2023 Spec MX-5 Challenge Sporting Regulations

Spec MX-5 Challenge Sporting Regulations

2023 EDITION v3.5 ©




Spec MX-5 Challenge, LLC

2211 Denton Dr Suite J

Austin, TX 78758


I.        GENERAL

A.       Spec MX-5 Challenge

Sporting Regulations for Spec MX-5 Challenge are a combination of the rules set forth by Spec MX-5 Challenge and the hosting sanctioning body for each Event Weekend (NASA CCR, SCCA CGR, etc.).  The rules below are specific Spec MX-5 Challenge rules.  If a rule doesn’t appear below, refer to the hosting sanctioning body’s rule book for clarification.  If there is a conflict between Spec MX-5 Challenge rules and sanctioning body rules, the Spec MX-5 Challenge specific rules will be the default for the purposes of awarding points.

Within these Sporting Regulations, Spec MX-5 Challenge is sometimes referred to as “the Series”.

B.       Social Media Policy

Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort via digital applications or on the Internet, including; any social network, blog, podcast, journal or personal web site, whether or not associated or affiliated with Spec MX-5 Challenge, as well as any other form of electronic communication.  Even though these forums may seem informal, as a Competitor or Official of Spec MX-5 Challenge you are expected to act professionally always.  Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what is posted online.  Always be fair and courteous to others.  

Nevertheless, if you decide to post complaints or criticism, avoid using statements, photographs, video or audio that could reasonably be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparage others or that might constitute harassment or bullying.  Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment based on race, sex, disability, religion or any other status protected by law, rule or policy.  

Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and may subject you to disciplinary action up to and including suspension.  Make sure you are always honest and accurate when posting information or news, and if you make a mistake, correct it quickly.

C.       Spec MX-5 Challenge Executive Committee 

The Spec MX-5 Challenge Executive Committee has total executive authority over all Spec MX-5 Challenge Series operations and all matters of any nature pertaining to Spec MX-5 Challenge issues, except as otherwise stated in this subsection.  The Executive Committee will make judgments, definitions, determinations, clarifications, and settle all presented appeals.  The Executive Committee consists of the Series Manager, the Series Director, and a racing driver with extensive experience in both amateur & professional championship series.  The decisions of the Executive Committee are the final rulings and cannot be appealed. 

D.       Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Manager

The Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Manager has executive authority over the event weekend, for all matters of any nature pertaining to Spec MX-5 Challenge points issues.  The Series Manager will make judgments, definitions, determinations, and clarifications.  The decisions of the Series Manager can be appealed to the Executive Committee. 

E.       Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Ambassador

The Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Ambassador assigned to an event weekend is to assist and report to the Series Manager.  The Series Ambassador acts as a point of contact for Series competitors and Race Officials.  The Series Ambassador does not make any judgements pertaining to Spec MX-5 Challenge points issues.

F.        Sanctioning Body Race Director/Stewards 

The sanctioning body Race Director/Stewards will be set in place by the hosting sanctioning body pertaining to that race event.  These Race Director/Stewards will make judgments, definitions, determinations, and clarifications.  The decisions of these Race Director/Stewards can be appealed to the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Manager.  However, in some cases the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Manager does not have the authority to overrule the host sanctioning body (e.g. a ban on a driver for sanctioning body rules infractions, or a ban on a driver based on health considerations). 

G.       Series Competitors

No sign-up procedure is needed for Series competitors (drivers) to compete in the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series.  Spec MX-5 Challenge reserves the right to add more drivers to the Series at any given time.  However, drivers must comply with all sanctioning body requirements.            

NOTE: drivers must pay a separate points registration fee for each event, which must be done on the SpecMX-5.com website (here).

To compete for the regular season and/or overall National Championship, drivers must participate in a minimum of 4 (four) regular season events. 


A.       Car Specifications 

Cars running in the Spec MX-5 Challenge must meet the requirements for the NC-generation Mazda Spec MX-5 as described in the SCCA rules for STL class cars, when running with SCCA.  When running with NASA, cars must meet the ST5 rules published by NASA. 

In addition, cars must meet the Vehicle Technical Specification set by Mazda Motorsports and Spec MX-5 Challenge.  These supplementary rules are available on SpecMX-5.com under Competitor Info/Rules (here) and are incorporated by each sanctioning body into the supplemental rules for each race weekend.  In the event of a conflict between STL or ST5 rules or this document and Mazda VTS, the Mazda VTS will prevail for Spec MX-5 Challenge races. 

Cars running in the Spec MX-5 Challenge must have video recording capability and it must be functional during qualifying and race sessions.  The Series reserves the right to ask for and receive any video recording to be used for appeal decisions, and/or marketing purposes.  Failure to comply with a video request from the Series or having non-functioning video will be grounds for disqualification or penalty by the Series Manager.

A technical evaluation process for cars is available from the Series.  All judgements about compliance or non-compliance with Series rules are under the final discretion of the Spec MX-5 Series Manager. 

1.      Car Weight

Cars will have a minimum weight with driver to equalize overall weight.  This combined weight is 2,525 lb.

2.      Tires

Cars in the Spec MX-5 Challenge are limited to running 1 (one) new (sticker) set of tires per regular season event weekend during qualifying and races (not including any tests).  At the Championship Event, cars are allowed 2 (two) new (sticker) sets of tires for the event weekend during qualifying and races (not including any tests).  If a driver damages a tire or wheel, and there is a safety concern, the Series Manager may allow a used replacement tire.  The Series Manager will have final say in if a tire may be replaced or not.  Tires will be marked by the Series Manager/Ambassador before qualifying, or in impound after qualifying.

3.      Rain Tires

The decision to use or not to use rain tires is at the discretion of each driver for each race. 

4.      Radio

Radio communication is allowed during practice, qualifying and each race. 

5.      Spirit of Spec Racing

Any driver or crew member found tampering with a car during impound, tech, or after tech to gain an advantage will result in the driver being suspended immediately from the Series.  Penalties for technical infractions are specified in the technical rules.

B.       Car Livery 

All cars must have decals as required by the sanctioning body for each race.  These are specified in the GCR for the relevant sanctioning body. 

In addition, to qualify for sponsor contingency money, points and prizes, cars must carry the following decals in the specified positions, which are available as a kit from Mazda Motorsports.  Failure to comply may result in race disqualification. 

  • Mazda logos on rear fenders and front bumper (may appear on bumper cover or on bumper structure cover plate) 
  • Toyo Tires logos on front and rear bumper cover corners and on rocker panels 
  • Pagid Racing logos on rocker panels 
  • Spec MX-5 Challenge logos on windshield eyebrow, upper rear section of front fenders, and rear center bumper cover
  • Winding Road Racing contingency decals near the rocker panel trailing edge
  • QR code on both the driver & passenger b-pillar
  • Spec MX-5 Challenge logo, driver name, driver number on dashboard
  • Car numbers must be requested (here).  Returning competitors/teams will have priority, with new requests being allocated on a first come/first serve basis. 

For consistency, the following guidelines are preferred: 

  • Note: ideally car minimum weight should appear on the rocker panels directly below the number plate (if used) 
  • The number plate is optional, but preferred 
  • Car numbers on driver’s right side of windshield, center rear section of front fenders and rear license plate recess 
  • Driver’s surname on windshield below number 

An example of these logos and other decals with approximate placement is shown in this diagram below.  For driver convenience, these Series-required decals are available as a kit from Mazda Motorsports.  Similarly, vector art is available on the SpecMX-5.com site (here):

C.       Racing Suit Patches

All drivers are recommended to have the following logos displayed on their suit for the duration of each event.  Patches can be purchased from the Spec MX-5 website (here); embroidery is also acceptable in the correct size.  Vector art is available to download (here).

Left Chest 

  • Spec MX-5 Challenge – upper left chest 
  • Mazda – lower left chest

Right Chest 

  • Space for team name 
  • Toyo Tires 
  • Pagid Racing (optional) 
  • Sanctioning Body (NASA/SCCA/etc.) 


A.       Races

The format for each event weekend will be dictated by the hosting sanctioning body (SCCA, NASA etc.), but typically each event weekend will consist of 3 days on track as follows: 

  • Day 1: A test day (generally hosted by the track or sanctioning body) 
  • Day 2: One Qualifying session, and Race 1
  • Day 3: Race 2 

If possible, races may have a split start from other classes.  Spec MX-5 Challenge is a multiclass racing series.  No driver can gain an “unfair” advantage from an out of class competitor during qualifying or race sessions (ruled by Spec MX-5 Series Manager). 

B.       Qualifying and Starting Order  

The grid for Spec MX-5 Challenge Race 1 will be determined by the fastest lap for each driver in the designated qualifying session(s).  Laps may be discarded where track limit violations or other rules violations are found.  The Series Manager controls the final starting grid and may adjust for special situations including; on-track incidents and technical issues (e.g. timing & scoring technical issues).  In the event qualifying is not completed, grid order will be based on current Championship point standings. 

The grid for Spec MX-5 Challenge Race 2 will be set (if allowed by the sanctioning body) by the faster of: 

  • each driver’s fastest lap from the first qualifying session 
  • each driver’s fastest lap during Race 1 
  • each driver’s fastest lap from the second qualifying session (if there is one) 

C.       Testing 

The Series allows pre-season testing at tracks the Series will run during the season.  During the Spec MX-5 Challenge season, drivers may test at tracks either in-series or outside-of-series. 

D.       Drivers

Only drivers who have registered for Series points for an event weekend are allowed to drive during any on-track session (testing, qualifying, race).  Only one driver per car is allowed to participate in any session during the event weekend.


A.       Registration

Series competitors must register for regular season points in order to race in the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series.  Drivers must pay a Series registration fee to have their points recorded and to cover Series administrative costs via SpecMX-5.com (here).  This allows the Series to score points for competitors in regular season and championship events.  Failure to register for points in advance will result in a track ban by the Series Manager.  Competitors may contact the Series Manager for further clarification (here).

Points Registration is a separate activity from race entry. 

B.       Points Scoring

C.       Regular Season Points System

Series competitors must register for points in a minimum of 4 races (1 event weekend = 2 races).  Race entry occurs with the sanctioning body (i.e., SCCA or NASA and sometimes their designated entry management firms such as MotorSportReg.com) and incurs separate fees for racetrack rental and race administration. 

Series Competitors who have not registered their points in Spec MX-5 Challenge races are ineligible to enter and drive in any event.  To register for points, competitors must submit information and payment to Spec MX-5 Challenge, LLC.  There is a form on the SpecMX-5.com website for point registration (here).  Remember, point registration is a separate activity from race entry. 

Series competitors must register for points and race in a minimum of 4 events [1 event weekend = 2 races] to be qualified for the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championships (regular season and National).  In the event of the number of drivers wishing to attend the National Championship exceeds track capacity, event entry will be determined by points.

Registration for Spec MX-5 Challenge Series regular season events involves a fee of $300 per event (in advance).  Registration for the Championship requires a fee of $2,500, in advance. Note that Mazda offers a contingency payment for drivers who attend the Championship.  This is intended to defray the cost of points registration.  Each driver who attends the championship event will receive an award payout courtesy of Mazda in the amount of $2,000.

Points may be registered on SpecMX-5.com (here

D.       End of Season Ranking

Regular season points ranking is determined by the best 7 (seven) races of a season, which are counted towards your final points.

NOTE: For each event weekend there are 2 races. If you run 4 events, that is 8 races.  Of those 8 races, your best 7 races will count.  If you run more than 4 events, only your best 7 races will count towards final points.  If you are disqualified from any race(s) for any reason, the 0 points earned for that race(s) will automatically be counted towards your best 7 races. 

E.       Championship Event Points

Qualification for the Championship Event is automatic for all drivers who have participated in 4 Spec MX-5 Challenge race weekends during the season.  Due to track capacity limitations, in the unlikely event that more than 60 drivers wish to participate in the Championship, drivers with the top regular season points totals will have priority.  If fewer than 60 drivers from the regular season wish to compete, drivers from outside the series may request an exemption to compete at the Championship Event.  Such drivers will automatically qualify behind regular season drivers.  

The top-10 drivers who qualify for the Championship Event will enter the Championship Event with the carryover points of the position they finished in during the regular season [e.g., the highest placing driver (1st) will enter the Championship Event with 10 points, where the tenth-place driver (10th) will enter with 1 point].  All drivers will earn additional points from the races at the Championship Event.  Each Championship race is counted as double points on the same scale as the regular season.

Sanctioning body rules for flagging, contact, and aggressive driving will apply – subject to approval of the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Manager.  Track limits per sanctioning body and track will apply.

F.        Points Tie Breakers 

For the regular season Championship, the following criteria, in order, will be used until the tie is broken to determine podium for the regular season Championship: 

  • Most 1st places 
  • Most 2nd places 
  • Most 3rd places 
  • Most 4th places and so on until the tie is broken 

If the finishing position tiebreakers do not resolve the tie, then cumulative qualifying time delta in head-head races will be used to resolve the tie. 

In the event of a tie for regular season points, each tied Series competitor will be awarded the same number of carry over points to the overall Championship Event.  Such ties will be broken as a result of Championship competition or after the overall Championship. 

In the event of a tie for overall Championship points, after the Championship races have been run, the position will be decided upon the following criteria in this order until the tie is broken: 

  • Championship Event race points total (2 races) 
  • Carryover points 
  • Most 1st place finishes (combined regular season and Championship Event races) 
  • Highest finishing position in the final Championship Event races 

G.       Prize System

1.      Regular Season

Spec MX-5 Challenge regular season Champion payout maximums are planned as follows:

To earn a payout, drivers must participate in the Championship event.  At least one driver, if qualified, will also be selected at large by Mazda to receive a nomination to the MX-5 Cup Shootout.

These amounts are considered scholarships to be used for 2024 racing purposes in Mazda – pro or grassroots (e.g., to pay for Toyo Tires, Parts, entry fees).

2.      Championship Event

Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship Event payout maximums are planned as follows:

These amounts are considered scholarships to be used for 2024 racing purposes in Mazda – pro or grassroots (e.g., to pay for Toyo Tires, Parts, entry fees).

The Series reserves the right to alter these prizes at any time. 


A.       Driving Infractions 

Series competitors in Spec MX-5 Challenge are expected to race fairly and cleanly.  The hosting sanctioning body will use their standard procedures (refer to hosting sanctioning body’s rulebook and event supplemental regulations) to conduct the event, including driver infractions, flagging protocols, yellow flag procedures, etc.  Drivers must follow all of the hosting sanctioning body’s procedures, instructions, and directives. 

The Series Manager may add to, or reduce, any penalties assigned or not assigned by the hosting sanctioning body as deemed necessary for fair competition.  Similarly, the Series Manager may award or subtract points or take other actions independently or in contradistinction to the SCCA or NASA official rulings if that is the most-fair way to address infractions.  

Penalties will be issued based on severity of offense, from points reductions to position loss, up to and including suspension.  A warning may be issued when the Series lacks complete information.  Repeat offenders, including those on warning probation, will receive increasingly higher penalties, generally in the form of points reductions.  

1.      General

The SCCA (Appendix P of the GCR) and NASA (sections 25 and 26 of the CCR) have detailed explanations.  Other sections cover numerous important rules.

2.      Avoidable Contact

When two or more vehicles collide in a way so as to make notable damage or cause another car to deviate substantially from its chosen line

3.      Over-Aggressive Driving

Any driver displaying rough, careless, and/or irresponsible driving.

4.      Blocking

When a driver makes 2 (two) consecutive line changes to “protect” their line, impeding the vehicle that is trying to pass with each of the 2 (two) consecutive movements.  In addition, one clarification is that, although most responsibility for passing is placed on the overtaking car, abrupt changes of line during bump drafting or braking situations will be considered blocking.

5.      Bump Drafting

Bump drafting is allowed between Spec MX-5 Series competitors.  However, partaking in bump drafting with an out of class car on track to gain an advantage is not allowed (i.e., a Spec MX-5 car bumping an out of class car, or an out of class car bumping a Spec MX-5 car).

B.       Technical Infractions

Technical infractions should be addressed as specified in the Vehicle Technical Specification and the Terms and Conditions for Mazda Team Support Program.  

Series competitors must be able to provide video of incidents and offer data collected from on-board systems to ensure fair driving and compliance.

1.      Level 1

Race disqualification, fine no greater than $1,000.

2.      Level 2

Up to race disqualification, fine no greater than $500.

3.      Level 3

Up to race disqualification, fine no greater than $1,000.

4.      Level 4

Up to race disqualification, fine no greater than $500.

C.       Protests

A protest is the method to challenge a ruling on a driving infraction.  Any deviation from the below section will result in an automatic rejection of the protest:

1.      Filing

Series competitors shall notify the Series Manager via email (here) within 1 (one) hour of a session completing – stating their intent to challenge an on-track incident. 

2.      Evidence

Series competitors shall provide all supporting materials (which includes; clear explanation of the infraction, which rule was specifically broken, video evidence showing the infraction, and any data evidence) by 12:00pm (Noon) Pacific Time (PT) the following Monday after a race weekend.

D.       Appeals

Series penalties (for driving or technical infractions) may be appealed to the Spec MX-5 Challenge Executive Committee via email (here) up to seven (7) days after a penalty decision is rendered.  

%d bloggers like this: