Barcelona.  There they will undergo an intensive program featuring real world track time, including skills and technique training, as well as simulation racing.  Mazda will then select one driver for the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to drive a real race car in the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Final at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca later this year. European MX5 Cup logo

Thursday’s race features the top finishers in iRacing’s European MX-5 Cup, which saw leading sim racers around Europe battle in digital versions of the new Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car on precision models of tracks like Charlotte Motor Speedway, Okayama International Circuit and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  Kamil Franczak captured the regular season finale to edge Aday Coba-Lopez for the European MX-5 Cup championship ahead of Jeremy Bouteloup, Pablo Lopez and Evan Maillard.  However, Franczak, Coba-Lopez and the other 18 finalists will all start with a clean sheet of paper when qualifying for the Grand Finale on the virtual Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca begins Thursday.  And when the checkered flag waves on the race, only the three podium finishers will advance to the Grand Finale. 

“The European MX-5 Cup has been a real showcase for iRacers and iRacing,” says Tony Gardner, President of iRacing.com.  “Honestly, I’m kind of sad to see the series end.  But I’m also excited by the prospect of watching 20 talented sim racers competing for a spot in the Final Shootout and the chance to advance their professional careers.”

Be sure and catch all the action Thursday on iRacingLive at 4:30 PM/20:30 GMT.

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