November 2014

Jonathan Goodale’s 12A-powered GT-Lite MX-5 carried him to a podium finish at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. One of the great things about SCCA’s Grand Touring classes, more commonly known as GT, is the versatility. With tube frame chassis covered by fiberglass, aluminum or carbon fiber body panels, the cars can be chameleons – one kind […]”

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Ben Anderson won the NASA Eastern States Championships Performance Touring E title in a ’91 RX-7. Ben Anderson may not have lived the dream of being a professional racing driver, but he’s been fortunate to have found a few people that are happy to let him drive their cars and even has a National Auto […]”

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Ducts designed to get maximum air to the front brakes can help prevent a mushy pedal. There’s nothing worse than a mushy brake pedal, especially as you hit the braking zone at the end of a long straight, like into Turn 1 at Road America. A mushy brake pedal is usually caused by overheating brakes […]”

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Aaron Telitz, the 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda Rookie of the Year, along with Skip Barber racer Michai Stephens, was chosen to represent the U.S. in the Team USA Scholarship, which is supported by Mazda and many others in the motorsports industry. They spent a few weeks in the UK, racing at […]”

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All three ladder series – Indy Lights, Pro Mazda Championship and USF2000 Championship – to feature expanded calendars. As interest continues to grow in the 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the new Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights car, the Mazda Road to Indy schedules recently announced will highlight the month of May in Indianapolis. […]”

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Field Narrowed to Eight Racers competing for the biggest prize in club racing, the $75,000 scholarship to compete in the Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich. The eight finalists for the Mazda Club Racer Shootout, which awards the biggest prize in club racing, have been named.  Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one […]”

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Team USA Scholarship winner Michai Stephens relates his experience racing in the UK and some of the lessons he learned. Michai Stephens was one of two young American racers chosen to represent the U.S. in the 2014 Team USA Scholarship program, which sends deserving young racers to compete overseas. The program is supported by Mazda […]”

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David Ferguson’s Protoype 2 Van Diemen RFS-03 lived much of its life as a Sports 2000 before being converted to a very fast, Mazda MZR-powered P2 car. When SCCA decide to consolidate and rearrange its sports racing classes into Prototype 1 and Protoype 2, the idea was to get more – and more varied – […]”

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An update on Spec Miata Intent, Direction and regulations. TO: Spec Miata Participants FR: SCCA, NASA, Mazda Motorsports, and the Spec Miata Working Group RE: Class Intent, Direction and Regulations DT: November 14, 2014 In the spirit of open communication, we wanted to update you with where we are at in the process layed out […]”

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Taking an MX-5 into Pirelli World Challenge’s new TCA class proved a wise move. Pirelli World Challenge created its new “A” classes with the idea of bringing more privateers into its series; it seems to have worked. Ernie Francis Jr. made the jump from a TCB – World Challenge’s B-Spec class – Mazda2 to a […]”

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Mazda racers take home championships from NASA Western States Championships at Sonoma Raceway. Kyle Loustaunau is SM Champ Spec Miata certainly looked like it was Mark Drennan’s to take. He had led the two qualifying sessions flag to flag and looked like he was going to do it again in the championship race. But at […]”

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Grids Set for NASA Western States Championship races; Formula Car Challenge National Championships Settled. The qualifying races are finished, and the grids are set for Sunday’s National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Western States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires races at Sonoma Raceway. A single qualifying session set the order for Friday’s qualifying race; the finishing […]”

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The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Western States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires are underway at Sonoma Raceway. Competitors fromall over the western U.S. and elsewhere – some from as far as Florida – have converged on the track to fight for a national championship. Mazdas are well represented, with a good field of Spec Miatas, […]”

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The Western States Championship takes place at Sonoma Raceway this weekend with a large continent of Mazda racers. The National Auto Sport Association’s second half of its dual Championships takes place this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. The Western States Championships follows the Eastern States Championships held at Road Atlanta in September. This is the first […]”

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Randy Pobst and AiM Sports’ Roger Caddell team up to offer valuable insight into effectively using data acquisition on Nov. 12. MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development and AiM Sports will team up for a data acquisition Webinar on Nov. 12 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Pacific. Mazda pro racer Randy Pobst and AiM National Training Manager Roger […]”

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TO: Spec Miata Participants
FR: SCCA, NASA and Mazda Spec Miata Leadership Team
RE: Class Intent, Direction and Regulations
DT: November 5, 2014

Spec Miata purpose and intent (SCCA General Competition Rules):
The Spec Miata (SM) class is intended to provide the membership with the opportunity to compete in low cost, production-based cars with limited modifications, suitable for racing competition.
The rules are intentionally designed to be more open than the Showroom Stock class but more restricted than the Improved Touring class.

Less than 15 years ago, the concept of Spec Miata was born. The essence of the class focused on a low cost, fun, competitive environment that was relatively easy to enter. If a participant found a good donor car, added safety equipment, a hardtop and a bolt-on kit of performance parts purchased through Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development, they would have equipment capable of racing at the front of the field.

Throughout the years, the class veered from the original intent and direction. The scope of the class has crept into something beyond its original intent. While the essence of the class may remain the same, in some respects, it has lost its way, pushing the definition of “limited modifications” and the notion of “low cost.” Mazda, SCCA and NASA all agree that changes must be made for the long-term health of the class, regardless of which sanctioning body operates the races.

The 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs was a watershed moment in the history of the Spec Miata class. With so many cars found out of compliance at the front of the field, a working group was established by Mazda, SCCA and NASA leadership to evaluate not just cylinder head rules, but the purpose and long-term goal of the class overall. The group, established by SCCA President Lisa Noble, also includes John Doonan, Steve Sanders and Mike Allen (Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development), John Mueller (NASA), Tony Ave (SCCA Club Racing Board) and Robert Clarke (SCCA Pro Racing/SCCA Inc.).

The group met face-to-face at SCCA’s offices in Topeka, Kansas October 30, 2014. Also attending in consultation were: Eric Prill (SCCA), John Bauer (SCCA), Jim Wheeler (SCCA Club Racing Board), Steve Knapp (Elite Engines) and Jim Stewart (Stewart Engines).

Long-term Goal of the working group:
For Spec Miata to be a healthy, growing and economical class across organizations, where a racer can be competitive utilizing a stock Mazda Miata that is enhanced with bolt-on performance parts acquired through Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development.

In achieving that goal, it is important that current participants not be disenfranchised and unreasonably burdened while still making the class attractive to individuals that have either left the class or not engaged in the class due to scope creep away from stock.

The most critical issue in conflict with the long-term goal is with regard to rules that permit modifications to the stock cylinder head and the method with which these are being modified. Current SM rules permit cylinder head modifications beyond the level of more “radical” categories, including, but not limited to, SCCA Production and Super Touring® Lite. It needs to be stated that the heads examined at the Runoffs were modified on varying levels, but each head found out of compliance was in violation of the rules as they are written. Additionally, this is not simply an issue with de-burring, but rather actual smoothing, blending and porting on the sharp edge from the plunge cut.

To achieve the long-term goal, the class must ultimately return to stock cylinder heads with a permitted industry-standard valve job.

Recognizing the number of modified (both compliant and non-compliant per the current rules) cylinder heads in the community, the expense to replace these and potential parts availability concerns, the group agrees to the following path, with details to be finalized no later than the December 14 SCCA Board of Directors meeting:

  • Permit plunge cuts and unshrouding per the current rules, but with clarification of concentricity, as well as some level of blending of the plunge cut (language TBA). These modifications may require that additional weight be added to the car.
  • Independent testing will be conducted to determine the effect of the individual and collective modifications. Only once this scientific data is collected and evaluated will weight levels be determined.
  • Weight additions will compensate for the power gains from the head modifications, while also encouraging the behavior of changing back to an unmodified head as soon as possible.
  • The allowance of these modifications will have a sunset period of one to two years, based on parts availability. The intention is for this to happen sooner than later, but with appropriate competitor notification.
  • Only un-modified heads would be permitted for competition at the 2015 SCCA National Championship Runoffs.

Additionally, the group unanimously desires greater resources and efforts with regard to season-long compliance checks. Collectively, it is developing an enhanced compliance program to address this. The group will also evaluate class parity and additional concepts to ensure parity and compliance moving forward.

Timing: The working group welcomes input, which can be submitted through SCCA’s www.clubracingboard.com site or NASA’s John Mueller at john@weekend-racer.com. A final recommendation of the group, with the support of all involved parties, will be presented to the SCCA Board of Directors and NASA leadership for approval in December.

At its October meeting, the SCCA Board of Directors unanimously passed the following motion: SCCA Board of Directors directs SCCA Staff and CRB to jointly develop with Mazda and NASA a rule set and timeline to address the Miata engine preparation.   This may include recommendations around protest, appeals and teardown in the GCR for Spec Miata.

Summary: The working group believes that this structure achieves the long-term goal, while addressing short-term concerns. Drivers with modified components that need time to perform the necessary changes will be able to compete at a reasonable level in the short term, with the class as a whole driving together toward a better long-term goal.

For the sport,
Lisa Noble, SCCA President and CEO
John Doonan, Mazda Motorsports Director
John Mueller, NASA Spec Miata National Director
Robert Clarke, SCCA Pro Racing President/SCCA VP of Business Development
Tony Ave, SCCA Club Racing Board
Steve Sanders, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Manager
Mike Allen, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Specialist

2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup will include series in North America, Europe and Asia with an end-of-season shootout at Mazda Raceway. When the wraps came off the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 recently, most racers knew that it would eventually be the basis for the Mazda MX-5 Cup that began with the third generation of the MX-5 […]”

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November 4, 2014 (LAS VEGAS) – The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best-selling roadster in history, and the most road-raced car in the world.  With the recent unveiling of the fourth generation MX-5, the most frequently asked question is “Where will it race?”  Mazda gave the first part of that answer at the Specialty Equipment […]”

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BATTERY TENDER ANNOUNCED AS TITLE PARTNER FOR 2015 MAZDA MX-5 CUP BFGoodrich Tires Returns & 2015 Schedule Announced November 3, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif) — Mazda Motorsports is thrilled to announce that global, market-leading technology brand Battery Tender® joins the Mazda MX-5 Cup as title partner. For 2015, the series will be known as the “Battery […]”

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Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires visits six venues, each one hosting a doubleheader. With newly announced title sponsorship (see separate story) from Battery Tender®, the 2015 season of the Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires will consist of six weekends supporting the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Verizon IndyCar […]”

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New title sponsor for one-make series; BFGoodrich Tires stays on board as well. Global, market-leading technology brand Battery Tender® is joining the Mazda MX-5 Cup as title partner for 2015. The series will be known as the “Battery Tender® Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.” “As we embark on our 10th Anniversary of Mazda […]”

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Michai Stephens finishes third in Walter Hayes Trophy final. Two young racers who raced this past season with Mazda power behind them, Aaron Telitz (Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda) and Michai Stephens (Skip Barber Summer Series) have spent the past two weekends racing in the UK through the Team USA Scholarship. The second […]”

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