On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle - and the venerable Mazda MX-5 Miata is the vehicle of choice. In fact, the fastest-growing road-racing class in the United States is the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) Spec Miata class, with more than 1,000 identically prepared Miatas tearing up America's racetracks.
Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today unveiled the next generation of Spec Miata at the New York International Auto Show.
"With the all-new 2006 Mazda MX-5 as a starting point, it was easy for us to create the fastest, best-handling and most comprehensively prepared Spec Miata yet," said Steve Sanders, manager, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development. "The combination of a tuned suspension, a willing engine and consistent braking means Miatas always have made terrific racecars. With more grip, more power and more stopping ability, the new MX-5 is the perfect starting point to be the very best Miata racecar yet."
The Spec Miata series provides an affordable, entry-level nationwide class whereby amateur racing drivers can compete in inexpensive, identically prepared first- and second-generation Miatas. The greatest attraction of the series is that all regions of the country use similar rules and regulations, enabling drivers to compete nationally and always remain competitive. Components for the cars are sold directly through MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development (www.mazdaspeedmotorsports.com), which also supports the program monetarily with contingency awards to successful drivers.
The all-new 2006 MX-5 Miata is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder MZR engine, derived from the powerplant used in the MAZDA and MAZDA . In stock trim, it produces 170-hp at 7000 rpm and a very flat and usable torque curve peaking at 140 lb-ft. at 5000 rpm.
To turn the new MX-5 into a racecar, MAZDASPEED turned to a number of respected suppliers and partners, and the build-sheet reads like a who's-who of the racing community:
Racing Beat stainless steel header and exhaust system
Idemitsu racing lubricants for engine, transmission and differential
Racing Beat swaybars
MAZDASPEED shock absorbers
Racing Hart wheels, sized 18 x 7.5 inches
Hankook Ventus DOT-legal racing tires, shaved to racing depth
AWR custom-designed and fabricated six-point rollcage
AiM Sports MXL Pista custom dash display and data-logger
Sparco racing seat
Sparco steering wheel
Sparco six-point racing harness
Maziora custom-blended paint from Nippon Paint
Mother's polishes and waxes
MAZDASPEED's intention is to use this car as the prototype from which they will further develop the package of components that will transform the MX-5 for the 2006 season of a professional Spec Miata series. As testing continues, some of these parts may change as MAZDASPEED hones the car with the perfect combination of cost versus performance.
Often held in conjunction with SCCA professional road-racing events and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, the current MAZDASPEED Miata Cup professional Spec Miata series is absolutely the least expensive way to participate in top-flight road racing in front of professional teams and large crowds.
Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, consumer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.
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