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Spec MX-5 Challenge Round 4: Extended Dance Mix At Road America

The Spec MX-5 Challenge heads to Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin next week (August 15-18) for a special weekend of racing and learning.

Great Track

The is the first time Spec MX-5 Challenge will have visited Road America. Road America is the longest track on the pro circuit, at just over 4 miles in length, and has significant history being one of the first modern road courses built in the USA (Road America, Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca all date from the mid-1950s). But even more than that, it is a track beloved by many drivers because it races so well. With three long straights (T14-T1, T3-T5 and T9-T12) it offers plenty of passing points. And, despite the appearance of a bunch of 90 degree turns, it actually has lots of variety, subtlety and elevation change.

Special Learning-Focused Agenda

Spec MX-5 has a strong emphasis on driver development. The series makes use of an embedded coaching model at all events so that all drivers get the chance for regular professional feedback via data and video analysis. The Road America round will have an expanded agenda because this is a 4-day event rather than the usual 3-day affair. To make good use of the extra time, Challenge Series officials have organized additional driver development sessions:

  • Spec MX-5 drivers will be coaching HPDE novices (basics of learning a track)
  • Spec MX-5 drivers will have a half-day private karting session at the Road America Motorplex (race craft)
  • Spec MX-5 drivers will enjoy a half-day skill development session led by Peter Stolz of Level Up Racing School (car control)
  • Spec MX-5 drivers will run a special 1 hour “enduro”, paired with WRR mechanics and engineers (pit stops and passing)

Embedded Coaching, What’s That?

One of the features of Spec MX-5 Challenge that drivers have come to appreciate is our use of embedded coaching. On each race weekend, the series has a top-ranked driver who races a Spec MX-5 and also provides data and video coaching. This means that drivers with less experience (either with the tracks involved or road racing in general) have clear, regular guidance in their development paths. Drivers, of course, could hire a private coach, but typically this would cost about $4000 per weekend which is out of budget for many people. With Spec MX-5 Challenge, coaching is included. In this way, drivers have found that they get many of the benefits of private coaching. They get some additional advantages, as well, because the Spec MX-5 embedded coach has data from the same car under the same conditions (e.g. early morning practice or mid-afternoon qualifying).

Spec MX-5 2020 Accepting Orders and Applicants Now

The 2020 Spec MX-5 car is about to be introduced by Mazda. Soon after the Spec MX-5 Challenge National Series for 2020 will be announced. If you have interest in either a Spec MX-5 car or the National Series, contact us at [email protected]

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