Yokohama is proud to announce its affiliation with Spec MX-5 Challenge, a new category which spans the bridge between club Spec Miata and professional series like the Battery Tender MX-5 Cup. These sorts of series help make the world of professional motorsport slightly more egalitarian, and in these days of extremely high barriers to entry, they’re a breath of fresh air.
It’s a new rung on a ladder helping young talent make their mark on the world of professional motorsport. Set firmly between Spec Miata and Global MX-5 Cup, this affordable series offers the series champion with $100,000 to further their career. This new category tries to both provide an affordable racing experience while supplying the winner with an encouraging, door-opening quantity of money to help put their name in lights.
In part of being relatively cost-effective, Spec MX-5 Challenge is designed to develop driver talent and as such, is quite restricted with the hardware involved. The cars here will be built, owned, prepped, and technically inspected by the series. As a result, there will not be any rules published to enable drivers to build cars to the Spec MX-5 formula. It’s as serious as an arrive-and-drive series gets, and in keeping with the series’ ethos, Yokohama has done its utmost to develop a usable, affordable, and resilient tire to suit the conditions. Considering the sort of hard fighting that the format is known for, a durable but sticky tire is an absolute must.
“Yokohama has a long and successful history in road racing, and we’re thrilled to have them on board as a marketing partner as well as being designated as the spec tire for the series,” said Todd Lamb, one of the principals behind the new series. “We required a tire that would be durable and provide consistent performance from session to session, helping us to keep costs down as part of the overall goals of the Spec MX-5 Challenge. Yokohama fits the role perfectly and we think the drivers will be happy with both the tires and the contingency program.”
“Yet another example of Yokohama going strong, the Spec MX-5 Challenge will offer a tough proving ground for our ADVAN® racing slick,” said Drew Dayton, Yokohama’s motorsport manager. “The combination of strong drivers, selected from among the best amateur racers in the country, and truly identical cars, will make for exciting racing. We are very happy to be a part of the Challenge from its inception since we believe a series like this is unique and can only grow in future years.”
The series will span the eastern seaboard as well as the central states in a twelve-race series spanning March to November. The tracks supporting the races are as follows: Virginia International Raceway, Summit Point, Road Atlanta, Monticello Motor Club, National Corvette Museum Motorsport Park, Circuit of the Americas, Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, and NOLA Motorsports Park. The Spec MX-5 Challenge events are sanctioned by SCCA and NASA, who will run other categories’ events alongside on those particular weekends, and as such, visibility will be high. Anyone who can can rise to the top in such a closely-regulated, hard-fought category have a promising future ahead of them.