Shift Up Now Athlete Heather Hadley will return for a second season in the Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by Michelin, competing for BSI Racing. Rounds one and two of the season will take place at Daytona International Speedway on January 24-26, 2024, supporting the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
Competing on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course at Daytona, Hadley will drive the No. 54 car Shift Up Now-liveried Mazda MX-5 race car. She’ll join a notoriously tough and competitive championship field on track, boasting over 30 cars per race.
Hadley’s team, BSI Racing, is owned and run by former Shift Up Now Athlete Shea Holbrook. Holbrook has now transitioned to the management team, and sits on both the Board and the Executive Committee for the Shift Up Now Foundation.
Originally from Northern California, Hadley currently lives in Mooresville, NC. Among her many accolades, she was the first- ever female to win the U.S. Legends Cars Silver State Winter Series Championship. She holds the current track record at Hallet Motor Racing Circuit for INEX U.S Legends Cars, and is a five-time points champion in that series.
In addition, in the fall of 2022 she won the Mazda Women’s Initiative Scholarship at their annual shoot-out, and went on to compete in her rookie season in MX-5 Cup in 2023. She was the top-finishing female 10 times last year, earning two top-ten finishes and five top-15 finishes.
In the fall of 2023, during her debut season, Hadley was one of seven inaugural Shift Up Now Foundation grantees who was awarded funds towards her end-of-season racing budget. She impressed both on and off the track, and was recently brought on board as a Shift Up Now Athlete for the 2024 season.
"Heather's progress over the 2023 season as a Mazda Motorsports Scholarship Driver caught our attention,” said Holbrook. “As a team focusing on driver development - and my personal interest as a previous driver, supporting female drivers by helping provide the highest-caliber resources - to aid in the greatest successes is a motivator for me. Heather tested with us in mid- December, and we're already pleased with her progress thus far. We're looking forward to putting in the work to help get her to the podium.”
In regard to her upcoming season, Hadley said, “I am so excited to be returning to the Mazda MX-5 Cup series for a second season. Last year was a huge learning curve for me and I can't wait to build on that this year with BSI Racing.
“Having Shea Holbrook as a team owner, a proven leader with racing experience of her own, and with the support of the incredible team she has built at BSI, I have faith that I can make significant progress this season and secure podium finishes. I also have the honor of returning to Mazda MX-5 Cup for 2024 as a Shift Up Now Athlete. I can't extend my gratitude enough to everyone involved at Shift Up Now.”
The 2024 season will consist of seven double-header events. Following Daytona (alongside the Rolex 24), the series will travel to Sebring (alongside the 12 Hours of Sebring), WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, VIRginia International Raceway, and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (alongside Petit LeMans).
For more information and the complete Mazda MX-5 schedule, fans can visit www.MX-5Cup.com.