Spec MX-5 Challenge and Mazda Motorsports have announced that Spec MX-5 cars will be formally assigned to run in the STL (SCCA) and ST5 (NASA) classes in 2020. In those classes, Spec MX-5 cars will run along with other STL or ST5 cars from other makes which are not compliant (obviously) with the Spec MX-5 specific rules. This assignment to STL or ST5 gives Spec MX-5 racers an appropriate place to race on any given NASA or SCCA weekend at tracks across the country on over 100 dates during the year.
In addition, Mazda and Spec MX-5 Challenge have created 10 regular season Marquee Events have a special racing for Spec MX-5 cars. One objective is to make sure that all marquee events have two places for Spec MX-5 drivers to run, allowing owners to “double-dip” and get four or more races per weekend. On NASA Marquee weekends, drivers can run in a special Spec MX-5 class as well as separately in ST5 in another run group. On SCCA Marquee weekends, drivers can run in a special Spec MX-5 class as well as STL in another run group.
Marquee events also allow car owners to focus on events that are likely to have large Spec MX-5 fields. On Marquee weekends, the designated Spec MX-5 classification (separate from STL or ST5) will be part of a larger run group with other classes running. Spec MX-5 drivers will generally have a split start in this group. And, very importantly, this special extra classification for Spec MX-5 racers will constitute the point-earning races for each weekend that lead up to the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship. Spec MX-5 racers will be awarded points in the special Spec MX-5 classification according to finishing position among Spec MX-5 cars, and not vis a vis any other racers in the larger run group.
There are three main ways to score points in the Marquee Events during 2020. Participants in the National Series will run in five of the Marquee Events and score Championship qualifying points on a National Series scale. Participants in the Invitational Series will run single events (of which there are five during 2020) and score Championship qualifying points on an Invitational scale. Finally, Regional Series drivers will run four events in either the West or East and score Championship qualifying points on a Regional scale. All three types of successful qualifiers will come together for the expected $100,000 plus Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship in the fall of 2020.
At events other than the Marquee events, Spec MX-5 racers should also be able to double dip, but the class and run group to which drivers are assigned may vary. For example, at SCCA events, Spec MX-5 racers may be able to run in EP as well as STL. At NASA events, Spec MX-5 drivers may be able to run in SU as well as ST5. The exact details will depend on the structure of run groups, and for smaller events with fewer run groups it may occasionally be that there is only one class in which to run.
More information on the series, the car, the costs, parts, services and the competition is at SpecMX-5.com.