We have a group of exciting changes in store for the 2021 Spec MX-5 Challenge season. Here is a summary update (see the FAQ for more info):
From the two regions that we had in 2018-2020, we are expanding to 5 regions in 2021. Tracks are shown as a reference.
More Marquee Events
We ran 7 events in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and have expanded to 21 Marquee events for 2021, plus the National Championship:
West Region (Regional with Continental Series, Invitational and Team Option):
- Crossover Event: Utah Motorsports Campus, March 26-28 (NASA) – with Southwest Region
- Buttonwillow Raceway Park, April 17-18 (NASA)
- Laguna Seca, May 28-29 (SCCA)
- Sonoma Raceway, June 26-27 (NASA)
- Thunderhill Raceway, July 31-August 1 (NASA)
Southwest Region (Regional with Continental Series, Invitational and Team Option):
- Crossover event: Utah Motorsports Campus, March 26-28 (NASA) – with West Region
- Eagles Canyon Raceway, May 8-9 (SCCA)
- May 22-23, Pueblo Motorsports Park (NASA)
- Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, June 5-6 (NASA)
- Circuit of The Americas, July 24-25 (NASA)
- High Plains Raceway, August 14-15 (NASA)
- Motorsport Ranch Houston, September 4-5 (SCCA)
- High Plains Raceway, October 2-3 (NASA)
North Central Region (Regional with Continental Series, Invitational and Team Option):
- Blackhawk Farms Raceway, May 1-2 (SCCA)
- Road America, July 10-11 (SCCA)
- Gingerman Raceway, July 23-25 (SCCA)
- Crossover Event: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 28-29 (NASA) – with Northeast and Southeast
Northeast Region (Regional with Continental Series, Invitational and Team Option):
- Crossover Event: Summit Point, April 24-25 (SCCA) – with Southeast
- Lime Rock Park, June 11-12 (SCCA)
- Crossover Event: Watkins Glen International, July 3-4 (SCCA) – with Southeast
- Crossover Event: Mid-Ohio, August 28-29 (NASA) – with North Central and Southeast
Southeast Region (Regional with Continental Series, Invitational and Team Option):
- Virginia International Raceway, May 8-9 (SCCA) – with Northeast
- Road Atlanta, July 24-25 (SCCA)
- Sebring International, September 4-5 (SCCA)
- Note “Crossover” options for 4th points event: Mid-Ohio (with North Central and Northeast), Watkins Glen (with Northeast), Summit Point (with Northeast)
Championship (Regional, Continental Series, Invitational and Team Option qualifiers):
- Road Atlanta ARRC, November 5-7 (SCCA)
More Ways to Score Points
We have created more ways to run races and rack up points. These Series are aimed at different driver needs.
- Regional Series. In five regions of the country (Northeast, Southeast, North Central, Southwest and West), drivers will compete in as many Marquee events as they wish, and their regional results and National Championship carryover points will be based on points scored in their best 6 races. Drivers may run more than the necessary 3 events/6 races and this can include out-of-region events. A minimum of 4 races in a region must be counted, with a maximum of two races from out of region counted toward the Regional Championship.
- Continental Series. Drivers may create a Spec MX-5 Challenge calendar and set of tracks to suit their needs. Continental Series drivers must run in a minimum of 3 regions and run at least 5 regular season events. 8 races are counted toward the regular season championship and National championship carryover points.
- Invitationals. All Spec MX-5 Challenge Marquee events will feature Invitationals. Drivers may apply for and run single events together with Regional, Continental and Team Series drivers. Invitationals are done on a full arrive and drive basis with support from designated pro race shops using rental Spec MX-5s.
- Team Option. The unique Spec MX-5 Challenge Team Option allows drivers to share a car and still compete against Continental, Invitational and Regional drivers. Two-driver teams split the cost of one car and the other expenses for that car as they see fit. One of the drivers (“driver A”) runs the car in the SMX group on a weekend; the other driver (“driver B”) runs the car in the STL or ST5 group. At Championship, each driver runs one of the two races.
New Points System
We have revised the points system so that all drivers at each event are competing with one another. Regional drivers will run together with Continental Series drivers, Invitational drivers and Team Option drivers, with all drivers competing on the same points scale in each event.
At each Marquee event in the SMX class, all drivers — Regional, Continental, Invitational and Team Option — will compete for points on the same 100 point scale. The driver who finishes Race 1 in first place, regardless of series, will earn 100 points. The driver who finishes P2, will score 95 points. P3 earns 92, P4 earns 90, and P5 and beyond getting 1 point less per position: 89, 88, 87 etc.
The regular season points ranking and podium are determined separately for each Regional, Continental, Invitational and Team Option (8 total podiums). This is done by taking the average points earned by each driver or team.
Average points earned during the regular season are also treated as carryover points for the National Championship. In addition, drivers earn 1 bonus point per registered race.
Revised Prize Money
We expect prize money for the National Championship to exceed $70,000 with these key prizes:
• $30,000 for P1
• $20,000 for P2
• $10,000 for P3
• $5000 for Masters (>43) champion
• $5000 for Emerging Talent (<23) champion
In addition there will be extensive contingency money, regular season prizes and driver support (e.g. tow funds).