The Spec Miata (SM) class is intended to provide the opportunity to compete in low-cost cars with limited modifications, suitable for racing competition. It is intended to encourage low cost, entry level, production car based competition. Spec Miata currently races both sprints and enduros where available.
Mazda Miatas in model years 1990 through 1993 with 1600 cc engines, model years 1994 through 1997 with 1800 cc engines, and model years 1999 through 2005 with 1800 cc engines have been approved by the SCCA for Regional racing in all divisions of the SCCA. The class was approved for National SCCA racing beginning in the 2006 racing season. The "First Ever" Miata National was held at PIR in Phoenix, AZ with Mike Halpin as the "First Ever" National race winner.
As its name shows, Spec Miata is a "specified" class. This means that the rules for allowable modifications to the car are very strict. The class intends to put drivers on a very even footing by making their cars as identical as possible. The rules are far more conservative than the Improved Touring category, but provide equivalent safety measures.
Because of the support of Mazda through Mazdaspeed, the wide availability of the car on the used market, plentiful and inexpensive parts, and the simplicity of maintenance on the cars, Spec Miata has become a very popular class. Also adding to the appeal is the fact that A Spec Miata can be raced in both SM and ITA/ITS in SCCA Regional Competition. A typical race-ready spec miata can be purchased on the market for $8000–$35,000 depending on race win history and specific modifications.
Garth Stein, author of the best selling novel The Art of Racing in the Rain, based the book on his experience as a race car driver, having won the points championship in the Northwest region Spec Miata class in 2003. Stein left racing after a serious crash — while racing in the rain.
This section is not an exhaustive set of rules; it is intended to give the reader an idea of the preparation level of the cars in this class.
Depending on the region, Toyo, Kumho, or Hankook tires are specified. For National competition, the Toyo RA-1 (205/50R15) is the spec tire. Toyo RA-1 is now required in SCCA as of January 1, 2010 though the R-888 may be used until supplies are exhausted. In 2012 Hoosier Tires will provide the spec tire for all National Events. The wheel size is fixed at 15x7, with the wheels weighing no less than 13 pounds.
Cars with 1.6 liter engines have a race weight of 2300 pounds (1057 kg) and first generation cars with a 1.8 liter displacement engine have a minimum race weight of 2350 pounds. "Second generation Miatas" (1999-05) have a minimum weight of 2400 pounds. (These rules as of January 1, 2012)
The 1.8 liter displacement cars may not run an aftermarket air intake and must run a throttle restrictor, while the 1.6 liter displacement cars do not require a restrictor and may run a modified air box. The full rules for the class may be found in the current Spec Miata Category Specifications of the SCCA rule book, called the GCR (General Competition Rules & Specifications).
"Spec cars, such as SCCA Spec Miata, and now NASCAR—and increasingly Formula One—take the car out of the equation and it becomes more driver vs. driver. This is the purest form of racing, and in some cases, such as Spec Miata, it might not draw a crowd, but so what? We're talking pure sport. I predict that in the next two decades, every major type of racing will be a spec series." - H.A. Wheeler
"What folks want to race is what we need to be racing, duh." [Jim Daniels, co-class founder and former SpecMiata.com owner]
"Spec Miata is a cross between the chariot race from Ben Hur and 101 Dalmatians" - Road and Track magazine
SCCA National Champions
- 2013 Jim Drago, Memphis, TN
- 2012 Jim Drago, Memphis, TN
- 2011 Elivan Goulart, Shelton, CT
- 2010 Andrew Charbonneau, Delray Beach, FL
- 2009 Steven Gorriaran, Providence, R.I.
- 2008 Eric Foss, Northeast Oklahoma Region www.ericfossracing.com
- 2007 Brad Rampelberg, San Francisco Region
- 2006 Andrew Caddell, Northwest Region
NASA National Champions
- 2012 Yiannis Tsiounis
- 2011 Nathanial Sparks
- 2010 Dan Mackeever
- 2009 Andy Rushing
- 2008 Todd Lamb www.toddlamb.com
- 2007 Todd Lamb
- 2006 Greg Stasiowski
- "Paperback Trade Fiction Bestseller List". The New York Times, March 19, 2010. March 28, 2010.
- "AUTHOR TALK: Garth Stein". Bookreporter.com, May 16, 2008.
- "AUTHOR TALK: Garth Stein". Bookreporter.com, May 16, 2008. "When I crashed my car pretty badly --- ironically, while racing in the rain --- I decided to semi-retire from racing, and now I only race enough to keep my license current."
- racer.com. "Hoosier named tire for SCCA National Spec Miata competition beginning in 2012". racer.com. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "Charbonneau Takes Caution-Filled Spec Miata SCCA National Championship". scca.com. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- The current NASA SM Rules are downloadable at .
- The current NASA SSM Rules are downloadable at .
General Competition Rules and Specifications, 2006, Sports Car Club of America.
- The current edition of this book is downloadable from the SCCA website at this page.
- Contact MazdaSpeed for parts and support at this page.