Club Spec: More More More, Plus GRM Live!

The announcement on the concept of Club Spec – the idea that anyone should be able to build a car to a common set of rules that has the performance and competitiveness for autocross and Tire Rack SCCA® Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty events, paired with the reliability needed for Track Night in America® Driven by Tire Rack events, SCCA RoadRallies, and beyond – was well received.

Multiple surveys were sent, and a collection of cars were chosen based on your feedback – obviously not everyone’s favorite car could make the first cut, but topping the list were the NC Miata and early S197 Ford Mustang GT. The first-gen Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ also ranked high in the surveys, but it was decided that those vehicles are already well served in the SCCA Autocross Solo Spec Coupe (SSC) and Time Trials Sport 5 classes.

With the two cars selected for the inaugural Club Spec offerings, we’re now tackling the next set of questions from those looking to get started. Namely, those questions are: What can (or could/should) I do to my Club Spec NC or S197, and when can I enter SCCA events in my Club Spec car?

A detailed look can be found by clicking the link below, which takes you to SCCA’s official Club Spec page – although if you’re looking for the TLDR version, keep scrolling on this page. Then a bonus: Tune to the Grassroots Motorsports YouTube channel or Facebook page on Nov. 8, 2023, at 9pm ET for GRM Live! to discover even more.

Club Spec Homepage

What Mods?

The list of allowed modifications for the selected Club Spec cars was not made in a vacuum. Rather, SCCA staff worked closely with the SCCA Board of Directors and program boards (like the Solo Events Board (SEB) and Time Trials department), SCCA partners, and more. The results were performance packages developed to complement and optimize each chassis, then doubling those with lessons learned in SCCA Autocross and Time Trials competition by standardizing a tire manufacturer and spec size per car.

The NC Miata, which is model years 2006-’15, is an all-purpose machine that will be outstanding in Club Spec trim. On the required list is the Mazda Motorsports Spec MX-5 suspension kit in its entirety, including Penske shocks and Eibach springs. In competition form, the Club Spec NC MX-5 will run on Falken Azenis RT660 in size 225/45-17 fitted on 17x8 wheels. This car also gets an optional durability and track kit, depending on your personal budget and needs.

“Mazda Motorsports always wants to help people get involved in motorsports, and the Club Spec program is one of the easiest ways to do that without building a full race car,” said Josh Smith, Business Development Manager for Mazda Motorsports. “We like the choice of the NC MX-5, because it rides the line of reliability and performance with availability and cost. We worked with the SCCA to outline the package that makes this capable of autocross or being on track while still remaining a street car. With the Spec MX-5 shock package, we think there’s an opportunity for some to build this all the way into a road racing car down the line if they so choose. In all, we think the Club Spec package in all its forms is a great opportunity to get involved with a proven package, and Mazda is proud to be a part of it.”

The 2005-’09 Ford Mustang GT (S197 chassis) will utilize the stock 4.6L, three valve V-8 motor for Club Spec competition, with a tune also a part of this. The suspension components will be off the shelf KONI Sport shocks, known colloquially as “KONI yellows.” A Ford Racing spring kit complements the shocks, and UMI bars, end links, and strut towers – all adjustable – will be a part of the package. Wheels and tires will be 18x9.5 wheels mounted with spec 275/40-18 tires (the specific brand and model tire is currently in the works). A durability kit is part of the package, including the Ford Performance four-piston Brembo kit.

“The Club Spec concept, to have a car that fits with the same ruleset in both Time Trials and Solo, is a great thing,” said Sam Strano, owner of Strano Performance Parts, who helped develop the S197 Club Spec package. “The 2005 to 2009 Mustang GT is a great choice because the chassis has a solid proven history with both road courses and autocross. I won three straight autocross National Championships in F Stock, plus the 2009 ProSolo Championship, in a Shelby GT. There isn’t an easier V-8, rear-wheel-drive solution than this. The parts are plentiful, and the cars are readily available and relatively affordable. They are easy to work on and make great sounds, too. Plus, you can carry lots of stuff if you aren't inclined to tow, which is a bonus.”

Find Out More with GRM Live!

Back to those questions you had earlier, like when can you finally compete in a Club Spec car? Soon. Very soon. Classes are being setup right now, some supplemental, with a goal of this kicking off for the 2024 season in SCCA Autocross and Time Trials.

Want to know more? Tune to the Grassroots Motorsports YouTube channel or Facebook page for GRM Live! on Nov. 8, 2023, at 9pm ET where JG Pasterjak from Grassroots Motorsports, SCCA’s Senior Director of Rally/Solo and Experiential Programs Heyward Wagner, Josh Smith from Mazda Motorsports, and Sam Strano from Strano Performance Parts will walk you from concept to the rules packages that are now, officially, Club Spec.

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