What is the Spec MX-5 Challenge Regional Series?
The East and West Regional Series for 2020 are a set of regular season events (2 races each) held across the country at some of the most famous tracks — Thunderhill, VIR, Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Road Atlanta, Sebring International, Sonoma Raceway and more. Regional Series participants score points that carry over to the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship. Regional Series participants are guaranteed qualification for the Championship.
Regional Series drivers own their own cars and may service their own cars or engage a race shop to provide services.
How and where can I race a Spec MX-5?
The Spec MX-5 is intended to be the next great spec racing platform. It will be classified in SCCA and NASA for club racing, initially as part of existing classes. For example, the Spec MX-5 v2 will run in ST5 with NASA. It will also be classed in Champcar, AER and WRL for endurance racing. This will give racers hundreds of events each year in which to participate.
Regional Series drivers primarily participate in special marquee events organized by Mazda and Spec MX-5 Challenge. These marquee events during 2020 are designed to be especially attractive and thus have the highest car count. The marquee events also feed into a national championship for Spec MX-5, with an expected $100,000 in prize money.
Regional Series drivers will compete alongside drivers in the National Series and Invitational Series marquee events. Club racers who are not participating in any of the Championship Series are also expected to attend. The objective is to have 15 or more Spec MX-5 cars racing at each marquee venue.
The Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship will be held in the fall of 2020. It will bring together the top points qualifiers in the Spec MX-5 Regional Series, Invitationals and National Series. Each driver will carry over points from his or her qualifying races. Carryover points plus those scored in the Championship races will determine the 2020 season champion. $100,000 in prizes are expected to be awarded, and drivers will also be eligible to be selected by Mazda for the MRT24 Shootout.
What is the racing schedule for the series?
The regular season is expected to start in May and culminate in the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship in October or November. The exact schedule awaits detailed event scheduling by Spec MX-5 partners SCCA and NASA.
East Regional Series
April: Summit Point Raceway (SCCA)
May: VIRginia International Raceway (SCCA)
June: Charlotte Motor Speedway (SCCA)
July: Watkins Glen International (SCCA, pending exact dates)
July: Road Atlanta (SCCA)
August: Sebring International Raceway (SCCA)
Regional participants need only run four of these six events.
West Regional Series
April: Thunderhill Raceway (NASA)
June: west coast track (tbd)
September: Sonoma Raceway (NASA)
October: Buttonwillow Raceway Park (NASA)
Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship
October/November: Road Atlanta (SCCA) or CoTA (tbd)
If I’m racing with National Series drivers, Invitational Series drivers and club racers, how are points awarded?
Regional Series drivers are awarded regular season points toward the Championship separately from Regional Series drivers. Club racers do not score points for the Championship. So, in a sense, each regular season race involves two races: one against other National Series drivers (for regular season points) and another against all Spec MX-5 drivers (for position in that specific race).
At the end of the regular season, Regional Series drivers in the East and separately in the West are ranked based on their points totals. The top ranking East Regional Series driver will be awarded 19 carryover points, the second ranked driver will be awarded 18 carryover points and so on. The same ranking and point system is applied to West Regional Series drivers. These carryover points, plus points awarded for the Championship races, will determine the podium for the Championship. At the Championship, Regional Series drivers will be competing for points with National Series drivers as well as qualified Invitational drivers.
Can I run in a second run group in another class (“Double Dip”) at regular season events?
As a general rule, yes!
The series is working with SCCA and NASA officials to make this possible at each event. There may be times where NASA or SCCA schedule limitations do not allow this. Also, additional fees will apply for extra fuel, fluids, tires, set-up etc.