Honda and Mazda Collaborating on B-Spec Stock Racing
The goal of the collaboration is to provide close racing in affordable cars. The new racer is developed from the Mazda2 and the Honda Fit. (Yes, the Honda Fit as racer. Who would have thought it possible?) Both cars will be on display at the annual Performance Racing Industry trade show in front of 40,000 racing insiders. It concludes today in Orlando, Fla.
Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; and MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, the performance division of Mazda North American Operations, are working together, according to a Mazda press release.
B-Spec refers to all cars meeting a common set of rules that can be adopted by any race circuit or sanctioning organization. Together, Honda and Mazda solicited an independent body to develop a set of vehicle specifications that will be available for all to use - the motorsports equivalent of "freeware." The final rules should be ready for release within 60 days.
One of the fastest-growing segments of the automobile business, B-segment cars are among the most affordable, and enjoy great support from younger demographics. In addition to the MAZDA2 and the Honda Fit, the category includes the Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris.
Two prototypes for the class - a MAZDASPEED-run MAZDA2 and a Honda Fit, prepared and entered by Team Honda Research-West - debuted at last weekend's 25 Hours of Thunderhill season-ending NASA endurance racing contest in Willows, CA.
Designed to be an entry-level category, B-Spec cars will feature showroom stock racing cars utilizing stock engines and chassis, fitted with a competition roll cage, racing seat and other safety equipment; and manufacturer-approved suspension components, tires and wheels. Weight distribution will be used to balance performance among competing manufacturers.