Spec MX-5 2019 Spring Update: Win Cars, More Power, Embedded Coaching

Features, Racing I By Tom Martin I June 05, 2019

The first two events of the 2019 Spec MX-5 season are in the history books. The drivers and sponsors and team have learned many things and we thought a few of these would be of interest to the Winding Road readership.

Speed And Power

First of all, the NC-based Spec MX-5 on Yokohama tires continues to impress in terms of pace. Spec MX-5 is run on SCCA and NASA weekends in run groups that have other classes. Our drivers have often imagined that these other classes would trounce the NC's, but that is rarely the case (yes, Trans Am and GT3 Cup cars are faster). Two examples may serve to make this point. At Laguna Seca, the Spec MX-5 drivers had some good battles with T2 Mustangs. Sure, Laguna Seca isn't a "power" track, but on the other hand the Mustangs have +200 hp. In addition, Spec MX-5 Challenge cars have, in both NASA and SCCA, been placed in classes where the Spec MX-5s are down 30-50 hp and are overweight by 100-200 lb. This is because we run a non-DOT tire and most of the non-DOT classes have higher power:weight than Spec MX-5 rules allow. And yet, in all of these events our drivers have finished on the podium of the class we've been assigned to. Some of that is driver talent, but even at COTA the balance of the Mazda chassis and the grip of the Yokohama tires have kept the Spec MX-5s toward the front of the entire field. With significantly more power in 2020, along with excellent raceability, the NC platform is proving to be a winner.

Embedded Coaching, What's That?

Second, one of the features of Spec MX-5 Challenge that drivers have come to appreciate is our use of embedded coaching. On each race weekend, the series has a driver who races a Spec MX-5 and also provides data and video coaching. This means that drivers with less experience (either with the tracks involved or road racing in general) have clear, regular guidance in their development paths. Drivers, of course, could hire a private coach, but typically this would cost about $4000 per weekend which is out of budget for many people. With Spec MX-5 Challenge, drivers have found that they get many of the benefits of private coaching. They get some additional advantages, as well, because the Spec MX-5 embedded coach has data from the same car under the same conditions (e.g. early morning practice or mid-afternoon qualifying).

Win A Car!

In talking to drivers from other classes who are curious about Spec MX-5 Challenge, we've seen that many of them were unaware of the Spec MX-5 Shootouts where they can run a single event weekend and earn points to win a Spec MX-5 race car at the end of the season. But, indeed, that is the deal. Details are here

Get In On The Action

After four races, Tom Martin III has a 6 point lead over Will Tally for the $70,000 season championship. Ricardo Arruda is the top points scorer so far in the Spec MX-5 Shootouts. But there is lots of racing still to come, so no one should be "spending" their prizes yet.

Spec MX-5 Challenge goes to Sonoma Raceway next, on June 14-16. Then we are at Road America in August, Utah Motorsports Campus in October and Road Atlanta in November. You can join us at any of those venues in your T4 NC or Playboy Cup car. Or you can rent a series-owned car and get full arrive & drive service. Details at specmx-5.com. Questions? [email protected].


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