MX-5 Cup Car: Parity

One of the major benefits of the Mazda MX-5 Cup series is parity of the vehicles.

While parity is often the goal of many race cars and series, it is rarely achieved.  Like driver safety, parity was one of the basic design considerations for the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup cars. So what makes the 2016 MX-5 Cup cars identical to each other?  Attention to detail in design and compliance checking methods throughout the car.  Let’s look at several examples that are employed for compliance to the rules.

First, this race car is “homologated.”  Homologation means that there is a document created by the vehicle manufacturer (Long Road Racing and Mazda, in this case) that documents each production part that is added to the vehicle, including a picture and description. There are over 200 homologated components on the MX-5 Cup car.  Absolutely no modification to these parts is allowed; only replacement parts that the manufacturer provides are allowed to be replaced on the car.

How does the sanctioning body (SCCA or NASA) confirm that the parts on the MX-5 Cup car have the correct pedigree?  For each and every part that is in the homologation document, Mazda/LRR will place identification marks (serial numbers, seals, etc.) in or on those parts.  This will assist technical inspectors to quickly identify if a part is as it should be.  If there is any suspicion for any part—stock or a homologated—tech has the authority to take that part and confirm its origin and validate its legality.

Additionally, Mazda/Long Road Racing will seal all engines, ECUs, transmissions and differentials.  Mazda, as part of homologation, will specify all lubricants, coolant and brake fluid to ensure that all competitors are truly racing the “same” car and to discourage hours of dyno time to find out whether oil “A” makes more power than oil “B.”  We will all run the same cars.

What areas of the cars are available for development?  None. The only items that a competitor can change: the seat (must be FIA approved including mounting); seat belts (FIA approved only); steering wheel; and the inside rearview mirror.

Related Content:
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Development
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Driver Safety
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Braking
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: Race Car Production
2016 MX-5 Cup: Primed for Teams and Individuals
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: How it Drives
Mazda MX-5 Cup Car: What Racers are Saying