News Series

2021 SMX News: Spec MX-5 New Platform For Teen Mazda Challenge

Spec MX-5 Challenge and the Spec MX-5 platform are expanding support for karters moving up the ladder to sports car racing. Spec MX-5 Challenge has, since its inception in 2018, attracted kart racers like Matt Million, Harry Voigt, Noah Grey and Joey Atanasio. Each of these racers has tasted success in Spec MX-5, along with plenty of new challenges to keep them developing.

For 2021, Spec MX-5 will be an approved platform for NASA’s successful Teen Mazda Challenge program. For drivers attracted by a range of epic tracks and the opportunity to win meaningful prize money, this new option could be very helpful. NASA’s press release is below.

Karter Joey Atanasio runs with East Region Champion Tyler Quance and Global MX-5 Cup winner Drake Kemper

NASA and Mazda Expand Teen Mazda Challenge Program

Teen Mazda Challenge Drivers now can Race in Spec Miata or Spec MX-5

Las Vegas, Sept. 23, 2020 — NASA’s Teen Mazda Challenge has long been a bridge between karting and Mazda’s ladder to professional motorsports. Now, Teen Mazda Challenge drivers can choose to race in one of two classes: Spec Miata or the new Spec MX-5 Challenge Series. 

Beginning with the 2021 season, for the California regions, young drivers from ages 13 to 20 can choose from the two classes to go with the chassis that best suits them. An active class since 1999, Spec Miata is as competitive as ever, with large fields and close racing. Launched in 2019, Mazda’s latest contribution to spec-class racing, Spec MX-5 uses the third-generation platform of the Mazda MX-5.

“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Mazda in our Teen Mazda Challenge program,” said NASA Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “The Spec MX-5 platform is yet another ideal way for karters to get into sports car racing and push their careers toward the professional ranks.”

Spec MX-5 offers a tight rules structure in terms of engine and chassis modifications and the largest prize offerings in club racing drawing some of the toughest competition club racing has to offer.

“We at Mazda are thrilled at the prospect of growing amateur racing and discovering the next generation of professional drivers,” said David Cook, Business Development Manager for Mazda Motorsports. “TMC drivers in Spec Miata and Spec MX-5 Challenge will earn automatic nominations to compete in the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup shootout, which has helped more than a dozen talented drivers run at the professional sports car level.  

More information on the series will be available soon. 


Teen Mazda Challenge:

Spec MX-5:

Check out the Teen Mazda Challenge video:

Media Contact:

Brett Becker

NASA Communication Director

[email protected]


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