What is the Spec MX-5 Challenge National Series?
The National Series for 2020 is a set of four regular season events (8 races) held across the country at some of the most famous tracks — Road America, Laguna Seca, Road Atlanta and Sonoma Raceway. National Series participants score points that carry over to the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship. National Series participants are guaranteed qualification for the Championship.
National Series drivers own their own cars and are provided with full arrive & drive services at each event.
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 is 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 in STL for SCCA. It will be classed in Champcar, AER and WRL for endurance racing. This will give racers hundreds of events each year in which to participate.
National 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 $50,000 in prize money.
National Series drivers will compete alongside drivers in the East and West Regional 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 at Circuit of The Americas. 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 will start in May for National Series drivers and culminate in the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship in November. For the National Series Marquee events, Spec MX-5 is targeting superior tracks including:
July 25-26: Road Atlanta (SCCA)
August 15-16: Road America (SCCA)
August 29-30: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (SCCA)
October 10-11: Sonoma Raceway (NASA)
SPEC MX-5 CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIP
November: Circuit of The Americas (SVRA, which will honor SCCA or NASA licenses for this event)
What is the cost for the National Series?
The National Series is an arrive & drive offering for Spec MX-5 car owners. The regular season is priced at $6650 per event. This price includes pre-race prep, car storage, Series registration, car transport to and from events, brake pads, fuel, fluids, nitrogen, set-up adjustments, trackside repairs, crew chief, spares, tools, snacks, drinks, assistance with data. National drivers are expected to own their own cars. Details are available in a PDF here.
Are there payment plans available?
National Series drivers have the option of a 12 month payment plan which includes services for the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship. Payments for this plan are $3325 per month, starting in December 2019.
National Series drivers can also pre-pay the entire season, including the Championship. If paid in full by March 31, 2020, drivers pay $38,703 for the full season.
If I’m racing with Regional Series drivers and club racers, how are points awarded?
To score points in the National Series, drivers must run with an Approved National Series Shop (note: not all Preferred Shops for car building are Approved for the National Series) and must be pre-registered, with payments completed and contracts signed, for the events in which they run. Similarly, Approved Shops must have completed contracts with the Spec MX-5 Challenge, LLC to run National Series events and must have paid the requisite fees. Drivers or their shops on their behalf must declare their intent to run in the National Series and complete paperwork and fee submission prior to the first National Series event to have their points counted.
National Series drivers must sign a contract with their approved shop for the complete Series (4 regular season events and Championship). National Series drivers who fulfill their contracts will then be registered for the Marquee events in the National Series, assuming payment and contract compliance by their approved shop. This registration covers prizes and series administration for Spec MX-5 Challenge Series. Drivers must, however, additionally enter all National Series events via the sanctioning body in charge of the event track rental, safety and administration (e.g. SCCA, NASA, SVRA).
National 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).
Note that to score points, National Series drivers must run with an approved Race Shop and have their Series registration fees paid prior to the start of the National Series season.
Original (pre-COVID-19) concept, which is simply reduced, with some alternative tracks:
At the end of the regular season, all National Series drivers are ranked based on their points totals. The top ranking National Series driver will be awarded 60 carryover points, the second ranked driver will be awarded 59 carryover points and so on. These carryover points, plus points awarded for the Championship races, will determine the podium for the Championship. At the Championship, National Series drivers will be competing for points with Regional 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.