The Mazda MX-5 Spec Series is a passion project realized

After a nearly two-year delay, Mazda Philippines’s dream of having a local one-make race series featuring its venerable MX-5 is happening. It’s a project filled with various delays and setbacks, but just as the Hiroshima-based carmaker showed resilience by restarting production just four months after the dropping of the atom bomb, the start of the Miata Spec Series is the result of the same challenging spirit.

In collaboration with the Manila Sports Car Club (MSCC) and the Clark International Speedway (CIS), the 2022 MSCC Miata Spec Series will feature 20 brand-new track-tuned MX-5 open-top sportscars to be raced exclusively by MSCC members.

“We are delighted to finally see the much-awaited Miata Spec Series take to the track as the Manila Sports Car Club’s official racing event,” shares Steven Tan, President and CEO of Mazda Philippines. “The one-make format of the Miata Spec Series provides a unique opportunity for MSCC members to hone their skills and to enjoy the pure essence of driving. Mazda’s motorsports DNA and its participation in grassroots racing events around the world has made it simpler for us to institute this partnership with the MSCC and the series’ new sponsors.”

Sponsored by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, GT Radial tires, and Rota Wheels, the 2022 MSCC Miata Spec Series season will cover four race weekends starting on the 11th of June. The other three race dates are August 27th, October 22nd and November 26th. All races will be held at the CIS.

MSCC Spec Series major sponsors and partners (L-R): ROTA President Michael Rojas, Pilipinas Shell Head of Mobility Marketing Arvin Obmerga, Kart Plaza Manufacturing COO Dennis Ayuyao, CIS and BRC owner and operator Johnny Tan, Mazda Philippines President and CEO Steven Tan, Manila Sports Car Club’s Windy Imperial, GT Radial Sales and Marketing Director Mannix Ocampo, and Shell Lubricant Supply Chain Manager Jonas Sarmiento

Work on the Miata Spec Series started way back in 2018. At the time Mazda Philippines explored the possibility of coming up with their own one-make racing series, where they would supply identical MX-5 roadsters and a third party would organize the races alongside the Miata Cup. When the pandemic struck in 2020, the entire program was put on hold.

In 2021, organization of the racing series took on a different flavor when the MSCC came in. Wanting a racing series to call their own, the MSCC partnered with Mazda Philippines to come up with what’s to become the Miata Spec Series that’ll be raced starting this year.

All MSCC Miata Spec Series cars will hit the racetrack with showroom-stock Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter engines and 6-speed Skyactiv manual transmissions. Each car’s suspension components have been upgraded and reinforced with CUSCO sports coilovers and chassis braces to maximize handling and performance on the track while ensuring drivability on the road.

A custom stainless steel exhaust system, developed by local company Drift Xaust, maximizes airflow and enhances the aggressive racing note emanating from the MX-5’s 181hp mill. While a Sparco competition steering wheel, racing seat, harness and safety net, along with a new CUSCO racing roll cage are all installed in each car to secure the drivers’ control and safety on and off the track. All MX-5 Spec Series cars will race with GT Radial Champiro SX2 tires mounted on custom 17 x 8.0 J ROTA Strike wheels.

Along with the MSCC Miata Spec Series, members of the Miata Club Philippines will also run their Miata Cup races on the same race days. The return of the Miata Cup after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions cements its reputation as the country’s longest running sports car racing championship.

The partnership between the MSCC and Mazda is nothing short of perfect. As a platform, the MX-5 needs little introduction. It’s the most raced car in the world. In the United States alone, more than 2,500 MX-5 are currently running through various motorsports disciplines from track to gymkhanas. It is truly all about grassroots racing with the single goal of celebrating driving. Meanwhile, for MSCC members, the MX-5 is considered a bonafide sportscar, and ownership of one can grant its owner membership into the highly exclusive club.

True enough, the Miata Spec Series is done on the grounds of genuine passion, and it’s something you see and feel in everyone—from the participants to the sponsors to the very people that cover them. There’s this genuine authenticity to the series. It’s also one where ultimately, the reward isn’t about money. It’s all about deepening the bond between car and driver, driver with fellow driver. The shiny trophy just comes as an unexpected bonus.

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