This post is in no way endorsed by any of the parties below nor especially the SMAC members to whom I am apologizing in advance as they are no doubt going to be barraged by a lot of questions
Based on the posts I have been reading, and reading between the lines in some, I suspect that we will all be hearing more and more about possible integration of the MX-5 into Spec Miata.
I have an open mind on this subject. I have no agenda other than seeing this very healthy and competitive class grow even more appealing, especially to the younger racer, so I want to air my random thoughts on this matter and hopefully we can start a healthy discussion on this subject.
This is how I see the interested parties viewpoint, and I am sure I am missing many and look forward to the discussion that this is sure to provoke
I am not speaking for Mazda but I would think that from Mazdaâ€™s perspective the integration of the MX-5 into Spec Miata would appear to make perfect sense. Much better for them to have a current relevant model racing than a 25 year old car that doesnâ€™t promote the current product identity. So I expect that there will be a phasing out of the 1.6 cars and possibly the 94 - 97 1.8 NA cars, and I guess they will be destined for regional racing in IT. And eventually the '99 car will go that way too.
I also believe it is in Mazdaâ€™s interest to approach the integration by removing the restrictor on the â€™99 and VVT cars in order to equalize thd earlier cars with the MX-5 vehicle performance. Faster race cars, more exciting for the viewer, also negates slowing down the current car too much and making it look like a slow car.
And lets face it, the MX-5 is a way sportier and sexier looking car than its predecessors. This will appeal to the younger driver who has no nostalgic attachment to the older Miata variants, like us older folk.
Engine Builders, Car Prep Teams, others with commerial interests
For all the engine builders, prep teams, and some current car owners, it makes sense to stay with the developed pro motor spec, rather than developing a new spec making existing engines obsolete (like 1.6 cars). This group would like to see engines continue to be developed, dynoâ€™d etc, to extract the last HP available. This is in their financial interest.
Drivers (those funding all the above)
For those 1.6/1.8 NA owners, whose cars will eventually become obsolete, any acceleration of this day will be a bitter pill to swallow, however inevitable it might be, and would leave many upset with the class and its leadership, and I would anticipate a drop in race entries
I also believe that any speeding up of the current â€™99 and VVT cars will cost us dearly in the long term with accelerated failures of all items (engines, gearboxes, clutches, wheel bearings, brakes etc) due to higher performance being extracted, and will also lead to more severe and expensive crashes. Tire costs will also increase with increased speeds.
I do also believe that there is a growing discontent amongst drivers about the cost of trying to remain competitive in Spec Miata. I believe many drivers would like to see a class where the engines are left stock or sealed. Now I know that those with money will always be able to purchase many engines, dyno until they identify the best one, and sell the rest, as motor racing is always going to be a sport where money will make a difference. But I still believe that this would curtail costs for the majority of drivers in this class. So I suspect that there will be a growing desire for a sealed motor SM-5 type class, but it will only happen when the fast drivers migrate to this new class. Until then it will not attract critical mass.
So it appears that we have many different parties all invested in this sport each with their own agenda. But for any sport to survive, it has to remain affordable to be relevant. We are after all Spec Miata. This class started out as a budget racing class, and has quickly evolved into an exceptionally expensive and very competitive class.
Let the healthy discussions start!