On January 18th, Rally America announced that it was adding a B-Spec National Championship for 2012 to cater to enthusiasts seeking fun, low-cost competition vehicles. To date, B-Spec Championships have been added by the SCCA Club Racing, the World Challenge Series and by Grand-Am.

There have been two B-Spec entries at each of the first two Rally America National Championship events. James Robinson in a Honda Fit and Verena Mei in a Ford Fiesta. Verena won at Sno*Drift when James suffered a DNF, and James won at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood by just over 11 minutes. Verena is 1st in B Spec, 7th in the 2WD championship and 17th overall. James is 2nd in B Spec, 8th in 2WD and 20th overall.

"We are happy to be able to support racers with yet another Honda product that makes it easy to go racing," said Kevin Henricks, Honda Performance Development manager of Business Development. "The HPD B-spec package is a competitive, economical, and reliable platform that can be easily switched from a road racing setup to a rally setup. B-Spec racing is a great way to have fun at the track and we are pleased to see it added to the Rally America series."

James Robinson, Honda R&D Engineer added, "This car has a lightly-modified version of the Honda Fit B-Spec kit which is now available directly from Honda Performance Development for around $2,800. The only difference from the road racing kit are the lights, Terratrip and skid plate, which is coming in pretty handy at this fast event!" James concluded by saying, "We're looking forward to having the other OEM's get involved with the B-Spec Rally class - these cars are fast, fun and very efficient!"

“I’m quite encouraged that these two cars are blazing a trail for others to follow,” say J.B. Niday from Rally America, “I believe that B-Spec will become popular because it is backed by so many manufacturers.”

It was quite easy for Rally America to adopt B-Spec because the manufacturers’ rules were in alignment with the existing Production class, so a bulletin was posted listing the current B-Spec cars: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, 2012 Fiat 500, 2011-2012 Ford Fiesta, 2009-2012 Honda Fit, 2012 Kia Rio, 2011-2012 Mazda 2, 2007-2012 MINI Cooper, 2007-2012 Nissan Versa, and 2007-2012 Toyota Yaris.

Rally America officials and organizers expect to see more B-Spec entrants as this cost-effective way to get involved in racing catches on nationwide.

More information can be found at http://rally-america.com/rules.php (refer to Bulletin #6).

The 2012 Rally America National Championship is proudly supported by VP Racing Fuels - the Official Fuel of Rally America, Exedy Racing Clutches, Hawk Performance Brakes, ParkNBlend and RECARO seats.

Photos: Scott Rains