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 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 Idemitsu joins the Mazda MX-5 Cup as title partner. For 2015, the series will be known as the “Battery […]”

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Idemitsu 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 Idemitsu, the 2015 season of the Idemitsu 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 Idemitsu is joining the Mazda MX-5 Cup as title partner for 2015. The series will be known as the “Idemitsu 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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Jonathan Bomarito Returns to the No. 70 Mazda for the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Season. A driver with extensive history and success in Mazda-powered open-wheel cars and RX-8 sportscars will return to the Mazda SpeedSource team for the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. From 2010 through 2012, Jonathan Bomarito amassed 13 podium finishes and […]”

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A turn-by-turn breakdown of the Sonoma Raceway with a filled out track map, turn-by-turn description, and voiceover onboard footage from the BEHIND THE ZOOM team. The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) heads to Sonoma Raceway for its Western States Championship next week on Nov. 7-9. Just like with its Eastern States Championship in September, the […]”

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Jonathan Bomarito Returns to No. 70 Mazda for 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Season October 29, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif.) — It was confirmed today that Jonathan Bomarito, a driver with extensive history and success in Mazda-powered open wheel cars and RX-8 sportscars, will return to the Mazda SpeedSource team for the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar […]”

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Cooper Tires expands prize package to more than $50,000 for pre-season Mazda Road to Indy races. The quest for supremacy in the Mazda Road to Indy will see its now traditional pre-season start with the fifth annual Cooper Tires Winterfest in February, offering all three levels of the ladder system a jumpstart on their 2015 […]”

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Registration for the BEHIND THE ZOOM ROAD ATLANTA webinar is open.   

Professional race car drivers Tom Long and Randy Pobst will host a BEHIND THE ZOOM Web forum tonight, Oct. 28 from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM EST. Exclusive to Mazda competitors, this forum is designed to accompany the BEHIND THE ZOOM feature on Road Atlanta to assist you with your preparation for the prestigious Atlanta Region SCCA American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) event next weekend. Everyone is encouraged to participate as advice and tips will be transferable to all tracks that you or your friends and family compete at. Q&A is encouraged!
To register, click the registration link in today’s eNewsletter sent to Team Members.

About the Drivers: 
Tom Long is a Mazda factory driver and a professional driving coach.
Randy Pobst is a four-time World Challenge GT champion, two-time Rolex 24 at Daytona winner and factory driver in an MX-5 for Freedom Autosport in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Street Tuner class.

What You’ll Need: A computer, an internet connection and desire to learn from the pros.

The BEHIND THE ZOOM campaign is a series of segments where 12 Mazda factory drivers and champions break down many of the main tracks and venues where you race.

A turn-by-turn breakdown of the famed Georgia track with data, track maps, a setup guide and videos. For competitors in SCCA’s Regional-only classes such as Improved Touring, the American Road Race of Champions is the biggest event of the year, crowning unofficial national champs in those categories not eligible to compete at the Runoffs. To […]”

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In our effort to continue our open communication with our customers, I wanted to provide you with an update on the investigation into the Spec Miata rules infraction that was identified during the most recent SCCA Runoffs.  All of your e-mails, phone calls, thoughts and input we have received have been very valuable and appreciated. […]”

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2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup Club Racer Shootout Rules

Background: The heart and soul of MAZDASPEED is club racing, and supporting those racers who have invested in our product. The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of the complete set of skills required to succeed. These skills include speed, consistency, racecraft, technical feedback, and off-track business and PR skills. History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if he or she is lacking in multiple areas. All previous shootout winners submitted above average business plans. The business plans will be used to filter the pool of all eligible competitors to our finalists. Only those finalists will be invited to attend the on-track driver portion of the competition.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Any driver winning a recognized (Full MAZDASPEED contingency paying) club racing national championship with the SCCA or NASA with Mazda power.
  • NASA Teen Challenge Spec Miata Champions.
  • The Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED MX-5 Winter and Summer series champions.
  • Formula Car Challenge National Champions.
  • Recognized Mazda-powered Club Champions from Canada – as nominated by Mazda Canada.
  • Identified iRacing MX-5 Cup Champions.
  • Note:  Drivers with significant professional motorsports experience are not eligible.

Mazda’s Objectives:

  • Discover and retain a fast and consistent racer able to win professional championships, improving the odds that the shootout winner reaches his or her dream of racing at a top-level series, while illustrating to the (potential) racing community that Mazda’s development system has the most talented racers, encouraging more drivers to race Mazda’s.
  • Partner with the shootout winner in a 12-month co-op marketing effort to 1) build his or her brand and network, increasing his or her odds of partnering with another entity to help climb the ladder, and 2) drive additional engagement within the Mazda community.
  • Deliver on our passion to help those ambitious and deserving drivers fulfill their dreams.

October 23rd               Rules posted for all eligible competitors
October 26th               Optional conference call with competitors to answer questions
November 9th             Business plan, bio, and video submission deadline
November 18th          Conference call with competitors to announce finalists
November 19th           Finalists announced in conjunction with the Los Angeles Auto Show
December 1st/2nd    On-track shootout among finalists at Buttonwillow Raceway Park
December 4th              Conference call with competitors to announce winner
December 5th              Press release announcing winner

Required Format:  The business proposal must be submitted via e-mail as a PDF that does not exceed 2MB in size.  Entries must be submitted to MAZDASPEED@MazdaUSA.com by 6:00pm (PDT), Sunday, November 9, 2014.

Required content:  The written proposal is two parts as follows:

  1. Racing bio; two-page max. To highlight your racing career, noting which other top drivers you raced against during the past three seasons, if applicable. Provide a copy of your final championship points standings for the last three seasons, if applicable.
  2. Social media and website marketing co-op plan with Mazda; four-page max. To build both party’s brands, and what your proposed strategy is with Mazda during the next 12 months to achieve your three-to-five year goals; consider including exhibits, such as a current, real business plan you aim to present, social media marketing or newsletter example, etc.

These two documents should be submitted as a single PDF with the file name: 2014_Mazda_Prop_YourName.pdf

There is a required video, four-minute maximum in length.  To highlight your Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-related objectives  that will help you accomplish your three-to-five year goals related to your desired racing ladder (e.g., network with Prototype Lites racing team manager by attending SEMA) and professional skill set (e.g., participate in Toastmaster’s weekly to enhance communication skills).

Video to be posted to YouTube with the title “2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout: Your Name” and link emailed along with your written proposal.

Second year of dual championships sees new tracks hosting the Eastern and Western States Championships. The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) has chosen Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and VIRginia International Raceway for its second annual, twin 2015 NASA Championship presented by Toyo tires events. In 2014, NASA decided to enhance what had been traditionally a […]”

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