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B-Spec announcement from PRI

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#1
Tim Buck

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Mazda & Honda Unveil B-Spec Racers

SCCA & NASA Adopt “Freeshare” Rules

ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 9, 2010) – 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.
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.

Quotes:

Marc Sours, General Manager, HPD -- “A cornerstone of our grassroots motorsports initiative has been to
establish a connection between Honda’s passenger cars and the racing cars which evolve from these models.
The B-Spec category provides a relatively low-cost means for the prospective racer to enter the sport, and the
Honda Fit offers a natural point of entry. These are inexpensive, great-handling cars that should provide both
excellent competition and help grow the sport at the entry level.”

John Doonan, Manager, Motorsports Team Development, MAZDASPEED -- “Road racing remains a highly
popular activity, but affordability is a huge challenge. Mazda enjoys the largest spec class in the world in Spec Miata and the easy way to race the MAZDA2 would have been to create a similar spec class. But we feel
cooperation and multi-manufacturer competition can grow the sport for everyone.”

Jeff Dahnert, SCCA President & CEO – “We’re very intrigued by the collaboration of Honda and Mazda on a
common rule set for these sub-compact market cars. It’s often perceived that manufacturers are seeking any
advantage possible over their competition, but this effort is proof that rivals can work together toward a common goal—one that will likely be attractive to many of SCCA’s members. We look forward to seeing these cars in National competition in 2012”

Jerry Kunzman, Executive Director NASA – “NASA supports the OEMs in their endeavor to create a multimanufacturer
race class for the new B category cars like the MAZDA2 and the Honda Fit. A tightly controlled
ruleset which will control costs and limit modifications will make this a drivers’ class and help expose this new segment of vehicles. This is in line with the NASA goals of making racing as affordable as possible to draw
even more participants.”

In addition to the four confirmed participants, others have been involved in the discussion with an eye to joining the B-Spec ranks in 2011 or 2012. Ron Stukenberg, Senior Manager, Motorsports, Nissan North America noted that “Nissan Motorsports is very interested in the B Spec program and is closely evaluating it for possible future Versa entrants. The concept of cost-effective, entry-level sedan racing is certainly a great way to hone a driver’s motor-racing skills and hearkens back to the days of our involvement with the BRE 510. In the next few months, Nissan Motorsports should be in a position to finalize our intentions in this new class.”

About the participants:

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 roadraced
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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Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#2
Guest_Mike_*

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Mazda & Honda Unveil B-Spec Racers

Added Mazda2 B-Spec Forum to Mazda Club Racing

#3
dstevens

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I saw that release over at SCCA's site today. Sounds like a solid concept.

#4
davecarama

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Forgive me if this is a stupid question. Sounds like the cars are sold as homologate race cars. Does that mean that if I want a Mazda2 B Spec race car, I need to purchase it through Mazda directly? If so, have they released pricing yet? I am intrigued.
Dave
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#5
dstevens

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I read it that way at first too. After reading it again it seems they'll homologate the actual models used with the company chosen developing the specs to create parity among the brands.

Dave

#6
davecarama

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Ah! So I am assuming it will be similar to MX5 Cup, where cages, wheels, tires, EVERYTHING will be spec'ed out, even where to purchase the parts.

Still intrigued... Wonder how much for the complete list of parts to be purchased...
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#7
Jim Daniels - FIG

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Ah! So I am assuming it will be similar to MX5 Cup, where cages, wheels, tires, EVERYTHING will be spec'ed out, even where to purchase the parts.

Still intrigued... Wonder how much for the complete list of parts to be purchased...



My understanding is that it will not be spec cages just a spec for the cage. Tim will reply once all that corporate holiday days are used up...... ;)

I don't much like the idea of the FIT. It has been around for several years so lower cost starter cars will be out there. Oh well, they all will all see a Mazda bumper.

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#8
Mike Colangelo

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I actually drove a Mazda2 this past Sunday. It's a fun little car! Steering feedback is fantastic. It's not overboosted like so many cars with EPAS. The shifter felt great, too. Very Miata-like.

I'm looking forward to seeing these B-Spec cars hit the track.

#9
wreckerboy

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We've had one since September and have 8000 miles on it now. About the only complaints I've got are:

1. The radio doesn't turn on when it's below about 25 degrees out.
2. The highway MPG is worse (32) than the city MPG (36+)
3. The fly by wire throttle is not terribly responsive off-idle, so heel and toeing is iffy at times.


Beyond those minor issues, it's a great little car.
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#10
Lance Snyder

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Where would these run in SCCA? SSC?
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#11
Mike Colangelo

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Where would these run in SCCA? SSC?


Well, the B-Spec class officially begins in 2012 so I'd imagine that any B-Spec cars built this year would be racing in SSC until then. I'm not sure how comeptitive they'd be against the current line-up of SCC cars but it'd give them a place to play.

#12
davecarama

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Has it been 60 days yet? I don't even see the Mazda2 in the Mazdaspeed system yet... Can't wait for more info!
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver




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