Race Weekend Central

Grand-Am to Add B-Spec Events Later in 2012

On Saturday, Grand-Am Road Racing officially announced the creation of a new series that will act as the teritary division for the organization. The series will simply be referred to as “B-Spec.”

The new B-Spec class is designed to be a very inexpensive way for brand new organizations to get involved with racing, and for existing organizations to cultivate new talent at a minimal cost. No professional drivers from any series will be allowed to participate in any B-Spec races.

The B-Spec series will race four cylinder subcompact automobiles. Five manufacturers have already signed on to provide vehicles for the series. Those are Mazda with their 2, Honda with their Fit, Ford with their Fiesta, Mini with their Cooper and Kia with their brand-new Rio.

As for how expensive these cars will be, Mazda would have prospective teams purchase a new Mazda 2. These start at roughly $15,000. From there, there would be a $2600 package that teams would have to buy from Mazdaspeed Motorsports. Finally, there would the all-important safety equipment (roll cage, racing seat, safety harness, fire extinguisher, etc.). The total cost per new car would be somewhere between $20,000-$30,000.

Grand-Am brass are quite confident that the series will be a great fit in the organization.

“This new form of Grand-Am racing will attract new racers and in the process, new fans,” said Mark Raffauf, Grand-Am’s Managing Director of Racing Operations. “The cars are cool and the competition will be door-to-door, which should be a lot of fun for everyone – a nice fit with what Grand-Am already has happening at every event.”

The B-Spec class will race at six tracks later this season starting with Homestead at the end of April. Subsequent rounds would be held at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen (during the Six Hour weekend), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Lime Rock Park. Events will be 30-45 minutes in length with no pit stops.

The new series has been likened to the Renault Cup, a spec-series of Renault Le Car’s (and later Renault Alliances) back in the 1980’s. However, it more closely resembles IMSA’s International Sedan Series, which featured Acura Integras, Plymouth Horizons, Volkswagen Golfs, and the 1980’s version of the Dodge Charger, amongst others.

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