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Everything You Wanted to Know About NASA's Spec Z Racing Series

NASA has 12 spec series, many of which involve momentum cars that accentuate every mistake you make behind the wheel. Spec Z was introduced in 2012 to offer participants an affordable way into a faster series — and the formula is working. Spec Z rules offer the cost-containment benefits of a well-thought-out spec racing series, but do so with a faster platform. Let’s delve into the details of Spec Z, a series that has begun to come into its own.

The NASA Spec Z is an affordable racing series, primarily focused on road racing, and shall function as an advertising and marketing tool for the series sponsors, the independent sponsors of each team, as well as the official sanctioning body of the series.

2003 to 2008 Nissan 350Z. Nissan Motor Corporation is the only manufacturer of models that are legal for this series. However, other companies, including Nismo, which should be considered a separate company from Nissan Motor Corporation, may manufacture some legal and/ or required parts and components.
$3,700 to $10,000
Year Make Model Engine Horsepower
  • 2003-2004 3,100 lbs.
  • 2005-2006 3,175 lbs.
  • 2007-2008 3,325 lbs.

Fuel usage is restricted to unleaded gasoline commonly found at track side retail pumping. Octane is limited to a maximum of 100 (R+M)/2 as labeled on the pump. Race fuels such as, but not limited to, ERC brand are prohibited. All fuel additives are illegal, per the CCR. Note: event supplemental rules supersede this section.

$17,000 to $30,000 with donor
$20,000 to $25,000
  • Up Rev ECU reflash
  • Performance Brake kits (Brembo, Nismo)
  • Larger race radiator
  • KW coilover suspension
  • 10 x 18 RPF1 Enkei Wheels
  • Adjustable camber arms for front suspension
  • OEM Rubber or Aftermarket Plastic Suspension bushing refresh
  • NISMO/Wavetrac differential and cooler
  • Engine Oil cooler
Average cost to run a weekend — $1,500


  • Toyo Proxes RR P275-35-18 ~$315 each

Brakes, brands and prices

  • Brembo and Akebono calipers: $200-300 fronts / $100-150 rears
  • Nismo calipers: $125 – 300 fronts / $100-150 rears
  • Hawk DTC-60 and DTC-70 fronts, Brembo calipers: $218

Check the NASA Contingencies page for the latest programs.

Nissan Motor Corporation offers discounted OEM and NISMO performance parts support and contingency awards.
  • Simple and reasonable rules intended to keep the competition high and costs low.
  • Costs are not much more than slower spec classes.
  • Excellent contingency and Nissan factory support.
  • 350Z is an easy platform to work on and maintain.
  • Solid entry platform into racing with sexy looks and sweet sound .
  • Bang for the buck, it’s a quick car for not much money.
Showcasing the captured benefits and great competition of the Spec Z platform in regions where less than 5 cars are running.


Questions and Answers to Feed Your Curiosity

2003 to 2008 Nissan 350Z with the VQ35 engine.
Yes, but you can upgrade base model cars with NISMO parts.
That’s tough to say. There are three “groups” of cars: 2003-2004, 2005-2006 and 2007-2008. Each has its own horsepower and weight figure. We recommend you look at the rulebook to see which power-to-weight figure you like best. Obviously, the heavier cars get more horsepower, but as Colin Chapman once said, and we’re paraphrasing, you can add horsepower and go faster on the straightaways or you can add lightness and go faster everywhere.
Excellent. In addition to being fairly late model cars, whose parts are readily available on the aftermarket, Nissan Motorsports offers parts support and contingency prizes for Spec Z.
As a spec class, Spec Z was designed to be affordable. The 370Z is the newest version of the car and is was in production through 2019. It has a larger engine, which drives up the cost of finding a donor car. There are plenty of 350Z’s available at a much lower price than the 370Z.
This is a good example of spec-class racing. The cars are matched well with one another, making this a true driver’s class.
Unfortunately not. Rocky Mountain, Southeast and Utah are the most populated regions with Z cars. If you live in another region, these cars fit right into Super Touring 4.
Growth of the class has been slower than expected, but the cars themselves are really robust and don’t have anything that might be considered weak.
Factory participation is rare in amateur racing. Spec Z has it.
Yes, the cars slot right into Super Touring 4 with a competitive horsepower to weight ratio.


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Spec Z Series Contacts

Spec Z
Ashley Burt
Region: Rocky Mountain
Title(s): Regional Series Leader
Series: Spec Z
John Benton
Region: Rocky Mountain
Title(s): National Series Director
Series: Spec Z