Skip Barber Racing’s First Sports Car Series Debuts The first-ever races of the inaugural Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge championship are this weekend, April 4-6, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
This new series, announced late last year, is conducted in the same manner as the long-running (since 1976) open-wheel Skip Barber Race Series: Providing a fleet of identically prepared race cars made available to drivers for a set race-weekend fee.
But rather than using the traditional Formula Skip Barber single-seaters, drivers in the MAZDASPEED Challenge compete in MX-5 Miata race cars that are race-prepped in the same manner as those used in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Series.
‘‘The Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge is an important new rung on the Mazda-driven motorsports ladder,’’ said Skip Barber President George Ayres.
‘‘Drivers can now move from our Three Day Racing School (open-wheel or MX-5 Miata) to the new MAZDASPEED Challenge and from there into the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, Grand-Am, ALMS, SCCA and other sedan and sports car championships.’’ The Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge season champion is eligible to be invited to the annual Mazda MX- 5 Cup Shootout, the winner of which is awarded a paid season in the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Series.
This inaugural 2008 MAZDASPEED Challenge series is a five-weekend, 10-race championship.
The openers are April 4-6, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with rounds three and four at Virginia International Raceway, May 2-4.
Rounds five and six are back at Laguna June 6-8, followed by rounds seven and eight, July 10-12 (Thurs. – Sat.), at Road Atlanta.
The season finale is at Road America, September 26-28.