The start to the MX-5 Cup title defense has gotten off to an up-and-down start for Gresham Wagner and Spark Performance. Beginning with a crash in Qualifying at the season opener to a fortunate win at Mid-Ohio, Wagner’s 2022 MX-5 Cup season has seen successes and rocky moments that leave him 3rd in the Driver’s Championship after 6 Rounds.
After winning the Driver’s and Team’s Championship in the 2021 IMSA Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup, Gresham Wagner and Spark Performance will return to the series to defend their titles in 2022.
For the 2021 championship finale, the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup traveled to the Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta, hosting Rounds 13 & 14. Gresham Wagner entered the event with the championship lead after a pair of wins at Laguna Seca, and was able to capture the championship title in the final race of the season.
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.
After a DNF in Race 1 at the Streets of St. Petersburg, Wagner and the Spark Performance team were aiming to get back on consistent form at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. A fourth place in Race 1, followed by a second place finish in Race 2, achieved that goal and helped recover from the points lost at the previous event. Wagner now sits second in the championship (-40 points) heading into the MX-5 Cup summer break.
The Spark Performance #5 had a pair of contrasting results at the Streets of St. Petersburg. After a strong qualifying run, Wagner was challenging for the Race 1 win in the lead breakaway until a transmission issue forced a permanent trip to the pitlane. Wagner was running third at the time, and instead was credited with a P17 finish. The team worked for hours to repair the car in time for the afternoon’s Race 2. However, recurring mechanical issues limited the overall pace of the car in the second race. Wagner managed the issues throughout the 45 minute race and crossed the line for a third place finish, a few seconds behind the winning pace.