Spec Miata: Why Race it?

Today is the second installment in this week’s series about Spec Miata. Understand the main reasons to race a Spec Miata.

Why not race a Spec Miata? There is no other class with so much competition. Whatever your skillset, you’ll find people to race against in the class, so you will build your racing skills and have a lot of fun. Spec Miata is a class that everyone from the novice to the seasoned racer enjoys, and with good reason.

Spec Miatas are affordable.  The first gen Miata, for example, has been around for 25 years. Starting with an affordable and reliable car as the base is the first step. Add the fact that Spec Miata competes in a spec class, the variables to modify are limited – and therefore the expenses. You won’t have a big variation in the price of components because the class is structured to keep them in an affordable range. In other words, even if you want to spend a lot of money on high-tech equipment, you can’t because of the rules package (at least relative to several other series and cars). You’ll pay for tires, brakes and fuel – not wasting money on many other big ticket items.

Basic cars make better drivers. A Spec Miata is a good car to learn with because it’s so basic: There’s no ABS, power steering, traction control or other driver-assistance tools. It’s a raw race car, which means that you will focus on developing your driving skills. Plus, you have to drive a Spec Miata well to be competitive because everyone is driving the same car. In a spec class, it primarily comes down to driver talent, not as much the money you spend.

Maintenance is made easy. Not only does the Spec Miata’s simplicity help build driver skills, but it’s also easier to work on than other cars. When I first started racing, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was, though, able to learn by racing a Spec Miata. Making changes to the car and regular maintenance aren’t overwhelming like on other cars. It is easy for drivers, even those with minimal mechanical skills, to make adjustments. And another important factor is that it’s easy to find parts. Because Miatas are so prolific, sourcing parts can be both simple and affordable.

Spec Miatas are reliable cars. Like any car, you need to change your oil and fluids regularly. But as long as you maintain it, the car will run great – these aren’t fragile race cars.

Spec Miatas are a ton of fun. They are, and always have been, known as incredible handling cars. Once you add race-spec tires and suspension, it’s even more of a joy to drive on the race track.

Spec Miatas compete all over the world and in huge numbers. You find Spec Miata racing at SCCA, NASA and other racing events as well as at private track days. There is always someone with a Miata. And there is almost always somewhere that you can go race on any given weekend. You’ll find plenty of chances to compete, and lots of competition on the track with you. (If you’re at an SCCA National event, it might even be me you’re racing against.)

The Mazda community as a whole has incredible camaraderie. You don’t see that kind of bond anywhere else. Everyone is competing with each other, but everyone is so tight-knit that it really creates a special environment. There’s no other class in the nation that has this many cars, and we take pride in that.

Mazda Motorsports itself adds to that community atmosphere by really incorporating club racers into its programs. Mazda has such deep ties to grassroots racing, and its commitment to Spec Miata – and Spec Miata drivers –shows in its at-track presence and racer incentives.

Have I convinced you yet that Spec Miata is the right class for you? (I never had any doubt.) If you’re going to race the Spec Miata class, then you’re going to need a car. Next time, we’ll talk about how to choose the right Spec Miata, and what you need to consider before you swap cash for keys.

Related Articles:
Spec Miata: Introduction
Mazda Factory Driver: Andrew Carbonell