It’s finally here – Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship Weekend! One of our drivers is taking home a $100,000 prize this weekend to run the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup in 2019. Who will it be? Find out on Sunday morning at Road Atlanta!
Friday, November 2: 12:55 p.m EST, Group 2A
Saturday, November 3: 10:20 a.m EST, Group 2A
Sunday, November 4: 9:20 am. EST, Group 2A
Watch live streams on the Spec MX-5 Facebook page.
The Contenders: A whopping 12 drivers enter the weekend to compete for the top prize, with two-thirds of the available points still on the line. The regular season point race has been reformatted to give leaders Jason Connole (East) and Tom Martin (Central) 20 points each; Peter Ensor and Noah Grey 19 points each; Manny Martinez and Matt Million (18 points), Nick Bruni and Harry Voigt (17 points), John Allen (16), Tyler Harrell (15), Assen Rachev (14) and Jose Garcia (13) also each receive their points based on Series regular season finishes.
With that done, each of the two races this weekend hold the same amount of points – 20 for a win, 19 for second, 18 for third, etc., through the final position. The final tally is the winner and inaugural Challenge champ!
Recapping Road Atlanta Visit One: These twelve drivers met up previously at Road Atlanta in July, giving a bit of a preview of this weekend. The circumstances were certainly different at the time – though all were racing each other, the point and podium positions were kept separately. And, of course, there was less on the line.
Nick Bruni and Peter Ensor set the pace that weekend, with each taking a win and a second-place finish. The first race was limited to just three laps of green flag racing thanks to a mixed-class car sliding into the gravel, stuck for the majority of the time limit. That won’t happen again, as all three sessions, including qualifying, are run with only the Spec MX-5 Challenge cars on track.
Tom Martin was the highest finishing Central driver on both days, including an overall podium during Race 1. But the improvement from the entire field – along with the pressure – indicates a wide-open run this weekend.
Looking Ahead: This may be the final race of 2018, but the Spec MX-5 Challenge is now taking applications for 2019. With one successful season down, things can and will continue to improve.
The Challenge is a fully prepped, arrive and drive series that includes an equally prepped NC-generation Mazda MX-5 from Atlanta Speedwerks and Winding Road Racing, Yokohama Tires, Pagid Brakes, fuel, entry fees, test day and more – all wrapped in a cost-effective financial package.
Follow Along: The Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship Weekend will be on track at Road Atlanta’s American Road Race of Champions, hosted by the Atlanta Region SCCA. Live Timing will be available on the Race Monitor app for qualifying and both races.