The classic statement of the price of road racing: "How do you make a small fortune in racing? Start with a large one." The truth of that statement is what has given it such legs, but Mazda and Honda hope to overcome the high hurdle to entry-level road racing with their newly-formed B-Spec series.
A new take on Showroom Stock racing crossing boundaries between SCCA and NASA, the two major U.S. sanctioning bodies, the B-Spec series will put race cars based on the Mazda2 and Honda Fit on track for what will hopefully be very reasonable sums of money. Other makes will also be able to fit the ruleset, including other inexpensive cars like the Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta, and Chevrolet Aveo.
Two prototype examples of B-Spec racers have already taken to the track, contesting this past weekend's 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Run by factory-backed teams, both the Mazda2 and Honda Fit demonstrated their track-worthiness during the endurance event.
Only limited modifications will be allowed in the B-Spec series, with a roll cage, racing seat, and safety items at the top of the list. Engine and chassis must remain stock, though manufacturer-approved suspension, tires, and wheels will be allowed, as will modifications to weight distribution. An as-yet unnamed independent third party will be used to homologate and balance cars and competition.
The final rules for the new series will be announced sometime in the next 60 days.