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 drivers
- as individual event entrants
- as shootout competitors
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 win a Spec MX-5 race car. Each Shootout is designed for particular kinds of drivers (young talent, women, novices, etc.).
What is the racing schedule for the Shootouts?
There are 5 shootouts (each with 2 races) planned as follows:
- Spec Racing Showdown: Circuit of The Americas, May 4-5 (NASA)
- Master’s Tournament: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, June 1-2 (SCCA)
- Young Driver Talent Search: Sonoma Raceway, June 15-16 (NASA)
- New Driver Examination: Road America, August 17-18 (SCCA)
- Women Winners: Utah Motorsports Campus, October 5-6 (NASA)
What prizes are offered?
Each Shootout event offers an award of one Spec MX-5 race car for the qualifying winner.
In each Shootout event, drivers will compete to win one of the Spec MX-5 cars currently running in the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series. 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 similar national 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?
For the Spec Racing Showdown, drivers must have a recent racing history in Spec Miata, SRF, Spec Boxster, Spec E30, Spec E46 or Spec 944, and be current SCCA or NASA full competition licensed.
For the Young Talent Search, drivers should be experienced karters, Teen Mazda Challenge Drivers, young Spec Miata drivers or SCCA or NASA competition licensed Sim Racers. Drivers must be aged 23 or under.
For the Master’s Tournament, drivers must be age 40 or older and full competition licensed with SCCA or NASA.
For the New Driver Examination, drivers must have earned their full competition licenses for the first time during 2017, 2018 or 2019. Drivers must have current NASA or SCCA full competition licenses.
For the Women Winners Competition, drivers must be women and full SCCA or NASA competition licensed.
In each case, drivers present an application to the series and the best qualified drivers will be selected. A racing resume, social media assets and ability to run the series in 2020, among other factors, will be taken into account.
If you fit one of the Shootout categories, but the date or location of the relevant Shootout doesn’t work for you, please contact the series.
How do I win a Shootout event?
Shootout winners will be based on a judged points system. This includes qualifying position, race finishing positions, 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. Successful winners will need a minimum of 37 points.
A minimum of 5 Shootout drivers per event are required. 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 6 per 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.