Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one talented club racer to the professional ranks. The $75,000 prize funds a drive in the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup. Eighteen racers were semi-finalists, having met the eligibility criteria for 2013, each having won a recognized championship over a minimum number of competitors. Now, after each made a formal written business proposal, the field has been narrowed to five. World Speed driver and FCC Champion Michael Whelden has made the cut.