About NASA Teen Mazda Challenge (TMC)
The NASA Teen Mazda Challenge is a unique program designed specifically for young drivers coming out of karting and entering sports car racing. The Teen Mazda Challenge offers young drivers unique opportunities that can help advance them into a career in professional motorsports through the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, the grand prize of which is a scholarship valued at $100,000 applicable to a season of racing in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. See the Contingencies and Prizes page for additional details. In addition to this prestigious award, the TMC series has a number of other generous programs that provide unique benefits to up and coming drivers striving to advance their motorsports career.
TMC is a competition for young drivers set within NASA Regions throughout the United States. This competition takes places within the Spec Miata racing group where young drivers will have the opportunity to battle amongst some of the best Spec Miata competitors around the country. This fantastically competitive environment will provide young drivers with the best opportunity to develop their racing skills. The weekend race schedule includes one to four races set over two days of competition. Each NASA Region schedules five to nine race weekends, which make up a racing season. A typical racing season will include 10 to 18 races where competitors will have the opportunity to gain valuable on-track experience and further develop their race craft skills. Each TMC race scheduled awards TMC competitors championship points that will ultimately decide who becomes each TMC Regional Champion.
Points paid are based solely on the final official Regional Spec Miata results that will include any technical (mechanical) or driving infractions observed by the race and technical directors of the race event that might result in a penalty. At the end of each region’s TMC scheduled season, a champion is named for that region. This champion will then be eligible for a number of generous awards designed to assist each driver with climbing the motorsports ladder.
To Enter the Teen Mazda Challenge
Drivers must be between 13 and 20 years of age at their region’s first TMC race of the season. Each TMC driver must acquire a NASA Competition race license before the start of the season. This process is rather straightforward and our series leadership can assist in that process. Once the driver has all his/her competition license, he or she is required to fill out the Teen Mazda Challenge program registration form. Part of this registration process includes a parental release form that must be completed by the parent or legal guardian of anyone under the age of 18.
A legal, approved, NASA-tech-inspected Spec Miata racecar is required. Please read the current NASA competition rules regarding the Spec Miata race class found on the Forms and Rules page.
Spec Miata race cars can be built from scratch, purchased from existing owners or rented on a race-to-race or season-long basis.
Teen Mazda Challenge founded in 2012 by Ron Cortez is a place designed to give young drivers a chance to advance from karting into racing Spec Miatas with NASA. The idea behind this unique series is to foster young talent and give them the skills and tools they need to advance in motorsports. Cortez passed away in January 2018, but his legacy lives on in the continuation of this unique program.