The National Auto Sport Association, better known to many enthusiasts as NASA, offers a plethora of performance driving programs – from their Rally Sport and Time Trial events to NASA-X autocross and wheel-to-wheel competition racing. But one program unlike the others is NASA’s new Teen Mazda Challenge.
The Teen Mazda Challenge (TMC) is designed specifically for young drivers, ages 13 to 20, that are experienced in kart racing and are looking to emerge into the automotive racing world. After acquiring a NASA Competition race license and an approved Spec Miata racecar (whether purchased or rented), participants are able to compete within the Spec Miata racing group at races all across the country.
The idea behind this unique series is to foster young talent and give them the skills and tools they need to advance in motorsports.
Competitors have the opportunity to participate in anywhere from 10 to 18 races over the course of five to nine weekends, which makes up the entire racing season.
Not only does the competitive environment help the young drivers gain valuable on-track experience and advance their racing skills, but NASA also provides additional opportunity for the teens to advance into a professional motorsports career. The results of each TMC race awards winners with championship points, which ultimately determine the TMC Regional Champion.
From there, winners have the opportunity to compete for what is referred to as the “biggest prize in grassroots road racing,” which is the $100,000 scholarship from the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, in addition to many other programs made specifically for young drivers. For this event, a handful of participants are selected from the SCCA, iRacing, NASA, and NASA’s Teen Mazda Challenge. The post-season shootout will award the scholarship to the winner of the event, allowing them entry into the 2018 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires.