Spec MX-5 Challenge Opens New Opportunities For Racers07. August 2018 -
At the middle of the 2018 season, drivers participating in the new Spec MX-5 Challenge have been impressed with the racing and the support for this new U.S. series. Spec MX-5 Challenge was created to offer a bridge in the pro sports car racing ladder system between the extremely popular Spec Miata club racing series and the ultra-competitive Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup pro series. All cars competing in the one-make cup are equipped with PAGID Racing brake pads.
Spec MX-5 Challenge offers a $100,000 first prize, with support from PAGID Racing, Yokohama and Mazda, in the form of a scholarship to run in the MX-5 Cup series in 2019. “We’ve talked to many Spec Miata racers who wanted a professional racing series that offered them a chance to hone their skills and prepare, both on track and financially, for moving up the ladder,” said Todd Lamb, one of the principals of Spec MX-5 Challenge.
Spec MX-5 Challenge has run a little over half of its scheduled races and the sixteen drivers report that the competition has been excellent. Drivers have had the opportunity to drive iconic tracks like Virginia International Raceway, Road Atlanta and Circuit of the Americas as well as other new and classic tracks. Drivers participate in their choice of two series. Recently, both East series and Central series drivers came together for the first combined event in the season. Road Atlanta was the venue, as it will be for the championship event in November.
Spec MX-5 Challenge is intended to be a driver development series and the engineering strategy reflects this. The Spec MX-5 race cars are built to be identical so that driver performance is highlighted. The series swaps cars between drivers each weekend to ensure that no driver gets an advantage. Each car is set up to the same specs at the start of the weekend, with only small factors being adjusted to suit the driver.
The cars are based on the NC generation Mazda MX-5. Safety equipment includes roll cage, race seat, 6-point harness and fire system. Each car carries an AiM Sports data system and an AiM video system specifically designed for racing and driver development. Performance enhancements include racing shocks, engine and chassis modifications, PAGID Racing brake pads and Yokohama racing slicks.
Based on this initial success, the series plans to expand the number of cars, drivers and events in 2019. Ultimately the objective is to have a new national racing class that is an essential part of driver development for hundreds of racers.
The Spec MX-5 Challenge Central series runs next at NOLA Motorsports Park and then at Circuit of The Americas. The East series runs next at Monticello Motor Club. The two series get together again for the season finale at Road Atlanta on November 2-4. More information on the series, including information about the 2019 season, is available at specmx-5.com.
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