The 2023 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires (MX-5 Cup) Driver, Team, and Rookie of the Year Championship point leaders are set to introduce a new driver to the Hixon Motor Sports (HMS) powerhouse program. Inking a deal for a three-race program, Bailey Cruse will pilot an HMS-prepared MX-5 Cup car at Road America, at VIRginia International Raceway, and at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
“Hixon Motor Sports is one of the most powerful programs on the grid, and I look forward to race in the final three rounds of the IMSA-sanctioned MX-5 Cup with them,” explained the now 17-year-old. “My goal is to race a full rookie season campaign in 2024, and the preparation for that starts now. This will be an awesome step forward in my motorsports career, and I look forward to learning and working with Mazda Motorsports, Team Manager, Shea Holbrook, my dedicated car chief, two top-tier coaches, the crew, and the rest of the Hixon Motor Sports team.”
Beginning his racing career at the age of 14, Cruse started racing cars in the New Zealand Improved Production Championship. After just a few races, Cruse was spotted and helped into Formula Ford by Kenny Smith and John Tomlin; during his debut Formula Ford race in the ITM Formula Ford Winter Series at Manfield Raceway, Bailey scored a podium result.
Later on that season, Bailey raced in the North Island Formula Ford Championship, which is a proving ground for younger drivers wanting to make a name for themselves. In that series, Bailey ended up winning the Class 3 Championship and then went into the Formula 3 Regional Car. Following that, Bailey then competed in Formula Open NZ, which is one of the fastest open-wheel categories in New Zealand; he scored podiums in each race he entered apart from two races where in which he encountered mechanical issues. Last season, Bailey moved to the United States, and then he competed in the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires event at the Circuit of the Americas in August last year.
“Bailey is a true talent especially based on his results,” explained Shea Holbrook. “He should be on pace right away in MX-5 Cup competition and will provide another strong driver in our overall lineup. Looking forward to seeing him wheel an HMS Mazda MX-5 Cup car!”
Stay tuned for more news from Hixon Motor Sports.
You can find the complete 2023 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires full-season schedule HERE.
Graphic: RTD Media