Video: GRM Dives into Club Spec

As more information flows, the interest grows. So is the case with SCCA’s Club Spec initiative after Grassroots Motorsports’s JG Pasterjak hosted a live discussion on the topic. It happened Nov. 8, 2023, on the Grassroots Motorsports Magazine (GRM) Facebook page, as well as the GRM YouTube channel – both of which can now be viewed on demand.

It was June 2023 when SCCA announced it was exploring a concept called Club Spec. The Club Spec premise was that anyone should be able to build a single car along common rulesets that offered both performance and competitiveness with SCCA® Solo and Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty outings. Consideration was also given to reliability needed for Track Night in America® Driven by Tire Rack events, as well as other possible uses.

Questions were posed to SCCA’s membership, responses were received and reviewed, discussions were held between SCCA’s staff, the SCCA Board of Directors, and program boards, and an announcement was made in early November 2023 regarding the Club Spec platforms. The chariots of choice? The NC Miata and early S197 Ford Mustang GT.

You should read the SCCA Club Spec official announcement for background – and certainly review the SCCA Club Spec webpage and Club Spec Facebook group for updates – but the GRM Live! Q&A is a great way to bring yourself up to speed as the show tackles many questions.

The Nuts & Bolts

Pasterjak’s GRM Live! show included segments with Heyward Wagner, SCCA Senior Director for Rally/Solo and Experiential Programs. Then Josh Smith, Business Development Manager for Mazda Motorsports, joined the conversation, as did Sam Strano, who helped develop equipment deliverables for the S197 Ford Mustang GT Club Spec package.

There’s lots to be learned by watching the video interview, but the nuts-n-bolts, so to speak, are:
1. Plenty of affordable vehicles are on the market – just check local listings.
2. Build parts and support already exist, and will be available well into the future.
3. SCCA multi-activity classing is ensured, with specifics forthcoming.

“It’s been a really interesting, fun, exciting, terrifying, awesome journey to get to this place,” Wagner said on GRM Live! “The SCCA Board of Directors have been super involved and engaged. The Solo Events Board has been involved and engaged. We’ve had the first-ever, all-SCCA program work meeting involving the Club Racing Board, RoadRally Board, and RallyCross Board all engaged … and it has brought us to a really great place.”

Wagner added that the Time Trials Board and Solo Events Board have both blessed Club Spec Mustang and Club Spec MX-5 for 2024 events as supplemental classes. Specifics on classing and involvement for RoadRally and RallyCross events is currently being discussed.

On the Ford front, Pasterjak put Strano on the hotseat to learn what the S197 Mustang GT was all about, and as the Club Spec platform conduit for that Mustang, Strano delivered.

“I have all the parts,” Strano said. “Most of the pieces are all easy to do, and we’re ready to rock. Just waiting on the final part number from KONI on the dampers, then we go.”

For the NC Miata, Pasterjak had Mazda’s Smith on the hook for intel. Significant, important insight and advice was shared for SCCA drivers, as well as positive affirmation for what Mazda always delivers to the SCCA membership.

“We’re ready today,” Smith said about Mazda support for Club Spec builds. “Mild to wild … we’ve got parts for every step on your way.”

Race car builds are GRM’s sweet spot, and Pasterjak has more than a few under his belt. When asked what SCCA Club Spec vehicle GRM might devote time, resources, and expertise toward, Pasterjak actually got a bit tongue tied on camera.

“There are fans of both these cars on staff,” Pasterjak said. “This is something in constant discussion with us.”

Stay tuned. There’s more Club Spec fun to come.

Photo: GRM video segment with SCCA’s Heyward Wagner (right) and GRM’s JG Pasterjak (left).