The creator and category manager of Mazda RX8 Cup Series, Ric Shaw has confirmed his commitment to the series, despite recent reports of a breakaway category.

The series will compete over six rounds in 2024, beginning at Phillip Island on February 10-11. Round 2 will be at Winton Raceway on April 26-28 and followed by three rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park, on May 24-26, August 2-4 and September 27-29 respectively, before the final at Morgan Park on November 8-10.

The inaugural one-make category races were held at Winton in late 2017, before its first full season in 2018. It ran as part of the Benalla Auto Club Group-promoted and AASA-sanctioned Australian Motor Racing Series (now known as the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series). It has a been part of that series since and held its final 2023 season round at Calder recently.Since its inception, the category has grown and has produced field sizes in the 20s. It even attracted well-credentialled drivers such as 1995 Australian Touring Car Champion and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner John Bowe.

While Shaw says he is disappointed a small handful of competitors are attempting to create a breakaway category, he is confident the vast majority will support the Mazda RX8 Cup in 2024.“Despite some recent reports that have appeared online to the contrary, I have been overwhelmed with support from competitors committing themselves to the Mazda RX8 Cup in 2024,” Shaw said.“It’s a shame the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series management didn’t advance discussions with us for the 2024 season, despite our loyalty to that series (and its predecessor, the AMRS) and our numerous attempts to retain our place on their calendar for 2024,” Shaw said.“The last thing the Australian motorsport landscape needs is further fragmentation, so it surprises me that the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series would entertain the prospect of facilitating that sort of breakaway series rather than supporting a category that has been loyal to them since Day 1.“However, we have still been able to come up with a calendar that meets our objectives, which is to race multiple times in NSW (where the majority of our competitors are based), while also visiting a few interstate venues.

”RX8 Cup commercial partners and suppliers have also announced their continued involvement, and include One Stop Car Wash Equipment, control tyre supplier Nankang Tyres, Circo Brakes, Royal Purple Synthetic Oil, MCA Suspension, AGI Roll Cages, West End Mazda, JustinTime Autoglass, Revolution Racegear and Speedy Wheels.“It’s important to continue our relationships with these component suppliers – we run to a tightly controlled formula. So, it’s important that everyone has equal equipment, and by partnering with these suppliers, we ensure our competitors can access the products they need at affordable prices,” Shaw said.

Written by Lachlan Mansell