In Photos: 2023 Spec MX-5 Challenge Coast-to-Coast Regular Season Finale

Sonoma Photos Courtesy | Steve Bohac Photography
Sebring Photos Courtesy | Mehmet Kara

The Spec MX-5 Challenge Series presented by Toyo Tires closed out its 2023 regular season over Labor Day weekend, seeing twenty-five cars battle it out at two iconic American racetracks on both sides of the country. Round 14 made a return to Sonoma Raceway on the West Coast, with Round 15 heading to Sebring International Raceway located in the heart of Central Florida, with both racetracks seeing some of the most intense racing of the 2023 season.

Credit: Steve Bohac
Credit: Mehmet Kara

Wyatt Couch would continue his 2023 season-long dominance, seeing him take both wins on the West Coast to earn his incredible sixth & seventh 1st place trophies. Fierce battles for 2nd place would be where the action was during the weekend, however. After missing out on pole position to Couch earlier in the morning by an astonishing .001 second, Series Rookie David Tooker would successfully keep Series Veteran Wes Mollno at bay to earn his impressive sixth podium of his debut campaign in P2, with Mollno crossing the line just .200 seconds behind in P3. Sunday’s race brought another extraordinary skirmish for the final podium places, with a three-car fight for P2. After another close qualifying session with the top-5 all within .5 seconds, rookies Uthman Alaoui & Tooker would clash with Mollno, swapping positions between the three of them up until the final lap. Alaoui would proudly accept his first SMX trophy after surviving a late charge by Mollno to finish 2nd, where Will Schrader was promoted to 3rd after a post-race penalty was handed to Tooker for an unfortunate incident with Mollno on the last lap.

David Tooker, Wyatt Couch, and Wes Mollno
Uthman Alaoui, Wyatt Couch, and Will Schrader. Credit Steve Bohac

As palm trees swayed in increasingly temperate winds, Sebring International Raceway saw some of the most intense racing of the season.  The N³ threat of Nathan Nicholson, Noah Harmon, and Nathan Saxon put on an amazing battle as they switched positions several times in traffic.  Will Robusto came ever so close but was stopped by transmission problems on Saturday, as the race finished with Nicholson P3, Harmon P2, and Saxon P1.  Sunday’s green-white-checker finish counted Nicholson in P3, Saxon in P2, and Harmon on the top step. A special thanks to all the workers in the Central Florida Region for braving hot and humid temperatures and ensuring the class could finish the season with green flag laps after a handful of incidents on Sunday.

Nathan Nicholson, Nathan Saxon, and Noah Harmon.
Nathan Nicholson, Noah Harmon, and Nathan Saxon. Credit Mehmet Kara

With a fantastic regular season of racing in the books, SMX drivers & teams are now preparing for the Big Show, where over 20 SMX drivers will head to VIRginia International Raceway at the end of September for the 2023 Spec MX-5 Challenge Series National Championship. Joining the SCCA Runoffs for the biggest weekend of club racing and over $100,000 in prize money on the line, this is shaping up to be the most spectacular event in Spec MX-5 history.

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