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 and STL for SCCA. 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 Spec MX-5 Challenge 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. Spec MX-5 Challenge races will be run in a separate run group from STL or ST5 races. The Spec MX-5 Challenge races events also are where points are scored that 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 in the Spec MX-5 Challenge races 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 March and culminate in the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship in November.
East Regional Series
April 25-26: Summit Point Raceway (SCCA)
May 9-10: VIRginia International Raceway (SCCA)
June 6-7: Charlotte Motor Speedway (SCCA)
July 4-5: Watkins Glen International (SCCA, pending exact dates)
July 25-26: Road Atlanta (SCCA)
September 5-6: Sebring International Raceway (SCCA)
Regional participants need only run four of these six events.
West Regional Series
March 21-22: Willow Springs (SCCA)
May 23-25: Thunderhill Raceway (SCCA)
August 29-30: Laguna Seca (SCCA)
September 12-13: Utah Motorsports (NASA Championship, points scored in ST5)
October 10-11: Sonoma Raceway (NASA)
Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship
November: Circuit of The Americas (SVRA, licenses from SCCA and NASA will be honored)
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 other drivers. Club racers do not score points for the Championship. So, in a sense, each regular season race involves two races: one against other Regional Series drivers (for regular season points) and another against all Spec MX-5 drivers (for a non-points position in that specific race).
Regional season points will be assigned for each race finish as follows:
1st – 10, 2nd – 9, 3rd – 8, 4th – 7, 5th – 6, 6th – 5, 7th – 4, 8th – 3, 9th – 2, 10th – 1
A bonus point will be awarded for starting each Regional race. A maximum of 6 races will be scored toward the Championship, counting the best 6 finishes each driver has.
Drivers may not combine points from East and West Regional events.
An East Regional Champion and a West Regional Champion will be declared. Regular season finishing order will be established by adding the points from each driver’s best 6 races to bonus points from up to 6 races. The highest point total (for 6 races) will be awarded first place for the regular season, the second highest will be awarded second place, and so on.
Championship Carryover Points will be the sum of the race points and bonus points (best 6 races) earned in the regular season. Thus, a driver who has run 10 races will carry over the sum of the points from his or her best 6 races including up to 6 bonus points.
Any driver who is registered for Regionals, and runs at least one race, will be qualified for the Championship.
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.