Spec MX-5: From the NASA Racer Perspective

Welcome to “From the Perspective.” A short series of articles that slice through what you need to know about Spec MX-5, with each installment only focused on what you need to know as a NASA racer, or as an SCCA racer, or as an endurance racer, or a racer interested in the spec racing opportunities offered by the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series

This installment focuses on what you need to know if you’re only interested in racing your Spec MX-5 within NASA.

Spec MX-5 Racing Opportunities Sanctioned by NASA, with contingency awards from Mazda and Toyo:

  • ST5 class – All standard contingency awards apply + the following bonuses:

    • Toyo Tires offers a Spec MX-5-specific bonus for each ST5 race via Toyo bucks: 1st place overall, if in a Spec MX-5 = $1K; 2nd = $500; 3rd = $250
    • Mazda offers for Regional Point Championships Spec MX-5 ST5 bonus via contingency awards points: 1st = 50 points valued at ~$750; 2nd = 40 points valued at ~$600; 3rd = 30 points valued at ~$450
    • Note: Standard Mazda contingency awards for NASA Regional Point Championships (via rewards card): 1st place = $2K + $250 championship bonus if competing at the NASA Championship event in Utah; 2nd = $1,250; 3rd = $1K; 4th = $800; 5th = $750
  • Spec MX-5 Challenge Series (the spec racing, marquee events) offers $6,680 per race / $13,360 per event.
    • NASA schedule: Thunderhill Raceway (May 23-25) and Sonoma Raceway (October 10-11). (NASA Championship at Utah is a bonus event offering points for the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series’ Western Series, but not bonus contingency awards.)
    • Mazda offers, per race:
      • $1,325 via rewards card spread between the top 5 finishers
      • $2,250 Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship subsidies for the admin/registration fees for the top 15 finishers (grew from top 10 previously announced) ; no paperwork needed from racers
      • $805 value in PAGID pads (thanks, PAGID)
    • Toyo offers (paid by NASA), per race:
      • $1,500 split between the top three finishers
      • $500 Toyo bucks between the top three finishers
      • $250 in Toyo bucks in one random draw
    • The Thunderhill event in May is one of five that will also host Invitational racers. Spec MX-5 Challenge, LLC offers five arrive-and-drive rental seats for these events as a path for a racer to compete in only one Spec MX-5 Challenge Series event and be able to qualify for the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship event at COTA, November 5-8 with SVRA. Mazda is offering a $1K scholarship for 10 Invitational racers
    • The Sonoma races in October will also host National Series racers (in addition to them being a Western Series Region event).
  • NASA Championship event at Utah Motorsports Campus (October 10-11) pays its standard contingency awards & serves as a point’s event for the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series (as a fifth event to score points for the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship).
    • Standard Mazda payouts for the championship event for ST5 class: 1st = $4K; 2nd = $2K; 3rd = $1,250; 4th = $1K; 5th = $750. No contingency award bonuses above these payouts from Mazda.
    • Other partners pay contingency awards, as well; though, not listed here.
  • 25 Hours of Thunderhill (December)
    • Standard Mazda awards paid via rewards card: 1st overall Mazda = $1,500; 2nd overall Mazda = $1,000; 3rd overall Mazda = $500
    • Other partners pay contingency awards, as well; though, not listed here.

For complete Mazda contingency awards program and requirements, click here.

Entry Fees for NASA Events: Standard, determined by the NASA region, as with all classes.

Parts Pricing Discounts from Mazda:

  • The build or conversion kit (see pages 9-11): 20% off through January 31, 2020. (You may add stock or competition parts as spares in the kit and receive 20% off on them.)
  • Parts consumable discounts – if you buy a kit by January 31, 2020, racers get:
    • 15% off on stock parts for the Spec MX-5 (few exceptions) through Jan 31, 2021 and 5% off on those stock parts from Feb 1, 2021 through Jan 31, 2022
    • 5% off competition parts for the Spec MX-5 through Jan 31, 2021

Bonuses for buying one of the first 50 kits (note: Mazda is closing in on 50 kit purchases – as of Jan 23, 2020):

  • Toyo Tires has offered one set of Toyo Proxes RR (235/40ZR17 priced at $239.89ea; sold at-track – not by Mazda; price is subject to change)
  • Penske Racing Shocks (PRS) has offered $250 service certificates for the first 75 Spec MX-5 shock purchases (exclusively from Mazda Motorsports)

Spec Tire for NASA race weekends
: Toyo Proxes RR (235/40ZR17). Wheel recommended 17 x 8” by Rays (exclusively from Mazda Motorsports)

If you are prep shop desiring to support Spec MX-5 race cars, we recommend registering with Spec MX-5 Challenge, LLC to gain additional support.

Spec MX-5 prep shops may be eligible to join Mazda’s Prep Shop Rewards Program and receive many additional benefits.

Spec MX-5 racers are eligible to join the Mazda Team Support Program and receive many additional benefits.

NASA racers interested in competing in non-NASA sanctioned events, please see Spec MX-5: From the SCCA Racer Perspective, Spec MX-5: From the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Racer Perspective, or Spec MX-5: From the Endurance Racer Perspective – to be updated later in January.