Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mazda and Honda Unveil B-Spec Racers

Mazda and Honda Unveil B-Spec Racers

With the goal of providing close racing in affordable cars from a variety of manufacturers, Honda and Mazda jointly announce the formation of "B-Spec" Showroom Stock racing.

Mazda and Honda Unveil B-Spec Racers
Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; and MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, the performance division of Mazda North American Operations, today unveiled their entries for the proposed new low-cost B-Spec, developed from the MAZDA2 and Honda Fit. Both cars will be on display at the annual Performance Racing Industry trade show in front of 40,000 racing insiders.

B-Spec refers to all cars meeting a common set of rules that can be adopted by any race circuit or sanctioning organization. Together, Honda and Mazda solicited an independent body to develop a set of vehicle specifications that will be available for all to use - the motorsports equivalent of "freeware." The final rules should be ready for release within 60 days.

One of the fastest-growing segments of the automobile business, B-segment cars are among the most affordable, and enjoy great support from younger demographics. In addition to the MAZDA2 and the Honda Fit, the category includes the Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris.

Two prototypes for the class - a MAZDASPEED-run MAZDA2 and a Honda Fit, prepared and entered by Team Honda Research-West - debuted at last weekend's 25 Hours of Thunderhill season-ending NASA endurance racing contest in Willows, CA.

Designed to be an entry-level category, B-Spec cars will feature showroom stock racing cars utilizing stock engines and chassis, fitted with a competition roll cage, racing seat and other safety equipment; and manufacturer-approved suspension components, tires and wheels. Weight distribution will be used to balance performance among competing manufacturers.

The manufacturers will use an independent third party to homologate competing cars and provide equalized specifications to any interested sanctioning bodies or race tracks. A racer who builds a B-Spec car will be able to race the same car across multiple sanctioning bodies by simply changing the sanctioning-body decals. Only homologated OEM models will be eligible within the rules.

This is intended to be a grassroots class of racing, and at present, there are no plans for a B-Spec professional series.
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development is the motorsports division of Mazda North American Operations, and has provided support and competition parts for Mazda teams and racers since 1983. MAZDASPEED is involved in racing activities at all levels of the sport, from local autocrosses through multiple levels of professional open-wheel and sports-car racing. On any given weekend, more Mazda cars are road-raced than any other brand.

Honda Performance Development is the Honda racing company within North America. Founded in 1993, and located in Santa Clarita, Calif., HPD is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines. In addition to its grassroots motorsports business, HPD is the single engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series and spearheaded championship-winning efforts in the 2009-2010 American Le Mans Series, 2010 Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Since 1944, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has championed one mission: To bring motorsports to the masses of American men and women who are passionate about automobiles, speed and competition. From National Championships to regional events, whether professional or amateur, we exist to organize, support and develop auto racing at every level and provide an outlet for you to get out of the armchair and into the action. So, whether your passion is autocrossing, rallying or road racing as a professional or as a weekend warrior, SCCA wants to help you fuel your passion.

The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was formed in 1991 to deliver high-quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the nation. NASA has created programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a safe and controlled environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs.

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