Arrive and Drive racing options for 2019

Ready to make your racing plans for 2019? Atlanta Speedwerks has several options to make it easy for you to show up with your helmet and race!

Join us for one of the following programs:

Option 1: PRO LEVEL IMSA TCR arrive and drive program in Honda TCR car with sequential gearbox. Includes coaching, tires, entry fees, fuel, crew, car rental, and all consumables. Top level program, 10 race weekends plus Daytona Roar test. $250k per driver (2 drivers) for the season plus insurance. Option to co-drive with a pro driver for additional cost.

 


Option 2: Global MX-5 Cup series arrive & drive program with front running team in 2019 spec Global MX-5 Cup (ND2) racecar. Includes coaching, tires, entry fees, fuel, crew, car rental, and all consumables at $120k/season. 2018 spec (ND1) racecar available for $100k/season.

 


Option 3: Spec MX-5 Challenge arrive and drive program. Includes tires, entry fees, fuel, crew, car rental, and all consumables. Identically prepped, series owned Mazda MX-5 (NC) racecars. $50k per season.

 


Downloadable/printable version: Racing opportunities 2019

Contact Todd Lamb 248-797-0309 or todd(at)atlspeedwerks(dot)com for more info or to sign up.

Lally Joins Speedwerks for Global MX-5 Challenge

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship star Andy Lally has packed his bags, grabbed his skateboard, and is headed for Sebring International Raceway in pursuit of the $50,000 prize Mazda has put up to win the Global MX-5 Cup Challenge event.

As part of IMSA’s Michelin Encore weekend at Sebring, the buzzing swarm of Mazda MX-5s will add plenty of fun to the mix as a pair of 45-minute races will be held, with the best average finishing position across both being used to determine the winner. Second place is worth $20,000, and third will receive $10,000.

SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – MARCH 16: #44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3, GTD: Andy Lally during the Sebring at Sebring International Raceway on March 16, 2018 in Sebring International Raceway, United States of America. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt / LAT Images)

“It started out as a conversation where my buddy Todd Lamb, who we used to race karts against each other 25 years ago, have stayed friends, we live pretty close to each other, and when this race at Sebring popped up, he called me and told me about the race, that Mazda put up 50 grand to win, 20 grand for second, and he needed a drafting partner!” he told RACER.

The story continues at Racer.com here…

Lally closes season with $50K Global MX-5 Cup Challenge pursuit

Atlanta Speedwerks Spec MX-5 Series, $100k winner

With eight drivers still alive for the Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship prize of $100,000 on Sunday morning, Peter Ensor erased all doubt by dominating the field, leading all 13 laps at Road Atlanta, and taking home the grand prize.

The Championship prize boiled down to one race, with the regular season worth one-third of the points, and each of the two weekend races at Road Atlanta worth two-thirds of the final tally. All season long, each driver was placed in a randomly selected, identically prepared NC-generation (third generation) Mazda MX-5, all on Yokohama Tires and Pagid Brakes.

The story continues here….

Ensor Sweeps Spec MX-5 Weekend, Claims $100,000 Prize

Spec MX-5 Inaugural Championship Heating Up

Just one more round remains for the East Series in the inaugural Spec MX-5 Challenge before both the Central and East come together at the SCCA ARRC at Road Atlanta, November 1-4, with a $100,000 scholarship on the line for the champion to run the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires in 2019.

Spec MX-5 Challenge is an affordable pro road racing series with a focus on driver development and a top prize of $100,000. In 2018, its ten-race regular season in the East ran at Virginia International Raceway, Summit Point Raceway, Road Atlanta and, soon, Monticello Motor Club; the ten-race Central season ran at NCM Motorsports Park, Circuit of The Americas, Hallett Motor Racing Circuit and NOLA Raceway Park. When the regular season is complete, top competitors from each region will compete at a championship-deciding event at Road Atlanta in November.

the article continues here….

Spec MX-5 Inaugural Championship Heating Up

New Entry Level Road Racing Pro Series Announced

CUMMING, GA, and AUSTIN, TX, December 19, 2017 — Atlanta Speedwerks and Winding Road Racing today announced the creation of a new road racing series, Spec MX-5 Challenge. In 2018, the series will debut on tracks in the eastern and central portion of the U.S., including Virginia International Raceway, Circuit of The Americas and Road Atlanta.

New Entry Level Road Racing Pro Series Announced

Spec MX-5 will feature identically prepared NC generation (2006-2015) Mazda MX-5s, that are owned and maintained by both Winding Road Racing and Atlanta Speedwerks. Winding Road Racing will be conducting a 6 weekend/12 race Central series in conjunction with NASA events, while Atlanta Speedwerks will be hosting a 6 weekend/12 race Eastern series in conjunction with SCCA events. 10 drivers will be selected to compete in each series, with the top 7 drivers from each series coming together for the 14 car final event to determine the overall champion.

Central series Spec MX-5 Challenge schedule
March 23-25                        NCM                                      NASA
May 4-6                                OTA                                       NASA
June 8-10                             Hallett                                   NASA
Sept 8-9                               NOLA                                    NASA
Sept 13-16                             COTA                                     NASA
Nov 2-4                                Road Atlanta                        ARRC

Eastern series Spec MX-5 Challenge schedule
March 10-11                          VIR                                         SARRC
May 11-13                              VIR                                         SARRC/MARRS
June 16-17                           Summit Point                        SARRC/MARRS
July 28-29                          Road Atlanta                         SARRC
TBD                                     TBD                                        TBD
Nov 2-4                               Road Atlanta                         ARRC

High quality competition is a very important aspect of Spec MX-5 Challenge.  To ensure fairness, drivers will be randomly assigned a different car each weekend, with procedures in place to ensure each car is identically prepared. Drivers will only be allowed to use one set of dry tires per weekend; an official tire manufacturer will be announced soon. Drivers will drop their lowest race finish from the points tally to account for any incidents, mechanicals, or missed races.

Mazda is integrating the Spec MX-5 Challenge into their industry-leading pro racing ladder system. “Mazda has done more for road racing in the United States than any other brand, and we are thankful that they have joined us in this venture to create a new series for drivers to showcase their talents and move up the Mazda ladder,” said Todd Lamb, owner of Atlanta Speedwerks.

With assistance from Mazda, the Spec MX-5 series will award the 2018 Spec MX-5 Challenge champion with a $100,000 scholarship toward running the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires series in 2019. In addition, Mazda will pick one at-large nominee from the Spec MX-5 Challenge for the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. “We are excited to assist Spec MX-5 in creating a bridge for driver talent to move from successful amateur classes like Spec Miata to Global MX-5 Cup and beyond,” said David Cook, business development manager, Mazda Motorsports.

Only available as an arrive-and-drive program, the cost for the season will be $45,000. This price includes Spec MX-5 race car rental, entry fees, transport, prep, trackside support, tires and consumables. “We have observed that costs continue to rise in all forms of racing, so we wanted to find a way to create an affordable arrive-and-drive series,” said Tom Martin, CEO of Winding Road Racing.  “Our experience running professional teams has shown us ways to reduce costs for racers and we have incorporated that knowledge into Spec MX-5,” he said.

Mazda, Winding Road, Atlanta Speedwerks and many others in the racing community intend for Spec MX-5 Challenge to grow beyond the 2018 season. The series has plans to expand car count, race shop support and geographical coverage in 2019 and beyond. “Ultimately, we need to be running hundreds of Spec MX-5s to fulfill the vision of creating a new level of road racing,” said Martin. “With support from Mazda and other partners, along with a step-by-step strategy, we are confident that Spec MX-5 Challenge has a bright future.”

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First LevelUp Racing School is huge success

We conducted our first event with LevelUp Racing School Dec 18-19 at Atlanta Motorsports Park. The instructors, Steve Debrecht, Keith Watts, Terry Earwood, and Peter Stolz, were exceptional in getting the drivers acclimated and up to speed with their knowledge and experience.

Our new Spec MX-5 cars ran flawlessly. Look for the next school to be announced soon, coming in February to a track in the Southeast.

Teaser: Spec MX-5 Pro Series

Winding Road Racing and Atlanta Speedwerks are partnering to create a new 2018 race series built around a new class called Spec MX-5. The objective is to build a race series that has some of the attractive elements of pro racing, like meaningful prize money and top drivers and high-quality tracks. At the same time, WRR and Speedwerks want to keep costs down so that more drivers can compete and more drivers can treat a Spec MX-5 season as a step on a racing career ladder.

The Program

There are still a few details to be worked out, but basically Spec MX-5 will operate like this:

  • Spec MX-5 will run two regional series during 2018, one in the southeastern part of the US, the other in the south central section.
  • Drivers will pay a fee for the season of slightly above $40,000
  • Season fees cover car rental, prep, entry, mechanics, tools, tires, fuel, and consumables
  • Drivers will compete for points and some prize money during the regular season
  • Each region will award a group of its top drivers with a full scholarship to the Spec MX-5 Championship at the end of 2018
  • Drivers in the Championship event will compete for a significant monetary prize that should enable them to take the next step on the pro ladder (i.e. Global MX-5 Cup)

The Philosophy

To keep competition as balanced and driver-focused as possible, all drivers will run in identically prepared cars owned and operated by Winding Road Racing and Atlanta Speedwerks. The cars are based on the NC (3rd) generation Mazda MX-5, with full cages, fire systems, harnesses and other safety equipment required of any road racing car. The specs for the car limit the number of adjustments to less than a handful, and the WRR/Speedwerks mechanics are being trained on how to prep the cars identically. Drivers will be assigned to a different car each weekend. The series does want drivers to get some experience with providing feedback to the team, so tire pressures will be adjusted for each car/driver pairing.

The Pro Racing Cost Issue

As we discovered in a recent Winding Road reader survey, about 50% of drivers assume that a pro racing season starts in the $40k – $60k range. As of 2017, the reality is that the lowest cost pro road racing series, the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup series presented by BF Goodrich, costs about $100k or probably a little bit more for the season. Pro series rise in cost from there, so that a Pirelli World Challenge TC season costs about $150k, an IMSA GT3 Cup or Trans Am season gets close to $300k and PWC or IMSA series running SRO GT3 cars are well north of $500k.

Obviously, these numbers keep a lot of good, often young, drivers from ever attempting the “pro” game. Mazda in particular has worked hard to create a ladder system that helps these drivers get in the game, but the reality is that, for example, there is only one winner of the Mazda Road To 24 shootout. That lucky driver gets $100k to use toward a follow on season (in Global MX-5 Cup). From there, you have to keep winning to move up. Or get a big sponsorship deal. Very difficult.

Spec MX-5 moves the cost of a pro season down into the anticipated range of $40k-$60k that our survey showed most drivers imagine when they think about pro racing. Spec MX-5 is designed to couple that more accessible entry point with enough prize money that some drivers will be able to move on to the next step on the ladder.

The Driver Development Issue

The other issue with even entry level pro racing is that it is expensive enough that some drivers can’t afford to do it year after year so that they build their skill in the long run. Quite a few drivers can scrape together the funds to do one season (which sometimes ends midway because of optimistic cost estimates). But many of those drivers can’t run MX-5 Cup or PWC year after year. If you don’t peak right away, you may be done.

Spec MX-5 is designed to be inexpensive enough that many more drivers can run Spec MX-5 year after year. With the goal of attracting top drivers, Spec MX-5 should serve as an excellent driver development platform. Drivers get to compete against a tough field and measure themselves. Drivers get the trackside support needed to free them to work on data and video analysis and receive coaching if desired.

Available Seats

Winding Road Racing and Atlanta Speedwerks have the cars needed to accept 10 drivers for the south central series and 10 drivers for the south eastern series. The teams will bring spare parts and spare cars in an effort to maximize track time.

If you would like to stay in the loop for additional details about Spec MX-5 and/or you think you’d like to apply for one of the open Spec MX-5 seats, please contact Todd Lamb at specmx5@ATLspeedwerks.com.

Runoffs Recap

We just returned from the 2017 SCCA Runoffs at Indy. What a great event!

 

It was a huge success for our client Tray Ayres, who claimed his first National Championship winning SRF3 in a field of 101 cars! As a team we got to kiss the bricks as part of the celebration. Todd Lamb qualified 4th and finished 8th in SRF3.

Andy Devoto showed everyone on the test days that the 1.6 Spec Miata can still hold its own, putting in the 8th fastest time on Sunday.

Senter Smith had a great showing in his new Speedwerks VVT build, starting 39th and finishing 29th in the 90+ Spec Miata field.

Steve Sturm made the big show in Spec Miata by way of the Last Chance Qualifying race.

Matt Reynolds qualified in 4th and had a good run for the opening laps in SM until contact slowed his progress.

Our Spec Boxster qualified 2nd in T3 with Todd Lamb at the wheel, but unfortunately he and the polesitter were knocked out of the race on the first lap by an over-ambitious driver.

 It was great to see many of our racing friends stop by, including Tim Weaver, Jeff VanBendegom, and Tom Brown.

     

July updates

We’ve had a very busy spring and summer, running SCCA races, PCA races, and Global MX-5 Cup events across the US and Canada.

In SCCA, we just returned from the Cat Majors at Road America, where Topher put his Spec Boxster on pole and won the T3 class – his first majors victory. Tray Ayres set the fastest time in SRF3 qualifying but unfortunately had a mechanical issue which ended his race early. Coaching Client Breton Williams finished 2nd in his Prather EP car. At Blackhawk Farms, Jeff Vanbendegom won his first ever SM race after qualifying on pole.

In PCA, we raced at Watkins Glen, with great results by Topher, Todd, and Hunt (pole and a win) in Spec Boxster. Road Atlanta was in April, with Todd and Topher both on the podium in SPB.

In Global MX-5 Cup, we struggled with some ECU issues the first half of the season, but once those were sorted out Todd was able to lead at Road America and finish second. At the Streets of Toronto race Todd led race one, but got caught up in someone else’s error and wound up in the wall with a few fractured ribs, ending his run for the championship.

Sebring PCA Club Race

We’ve finally recovered from a fun filled weekend at the Porsche Club Race at Sebring. Our two new Spec Boxster builds were completed in record time. Topher Everett piloted his red #29 to a victory in the fun race – his first PCA race weekend in his new car with an awesome graphics scheme a la Porsche. We copied his livery for our black #84 shop car, with Todd Lamb taking the win in the enduro in our other new build. PCA puts on very fun, laid back events, catered to the customers (drivers). Race with us or stop by our paddock at the upcoming Road Atlanta PCA race April 1-2.

Video from the enduro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-l59J5GKJ8

Topher’s writeup on the weekend: http://www.racinggearreviews.com/blog/2017/2/8/spec-boxster-battle