Spec MX-5 Challenge Cars to Sport Historic Mazda Motorsports Numbers

Spec MX-5 Challenge, LLC announced today that the first round of number assignments has been made for the 2020 Spec MX-5 Challenge Series. Among the assigned numbers are well-known favorites like 43, 21, 27, 14 and 48. “Many drivers clearly know their racing history and want to have numbers tied to the history of the sport,” said Tom Martin, managing director of Spec MX-5 Challenge. “With that in mind, we asked drivers to pick their desired numbers and did our best to comply for season number assignments,” he added.

Among the assignments are many historic and modern Mazda Motorsports numbers:

  • The number 55, which was worn by the 1991 Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B as well as modern Mazda prototypes, will be driven by Spec MX-5 Challenge driver Grant West
  • The number 77, known for both modern Mazda prototype usage and use on the historic 252i RX-7 at Le Mans in 1979, will be driver by Spec MX-5 Challenge driver Ryan Yard
  • The number 70, which has appeared on Mazda prototypes in recent years, and on the Grand Am Mazda6 in GX class, will be driven by Spec MX-5 Challenge driver Tyler Quance
  • The number 68, used on the Mazda-Lola T616 Le Mans C2 class-winning prototype car of 1984, will be run by X-Factor/DMD Racing

mazda 77

Photo: Mazda Motorsports

In addition, Winding Road Racing, which manufactures and supports customer rental cars for the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series, will use four historic Mazda numbers on its cars:

  • The number 82, which was used on Mazda’s 1982 Le Mans effort with the 254i rotary GT car
  • The number 38, which famously ran in Japanese sport car racing, but is believed to have run at Le Mans as number 83, sister car to number 82
  • The number 56, which was a carryover from the 1990 Mazda Le Mans effort, and ran alongside the 1991 Le Mans winner, finishing P8
  • The number 18, which ran at Le Mans as the sister car to the winner, finishing P6 in 1991

mazda 56

Photo: Mazda Motorsports 

Martin noted “20 different pro and emerging talent drivers will run these four cars in 2020. We are excited that the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series can connect these excellent drivers to the legendary Mazda racing tradition.”

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Speaking about legendary tradition, David Cook, Manager, Mazda Motorsports Business Development, said “Mazda takes great pride in its Le Mans history and is proud of the two unique achievements that come with that history. Not only is Mazda the first Asian company to win the race, Mazda is also the only brand to do so with an engine not driven by traditional reciprocating pistons.”

The first race of the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Season is March 20-22 at historic Willow Springs International Raceway in southern California. Livestreaming from several cars will be available on the Spec MX-5 Facebook page.

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