Newly crowned Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup champion Patrick Gallagher will make the step up to Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition next year, having been confirmed in a Multimatic-run Ford Mustang GT4 alongside Chad McCumbee.
The former Mazda Road to 24 scholarship winner will take his $200,000 prize money earned this year to the new GS class operation, which will carry the support of longtime Mazda partner ModSpace.
Gallagher took eight wins this season in a Mazda MX-5 entered by McCumbee McAleer Racing, co-owned by the 2015 ST class champions.
“I cannot express how thankful I am to everyone at Mazda who puts these ladder prizes together,” Gallagher said. “I think having Chad as my teammate will help my learning curve tremendously.
“I cannot express how thankful to everyone at Mazda who puts these ladder prizes together. I think this shows that the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup is the place to be for young drivers looking for a break and move up the ladder.
“I am so happy to keep ModSpace on board this year they have been huge supporters of my championship this year and I hope Chad and I can make them proud.”
It will mark Multimatic’s full-season return to Continental Tire Challenge after focusing on customer support of its new-for-2017 Mustang GT4.
The Canadian organization, which also has close ties to Mazda, will field an additional two Mustang GT4s for the four-hour season-opening round at Dayton for Ford’s NASCAR rising stars.
“From the outset, our mission with the Mazda Road to 24 has been to provide a clear path for drivers to grow their careers, starting from our industry leading grassroots programs, through the Global MX-5 Cup, all the way to top level sports car racing – and ultimately historic events like the Rolex 24 at Daytona,” said Mazda Motorsports Director John Doonan.
“Thanks to our trusted and ongoing relationship with Multimatic, Patrick is able to take the next step up the Mazda Road to 24 in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS category.
“We are also grateful for the support that long-time partner Modspace has made to this effort to help it all come together.
“To have Patrick and Chad McCumbee co-drive, and Stevan McAleer all making the jump to the GS class makes us proud.
“They have won Mazda Championships as drivers and team owners together, now they will look to add more trophies to their collection. We wish them all the best.”