SimRacing Challenge FAQ

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2020 Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge
Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge created? 

Spec MX-5 Challenge is designed as a pro driver development program with the aim of assisting drivers to learn, grow and advance in professional road racing. Virtual motorsports is quickly becoming an important rung on the driver-development ladder. We believe it is important to create a simulator racing path toward road racing, just as Spec MX-5 Challenge has established a bridge between amateur and professional racing and to that end we have created a parallel series, the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge.

Wait, what is Spec MX-5 Challenge?

The Spec MX-5 Challenge Series is a pro road racing championship that bridges between successful club classes like SCCA/NASA Spec Miata on one hand, and pro series like Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup on the other hand. Drivers in Spec MX-5 Challenge compete in NC-generation Mazda Spec MX-5 race cars, travelling to tracks like Road America, VIR, Laguna Seca, Circuit of The Americas and Road Atlanta. Over $100,000 in prize money is on offer, helping drivers advance their careers.

Okay, then what is Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge?

The Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge is a competitive and professional simulator racing series utilizing the iRacing Motorsports simulation platform.  iRacing is a subscription-based service and is one of the most popular and realistic online motorsports simulation platforms available. 

What is the 2020 Regular Season Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge schedule?

schedule 3.10.20

How do these tracks relate to the real-world Spec MX-5 Challenge tracks?

They are almost identical. Fortunately, the iRacing platform includes a wide selection of US pro tracks and almost every track on the 2020 Spec MX-5 Challenge schedule is available for use in the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge series. 

What is the typical schedule for an event?

Each event schedule is set up as follows:

  • 7:00 PM EST – 90-min open practice (optional)
  • 8:30 PM EST – 15-min open qualifying for Race 1
  • 8:45 PM EST – 20-min Race 1
  • 9:05 PM EST – 15-min open practice/Race 2 registration
  • 9:20 PM EST – 20-min Race 2

What car will be used on iRacing for the series?

In keeping with the driver-development theme of the Spec MX-5 Challenge, the virtual series will use iRacing’s 2015 (NC) MX-5 Cup car.  This car is almost identical dynamically to the real-world Spec MX-5 car. Remaining true to the ‘spec-series’ concept of the Spec MX-5 Challenge, the SimRacing Challenge will provide participants with a fixed vehicle setup file prior to each event, keeping the emphasis on driving skills.

Are there prizes for the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge?

  • As part of a driver development ladder, we want to assist drivers in their motorsports careers. The season grand prize is therefore designed to help drivers move up the racing ladder. The top 20 season points holders will compete for the 2020 Spec MX-5 Challenge SimRacing Series championship at the season finale event at Circuit of the Americas on 08.05.20.

The championship winner may choose one of the following prizes:

  • Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Invitation.  Drive a Spec MX-5 Challenge Series race car in one of the 2021 invitational events.  This includes a one-day race entry, a Spec MX-5 Challenge race car, Fuel, Tires (scrub and rain), fluids, brake pads, mechanic, tools, wear and tear repairs, set up and break-down, light snacks and liability insurance. This prize is valued at $5,000.
  • Spec MX-5 High Performance Driving Experience (HPDE). Drive a Spec MX-5 Challenge Series race car during a track day, with race team support, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. This includes a one-day HPDE entry at COTA, a Spec MX-5 Challenge race car, Fuel, Tires (scrub and rain), fluids, brake pads, mechanic, tools, wear and tear repairs, set up and break-down, light snacks and liability insurance.  This prize is valued at $5,000.
  • Wheel-to-Wheel Competition Licensing School. Participate in LevelUp Racing’s flagship 2-Day school at any available location.  The competition licensing school is accredited by the SCCA and the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs. LevelUp Racing provides you with all of the tools you’ll need to go racing and develop your skills in real cars. The classroom and on-track exercises cover subjects including vehicle dynamics; the racing line; heel/toe single- and double-clutch downshifting; braking; passing; racing starts; and an introduction to data analysis. You will be furnished with a Spec-Miata race cars that are and maintained at the school by Advanced Autosports, one of the biggest and most respected Spec-Miata prep shops in the country. This prize is valued at $3,450.

Sim-racing industry leader, Ricmotech will also award Championship prizes:

  • $75 Ricmotech Gift Code to 1st Place in the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge Series Championship
  • $50 Ricmotech Gift Code to 2nd Place in the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge Series Championship
  • $25 Ricmotech Gift Code to 3rd Place in the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge Series Championship

In addition, each regular season race winner will receive a $25 store credit courtesy of series sponsor Ricmotech High Performance Sim -Racing Equipment.

How are the series points awarded? 

For each regular season race (2 x races per event), points are awarded to the top-20 finishers.  1st place is awarded 20 points, 2nd place is awarded 19 points and so on through to P20. At the conclusion of the 8 regular season events, drivers will be ranked in order of regular points adjusted for dropping the 2 (two) worst results for that driver during the regular season. 40 carryover points will be awarded to the overall adjusted points leader, 38 carryover points to 2nd place in adjusted regular season points, 36 carryover points to 3rd place in adjusted regular season points, and so on through P20. all other positions receive zero carryover points.

For the championship races, points will be awarded as in each regular season race, with 20 points for 1st, 19 for 2nd, 18 for 3rd, etc. The championship winner will be the driver with the highest combination of  carryover points and championship race points. For example, if a driver finishes 5th in the regular season, he or she would receive 30 carryover points. If he or she finishes 1st in championship race 1, she would earn an additional 20 points. If she finished 3rd in championship race 2, she would earn an additional 18 points. Adding 30 + 20 + 18, yields 68 total points. If that were the highest total points tally of any driver, she would be declared the championship winner. 

Will races be streamed so that my friends can watch me win? 

Each race will offer a live-stream broadcast by SYMTV:

  • Includes 2 commentators/producers
  • Streamed to the Winding Road Magazine YouTube channel: (https://www.youtube.com/user/windingroadmagazine) with over 577k subscribers!
  • Real-time analysis and replays
  • Timing and scoring graphics
  • Pre & post-race interviews

 How do I enter the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge? 

Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge participants must be an iRacing subscriber with a C road racing license or better, an SR of 2.0 or better and an iRating of 1,700 or better.  There is a maximum of 50 We are capping the number of participants at 50.

If you’d like to be considered for the 2020 season you can submit your application HERE and if accepted you’ll receive an email from the league admin and an invitation to join the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge iRacing league in iRacing.

There is no entry fee or cost for you to participate in the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge (other than the iRacing subscription and content).