SCCA Road Atlanta: Spec MX-5 Challenge presented by Toyo Tires Event

A note from Mazda Motorsports for the racers:

We are excited to see many of you at Road Atlanta July 23-25 for the Spec MX-5 Challenge presented by Toyo Tires event. We will miss most of our racers on the West Coast, and a few that will be competing at Gingerman instead (Michael Borden, Alex Bertagnoli and others) as the SMX schedule has more than tripled this year.

To support our Road Atlanta racers and teams, we will have Tom Long, pro driver, coach, and MX-5 Cup Shootout judge, along with Steve Strickland, Josh Smith and David Cook on hand. We will have a parts trailer with many parts for Spec Miata, Spec MX-5 and a few others, as well as a hospitality set-up with snacks and drinks. Recent SMX race winner (Road America, July 10, 2021) Aidan Fassnacht will organize a meal (BBQ or pizza likely) at the track for the SMX racers. Look for an email from Aidan July 12 and let him know your preference.

Complimentary coaching starts at 1 pm on Friday and runs until the first Spec MX-5 race. Tom Long will be based at Mazda Motorsports’ trackside support trailer providing complimentary coaching to Spec MX-5 racers and other Mazda racers. To sign-up, the sheet will be posted on the Mazda Motorsports trailer at the start of the event, prior to his arrival.

  • To further build the value of Spec MX-5 with the goal of growing it to a national class in both NASA and SCCA, as Spec Miata is, we are further investing resources into SMX. One focus area where we are building additional value is via driver development. Tom will join this SCCA event (and other coaches are joining many other SMX events throughout the country) due to it being a Spec MX-5 event. Spec MX-5 racers are given the opportunity to sign up prior to the event by emailing Tom at
  • Racers may, assuming spots are still open, sign up on site/at the event.
  • Slots are 30 minutes with 25 minutes of coaching.
  • On Friday, test day, slots start at 1 pm and end at 5 pm (i.e. 1:00 – 1:30, 1:30 – 2:00, etc. until 4:30-5:00).
  • Saturday slots run 8 am – 11:30 am. SMX is group 1, with a start time of 12:20 (planned), as seen here.
  • Video review is recommended; however, data can work and is great, if two drivers provide data.
  • Racers should be ready with the information they want reviewed upon arrival of the coaching session to maximize time.
  • It is recommended racers don’t wait for sessions until after multiple sessions (coaching is valuable before even the first session without (current) video). Bring previous video or a track map to discuss the course and to fill out.

Tom will also be on hand evaluating talent for the MX-5 Cup Shootout.

The SCCA’s ARRC at Road Atlanta is site to the SMX championship event, where an additional $70,000 will be earned. To view the contingency awards this season, see pages 19 and 20 in the Mazda contingency awards guide here.

Pictured above, Grant West and Aidan Fassnacht – 2020 MX-5 Cup Shootout nominees – battle for 3rd in Sunday’s photo finish race.