In today’s world, spec series racing is only limited to the virtual world of Gran Turismo. Sure, it’s a fun and affordable way to get some racing burn on a race track, but the truth of the matter is, it’s constrained to nothing more than video games. Real world racing of this kind costs a lot of money and resources, and people that have neither of those things are left out of luck.
Despite the fact that there are no B-spec professional series out there, Honda and Mazda are setting a goal of providing close racing in affordable cars by jointly announcing the formation of "B-Spec" Showroom Stock racing. The performance divisions for each brand – Honda Performance Development and MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development – recently unveiled their entries for a proposed new low-cost B-Spec series, using the Honda Fit and the MAZDA2 as their respective platforms.
As one of the fastest-growing segments in the entire automotive industry, B-segment vehicles have grown in popularity because they’re affordable and, more importantly, have enjoyed a tremendous following from younger demographics. That success has translated into the idea of producing cheap(er) B-Spec racers with the Fit and Mazda2 being two of among a number of other hatchbacks that would fit into this category. Other vehicles include the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, and Chevrolet Aveo.
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The good thing about B-Spec racing is that all cars are customized to meet a common set of rules that can be adopted by any race circuit or sanctioning organization. B-Spec cars will feature showroom stock racing cars that will make use of stock engines and chassis. These cars are then fitted with a competition roll cage, racing seat, and other safety equipment, as well as manufacturer-approved suspension components, tires, and wheels, all of which will come standard among all competing teams.
As part of their continued participation in standardizing a set of vehicle specifications for B-Spec racing, Honda and Mazda have began working with an independent body to develop a set of vehicle specifications that will be available for all to use with the final rules set to be released within the next 60 days. In the meantime, the two racing prototypes by Honda and Mazda even had their test run recently at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race at Willows, California.
Is this a sign of things to come for a future B-Spec racing series? There’s no telling how a proposed series is going to come to fruition because these plans are only intended for a grassroots class of racing. But it does paint a pretty unique picture as to how the door can be opened towards a future B-Spec professional racing series in the future.