Spec MX-5 Shootout FAQ
What are the Spec MX-5 Shootouts?
Drivers may compete in Spec MX-5 Challenge events in three ways:
- as full-season Championship competitors
- as individual event Shootout competitors
- as individual event test & tune drivers
The Shootouts are single competitive event weekends (qualifying and two races) to identify talented drivers who are interested in racing Spec MX-5 cars in 2020 and beyond. In each event drivers compete to earn points to win a Spec MX-5 race car.
(The test & tune scenario is for drivers who own their own SCCA T4 or NC generation MX-5 Cup car and want to run it alongside Spec MX-5 at an event. There are no Challenge or Shootout points earned by test & tune drivers and no prize money on offer. But the racing is still fun!)
What is the racing schedule for the Shootouts?
There are 5 Shootout qualifiers (each with 2 races) planned as follows:
- Circuit of The Americas, May 4-5 (NASA)
- WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, June 1-2 (SCCA)
- Sonoma Raceway, June 15-16 (NASA)
- Road America, August 17-18 (SCCA)
- Utah Motorsports Campus, October 5-6 (NASA)
What prizes are offered?
At the end of the 2019 Spec MX-5 Challenge season, a Spec MX-5 v1 race car will be awarded to the qualifying shootout winner. These cars are valued at $25,000. Winning drivers will be required to compete in the 2020 Spec MX-5 Challenge. Other restrictions for specific events may apply.
The Shootout winner may also qualify to participate in the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Championship.
Why Would I Want to Enter A Shootout?
There are several reasons. The first is a chance to benchmark your driving against other nationally-ranked drivers. The second is the embedded coaching that is an intrinsic part of the series and gives you feedback on your developmental needs. Third is the opportunity to win a car of substantial value. And fourth, Spec MX-5 racing is pretty darn exciting!
What does a Shootout event cost?
Shootout events are offered on a Full Arrive & Drive with Car basis. This costs $9000 per event, the same as these services cost for full-season drivers. The full arrive & drive package includes use of a series-owned car (i.e. race car rental), transport, prep, maintenance parts, entry fees, tires, fuel, pads, setup, trackside repairs and more.
What drivers are eligible for the series?
Drivers must be full competition licensed with the sanctioning body for the event (NASA or SCCA).
Prior to each event, drivers present an application to the series and the best qualified drivers will be selected. A maximum of 4 drivers will be selected for a given event. A racing resume, social media assets and ability to run the series in 2020, among other factors, will be taken into account.
How do I win a Shootout event?
The Shootout winner will be based on a judged points system. This includes qualifying position, race finishing positions, finishing position relative to full-season drivers, consistency, clean driving and presentation. 20 points are awarded for 1st place, 19 for 2nd, 18 for 3rd and so on. Points will be awarded in competition with full-season and other Spec MX-5 Challenge participants. Bonus points will be awarded to shootout participants for pole position, contact avoidance, teamwork and social media skills. A minimum of 37 points must be earned to be considered for the Shootout judging.
A maximum of 4 Shootout drivers per event are allowed. And, it is unlikely but possible that no driver among the shootout participants will demonstrate sufficient skills and points for the judges to award a prize.
How Many Drivers Will I Be Competing Against?
We have capped the number of shootout participants at 4 per event. We estimate that 10 or fewer drivers will compete for the Shootout, since some drivers will drive in more than one event. This number gives each participant a reasonable shot at winning and allows the series to get to know, closely support and observe each driver.
What Can I Do With My Spec MX-5 Race Car If I Win One?
The current Spec MX-5 v1 race car is the basis of the 2020 v2 car being developed now by Mazda and its partners as the basis for a new class of high performance car for NASA, SCCA and endurance club racing. The v1 car will be easily upgraded to v2 status for 2020.
For 2020, the Spec MX-5 Challenge will offer a series of pro-style events to complement the revised car. These events are currently being planned, but are likely to include a season championship as well as a series of focused shootouts so that drivers have fun and rewarding ways to compete in their Spec MX-5 race cars.
Just as important, Spec MX-5 Challenge will continue its focus on driver development. By creating national venues that draw top competitors, Spec MX-5 Challenge offers a simple way for drivers to benchmark themselves. This is often a critical first step in setting driver development goals. In addition, Challenge participants in 2020 should be offered embedded coaching and data services, so that they get direct and immediate feedback on their driving practices from active participants in Spec MX-5 racing. This kind of feedback is crucial to moving up the learning curve. The embedded model also allows for lower cost coaching than private 1:1 approaches.