The parts are chosen to fulfill the goals of the class as well as ease of install
In fulfilling the four pillars of the Spec MX-5 design – affordability, reliability, tech-ability and fun to drive – Mazda Motorsports chose vendors and parts that would meet those requirements, making the conversion as easy as possible. In the first installment of this series, we discussed the selection of some of those components. Here, we will present the thought process behind the class, as well as talk about the actual building of a Spec MX-5.
Once the four pillars were in place, it came time to build a prototype. Mazda Motorsports already had a template to work from in the form of Spec Miata, but where Spec Miata was grown from a Showroom Stock Miata with some improvements in springs, shocks and minor engine performance upgrades, Mazda Motorsports chose a different approach with Spec MX-5.
“We took what we learned from Spec Miata and considered what’s great about the class, then asked ourselves what we could improve on,” says Josh Smith, Mazda Motorsports Specialist and the person who oversaw much of the parts selection and build of the Spec MX-5 prototype. “Instead of building a car to a ruleset or modifying existing rules, we could build a car and write rules that fit the car into that envelope.”
Mazda Motorsports had done that, in part, with the rules for the first MX-5 Cup based on the NC chassis, so it made sense to carry over some of those parts. But at the same time, Mazda Motorsports didn’t want to require sealed engines, as that series did. Furthermore, Mazda Motorsports wanted to apply various lessons learned from 10 years of racing the NC, all while constraining costs for the new spec class. On top of that was the goal of keeping the car fun and reliable, plus easy for tech inspectors to work with.