SCCA Runoffs to Host 2023 Spec MX-5 Challenge Series National Championship

It was announced today that the National Championship event for the 2023 Spec MX-5 Challenge Series presented by Toyo Tires will be held at VIRginia International Raceway, in Alton, Virginia, during the 2023 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®, from September 23rd – October 3rd.  Set in the rolling hills of southern Virginia, the scenic and courage-testing VIR provides the perfect venue and an ideal location for the culmination of Spec MX-5 Challenge’s biggest season yet.

“2023 has seen exponential growth for Spec MX-5 Challenge, so the culmination of the Series’ biggest year to be held alongside the iconic SCCA National Championship Runoffs marks a massive milestone for the Series,” said Justin Cornelison, Series Manager for Spec MX-5 Challenge.  “Together with our partners Mazda Motorsports, Toyo Tires, and PAGID Racing, we are thrilled the Series will be under the spotlight on club racing’s biggest stage.”

The 2023 Spec MX-5 Challenge Series National Championship is the finale of an innovative competition format designed to maximize the talent at the Championship. The event will bring together Spec MX-5 Challenge Series racers from all across the country, seeing an expected cash-prize total of over $80,000.  The top ten drivers who qualify for the National Championship will carry over points of the position they finished in during the regular season, with the highest placing driver (1st) entering the National Championship with ten points, where the tenth-place driver will enter with one point.  All drivers will earn additional points from each race at the National Championship.  Each championship race is counted as double points on the same scale as the regular season, so the National Championship can be won by any driver who enters the event.

“At its core, the Runoffs serves to crown SCCA’s National Champions, but the event is far more than that,” said Deanna Flanagan, SCCA’s Director of Road Racing. “The Runoffs is a showcase for SCCA’s racing program at the highest level. It’s also an opportunity for Club members and spectators to travel to the event, and for those who can’t make it in person to enjoy the professional live video stream presented for free online. It’s important to the Club to do everything possible to provide high-level, exciting racing for all to watch, while also delivering the National Championship experience, which is why this year’s Runoffs will showcase Spec MX-5 Challenge races.

“SMX is a growing segment, with the class likely becoming part of the National SCCA Road Racing program at some point in the future,” Flanagan continued. “The inclusion of SMX in the 2023 Runoffs schedule is a fantastic addition that will provide another showcase of great SCCA racing at the event.”

The very first Spec MX-5 race car, seen here in 2019 at VIR.

In 2019, Spec MX-5, LLC and Mazda Motorsports brought the very first Spec MX-5 test mule to VIR to announce the new series and showcase the car for the 2020 season.  In just three short years, the Series has enjoyed continued growth with a clear path to become the next SCCA National Class.  Keeping true to the four key pillars of the Series has driven the Series to where it is today (affordability, reliability, tech-ability, and a really fun car to drive).  Since its inception, there have been over 100 Spec MX-5 conversion kits sold, has raced at over 25 of America’s best tracks, has had drivers ranging from 15-65 years old, and has enjoyed incredibly competitive racing with the closest finish being just .009 at the line. 

The path to becoming an SCCA National Class is clear, with the Series anticipating an influx of more builds and interest as the 2023 Spec MX-5 Challenge Series National Championship approaches.  The preliminary schedule can be viewed here, and find out more about Spec MX-5 Challenge here.

About Spec MX-5 Challenge
Positioned between Spec Miata and Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup, Spec MX-5 race cars are carefully developed by Mazda Motorsports for pace, affordability and fun. Spec MX-5 Challenge gives drivers a new rung on the ladder system toward pro racing that will yield over $100k in winnings to top participants.  Spec MX-5 Challenge is a cost-effective national series focused on driver development.

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