Mazda MX-5 Cup might be the best racing series on the planet. No, the cars aren't the quickest or most exotic, but the racing is closer and more exciting than anything you'll see from top-level motorsports like F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, or IMSA. Footage from the first-ever MX-5 Cup event back in 2006 shows Miata racing has always been this good, right from the start.

This video, published by Marshall Pruett on Saturday, was taken from inside the cabin of an NC-generation MX-5 Cup car driven by Larry Webster at the then-called Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Webster, who at the time wrote for Car and Driver, started 10th, but quickly worked his way up to fifth thanks to cars ahead spinning out or crashing. After a full-course yellow, he managed to pass the car ahead for fourth, before later giving up that same spot down the corkscrew. Webster would go on to finish fourth overall.

There's no shortage of action in the 12-minute clip, with more close calls, nose-to-tail drafting, slides, dust clouds, and rev-limiter bouncing than we can keep track of. There isn't much speed taking place, but that's what makes the MX-5 Cup so wonderful. And with the cars mechanically identical, it's all down to the drivers to find time. That makes for some truly close, highly entertaining battles.

This first MX-5 Cup race wasn't a fluke, of course. Even 17 years later, the series continues to deliver amazing wheel-to-wheel excitement race after race, each packed with more action than the next. If you really enjoy watching road racing, it's a must-see series. 

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