Grand-Am Adds B-Spec Competition For 2012

Honda Fit and Mazda2 B-Spec with production models - Photo courtesy Mazdaspeed

Honda Fit and Mazda2 B-Spec with production models - Photo courtesy Mazdaspeed

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Grand-Am is adding B-Spec races to its roster of competition. 

Currently B-Spec racers are being produced by five manufacturers with the following models: Mazda2, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Mini Cooper and Kia Rio. 

Future manufacturer entries are expected.

B-Spec racers are typically an entry level class with modest improvements for safety reasons allowed. While some strut and shock adjustments might be permitted, the rest of the amendments to these cars would include removing the interiors (for weight savings) and adding safety equipment. Typically the 4-cylinder cars have about 110-115 horsepower and cost no more than $30,000, with most coming in at the $10,000-$15,000 range.

The six sprint races--planned for between 30 and 45 minutes in length--will take place on Grand-Am race weekends at Homestead-Miami Speedway (April 27-29), New Jersey Motorsports Park (May 11-13), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 8-9), Watkins Glen International (June 29-July 1), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept 7-9) and Lime Rock Park on September 28-29.

The practice sessions for B-Spec will also be their qualifying sessions and no licensed professional drivers will be allowed to participate. Grand-Am will use weight and other variables to balance performance among competing manufacturers, the series said.

"This new form of Grand-Am racing will attract new racers and, in the process new fans," said Mark Raffauf, managing director of racing operations. "The cars are cool and the competition will be door-to-door, which should be a lot of fun for everyone and a nice fit with what Grand-Am already has happening at every one of our events."

B-Spec was originally announced jointly by competitors Mazda and Honda at the Performance Racing Industry show in Orlando two years ago. 

The Mazda2 B-Spec kit includes coil-over shocks, front and rear race springs, a rear sway bar, plate and strut bearing, a CAT-Back exhaust system, brake line set with braided stainless, Hawk DTC-60 brake pad set, oil cooler and air conditioning delete option at about $2600. Safety equipment is sold separately, the manufacturer said.

Honda's $2800-kit for the Fit includes coil-over shocks, camber bolts, their brake line set with braided stainless, air filter, front and rear race springs, CAT-back exhaust, front brake-pad set and the air conditioning delete belt.

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