Tuesday night, Mazda Motorsports and Spec MX-5 Challenge, LLC held a call with several Spec MX-5 racers, teams and prospects on the East Coast to discuss the program’s growth. Earlier in the month, a call was held with the West Coast group (summary found here).
Anna Osburn, who runs the operations and promotions for Spec MX-5 Challenge, LLC highlighted five key areas:
- The series anticipates the 2022 schedule to be released by the SMX Challenge championship event Nov 5-7. (The desire is to host the championship event in the central part of the U.S for 2022.)
- Opportunities and desire for the series and Mazda Motorsports to promote the SMX drivers and teams, recommending they connect with her.
- She has polished the point system framework (no changes to how points are accrued, averaged, etc.) found here to make consumption of the information easier.
- She is excited to be on hand at the championship event held at the SCCA ARRC event November 5-7. Mazda Motorsports will join Anna along with a hired tech team. Allen Berg, father to Mazda factory club racing driver, will help host the series banquet (details TBA). Look for great camaraderie, competition, fun podium celebrations and big checks written.
David Cook, who runs Mazda’s grassroots racing program, shared:
- The appreciation for everyone involved in building Spec MX-5, in particular the early adopters of the series – the racers and teams – and Toyo Tires.
- The excitement for the teams committed to or shown interest in joining an already great group of teams for the 2022 season. BSI Racing, based in FL, and Flatout Motorsports, based in MA, are looking to join.
- The benefits of the series, which many can be found here (includes free set of Penske single-adjustable shocks, free set of Toyo Tires, 25% off the Mazda build kit and more)
- Aidan Fassnacht and Michael Borden, series competitors and regional leads, have been named a nominees for this year’s MX-5 Cup Shootout. These early announcements are a way to thank these drivers for their off-track support of the series. Others, including within SMX, will be nominated October 4 on MazdaMotorsports.com
On the East Coast this year, the series has had six prep shops support SMX Challenge racers:
- W2 Motorsports, based in Braselton, GA, and led by David West, has been a top team in SMX since its inception with Mazda Motorsports’ SMX race car beginning last year. W2 Performance not only offers arrive-and-drive opportunities in SMX (and Spec Miata), it offers coaching services and more. W2 has three SMX cars. David: email@example.com
- Panic Motorsports, based in West Columbia, SC, and led by Steve Bertok, has been building race cars for many years, focused on Spec Miata, NC MX-5s and the Spec MX-5, in particular. Steve: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Advanced Autosports, based in Beloit, WI, and led by Ben Merwin, is the largest Spec Miata and now Spec MX-5 team in the country. Ben: Ben@advanced-autosports.com
- Formidable Racing, based in Braselton, GA, and led by Chris Smith, who was SMX’s crew chief of the year in 2020, is expanding in SMX and MX-5 Cup for 2022. Chris: email@example.com
- First Principles Racing/API, based in New Jersey, is led by Matt Fassnacht, 2017 TC America champion piloting an MX-5 Cup car. Matt’s team supports four SMX race cars, all front-runners. Matt: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Windsor Customs, based in Thurmont, MD, and led by Chris Windsor, supports a variety of race cars, including SMX. Chris: email@example.com
In the last month, more East Coast teams have voiced plans to join SMX, as well as a desire to; two of them:
- BSI Racing, based in Dayton Beach, FL, is led by Shea Holbrook, pro racer and helps lead Hixon Motorsports in MX-5 Cup. Shea is planning to run at least one SMX race car in 2022, with a desire to expand. BSI is a great option for those interested in SMX and then MX-5 Cup. Shea: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Flatout Motorsports, based in Mendon, MA, is led by Nick Leverone, former pro and current front-running club racer, owns and operates a top race team focused on Spec Miata. Nick is looking to add Spec MX-5 race cars to his fleet, available and recommended by Mazda Motorsports.
The Q&A: Focused on increasing the weight of the SMX by circa 25lb, parts development (e.g., aftermarket diff and cams), and more. For technical inquiries, contact Mazda Motorsports’ technical lead Josh Smith: JSmit295@MazdaUSA.com