The Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup headed west to Laguna Seca for the penultimate event of the season. Gresham Wagner and Spark Performance entered the weekend second in the points championship, looking to capitalize before the season finale at Road Atlanta.
Wagner was classified second in both practice sessions prior to qualifying. This theme continued, with Wagner earning a P2 starting position for both rounds 11 & 12.
Wagner quickly moved the lead of Race 1, passing Selin Rollan on lap 2. Wagner led until lap 7, when rookie Chris Nunes and Rollan took over the battle for the lead, with Wagner in third. However, after a few laps, there was contact between Rollan and Nunes, with the latter being spun out of contention. The next lap, Wagner pounced, taking the lead back from Rollan. Wagner held the lead under sustained pressure for the next 12 laps, earning his third win of 2021 by .547 seconds from Rollan. Championship leader Michael Carter finished fourth, bringing Wagner and Carter level on points at the top of the championship heading into Race 2.
Race 2 was a slightly different affair, with Rollan holding the lead from lap 8 until a late full-course yellow with five minutes remaining on the clock. This bunched the field up and set up a two lap dash to finish. Rollan, Wagner, Nunes, and Jared Thomas fought for the lead on the restart, with Rollan and Wagner holding onto first and second after the restart shuffle. On the final lap, Wagner made his move into the first corner and slipped by Rollan for the lead. The rest of the front-runners battled for the remaining podium positions while Wagner drove away to a weekend sweep at Laguna Seca, crossing the line with a winning margin of 1.377 seconds from Rollan. With Carter finishing in sixth place, Wagner broke the tiebreaker for the championship lead and added a margin of points between him and Carter.
With just a pair of races remaining in the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup, the championship showdown will go down to the final race of the season at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans event in November. Wagner leads the championship, followed by Michael Carter and Selin Rollan.