A List of Your Local NATOR Communities – What Makes Us Family

Ever wondered how to connect with your local Mazda crews and clubs?

Or have you ever gotten connected and then lost your ride somehow? For some of us it’s a crash, others of us sell our beloved Mazda and aim at our next dream car, or heck, even the necessary minivan.

What happens then? Not only did you lose your favorite car, but seemingly you lost out on the community as well. Does it make sense to show up to your favorite meets if you no longer drive the “proper” vehicle?

When it comes to the Nator groups, the love is still there regardless of what your next ride.

According to Micha Fullen, this is exactly how it goes; and it’s about so much more than the cars themselves:

“While at the annual Midwest meet this year in St Louis Missouri, washing my hair in the shower I had a thought, “Micha, why do you still come to this event when you don’t even own a Mazdaspeed anymore?”

I told myself, that being a Mazdaspeed owner past, present or future, is like being in a family. Especially when you involve yourself in the community and clubs that are offered throughout the country. Me, I’m a Nator Guy.

Year after year, we collectively travel thousands of miles to attend an event centered around vehicles that some of us don’t even own anymore. It’s crazy huh? Do the same thing, show up without owning the ‘correct’ Model Vehicle, at a VW or Honda meet and you get blacklisted and shunned.

Mazdaspeed owners don’t kick you out, or tell you that you shouldn’t be there. We just call each other; funny, and sometimes very rude, names. Then ask to race your new vehicle on a track, dragstrip or parking lot.  (More recently it’s been even helpful to all of them that I bought a truck… because we all know with spirited driving, and some showing off, something is bound to go wrong)

 I am closer to my Mazdaspeed family than I am to my own. This has been true since I bought my Speed 3 Jun of 2011. I had some problems with my car(s) and my Mazdaspeed (Nator) family came to my aid. But when that same family had problems of their own, I drove many miles or sometimes across multiple states to help them.

Corksport goes out of their way to attend these events. Not so much pushing parts, but to welcome family with open arms and stay connected to the grass roots of our community.

I met Barrett this year and even having never talked to him, he was the top 3 nicest dudes I have ever met. He got involved and talked shop with the majority of everyone in attendance. Kim is also a major voice in the community, listening to what the people want and bouncing ideas off of people to find how CorkSport can continuously push and evolve in this platform. She shows up to multiple events a year, stays in contact even throughout the winter and is always helping her “brothers and sisters” with their own endeavors, even if it doesn’t involve Corksport.

This year, if you were at the Midwest meet, you would see that a good majority of people have moved on to new platforms, specifically the new ecoboost options from Ford being very popular. Adrienne K with her Focus RS, Matt D with his FoST and Ryan P with his brand new FiST, and myself, I went way to the left with the new Raptor (Hey it has 2 turbos mmmmmkay).

It doesn’t matter what happens in your life, or even if you have moved on, we all got our start with Mazdaspeeds and we always stick with Family.”

As you see, being a Mazda owner is about the community, the family, the connection to other Mazdaspeed Enthusiasts.

And being an enthusiast isn’t always defined by the fact you still own a Mazda. It’s defined by being a car family. There may be groups that require you to own a Mazda to show up, but when it comes to Nator, once a Mazdaspeed Nator Family member, always one.

If you’re curious about where to connect, who to reach out to, or how to get in touch with your local Mazda club, check out the list below.

While we would love for this list to be exhaustive, it’s not, so if you’re currently involved in a club not listed, please let us know and we’ll be sure to make it easier for other CorkSport followers to connect with your group!

Download PDF of List:  NATOR Clubs List

CorkSquad https://www.facebook.com/groups/1634041806878345/ Savannah GA
Southern Street Crew https://www.facebook.com/groups/454444514600458/ GA
MMOC https://www.facebook.com/groups/MIMazda/ Michigan
ClubMPS https://www.facebook.com/groups/clubmpsnz/ New Zealand
LVMazdas https://www.facebook.com/groups/LVMazdas Las Vegas
NoVA Mazdaclub https://www.facebook.com/groups/321399927926454 VA
Mazda Miata Mx5 WA/OR https://www.facebook.com/groups/1698103380420298 WA/OR
Mazda Militia https://www.facebook.com/groups/mazdamilitia WA
Nothern Mazda Militia https://www.facebook.com/groups/286006598276940
Texas Mazdaspeeds https://www.facebook.com/groups/TexasMazdaspeeds TX
PNW_Mazda https://www.facebook.com/groups/PNWMazda WA/OR
Mazda 3 Owners Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mazda3OA AUS
Mazdas of Killeen/Fort Hood https://www.facebook.com/groups/texasspeeddemons TX
Nator Oregon https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatorOR OR
Nator TN/KY https://www.facebook.com/groups/206647016088166 TN/KY
Nator Oklahoma https://www.facebook.com/groups/NATOROK OK
Nator NC/SC https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Carolina/104083326294266 NC/SC
Nator Minnesota https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatorMinnnesota MN
Nator Georgia https://www.facebook.com/groups/163448653866393 GA
Nator Florida https://www.facebook.com/groups/1298072073575997 FL
Nator Missouri https://www.facebook.com/groups/natormo MO
Nator AR https://www.facebook.com/groups/708796579135806 AR
Nator New Mexico https://www.facebook.com/groups/270637012974823 NM
Nator San Diego https://www.facebook.com/groups/natorsd/about/ CA
Nator DC metro https://www.facebook.com/groups/147772498652109 DC
Nator WA https://www.facebook.com/groups/948847285235072 WA/OR
Nator WI https://www.facebook.com/groups/379868465454404 WI
Nator Chapter E https://www.facebook.com/groups/176597409073225/ FL
Nator New England https://www.facebook.com/groups/255796874460817 New England
Nator Houston Miata https://www.facebook.com/groups/446031202177809 TX

Charging for the WIN!

Track Tested CorkSport Approved AXM Parts – Leading the Pack.

The last race weekend I had available before the runoffs turned out to be pretty interesting.

Locally there are very few T4 (touring 4) class cars so I often find myself running with other class cars and this weekend was no exception at Portland International Raceway. I showed up for qualifying on Friday morning with a new part to test and a suspension setup with something I had not tried.

I looked over the entry list the day before, and there read a list of cars you would expect to clobber a Mazda 3 on the track. 3 Porsche 911s, a pair of V8 mustangs, an STL Miata and more.

To make sure I had a clear track for qualifying, I hustled to the pre-grid to make sure I was the first car out. Straight out of the pits, I went flat out to get some distance on the Porsches to be able to push the car for the entire time I was out qualifying. As I watched the lap timer in the Mazda 3, my times kept dropping lap after lap. 6 laps in and I had already bested my fastest lap time at Portland by a second, so I called it quits and pulled in to the pits.

On the way out of the track I grabbed the time sheet to review and see where I placed. A quick review of the sheet showed I had qualified the Mazda 3 in second out of 10 cars and I was in front of 2 of the Porsches.

The start of the race didn’t go that great. Out of all the cars on the track I was in the bottom ½ for horsepower. But I was making up the speed in the corners.

One of the back cars jumped the start a bit and managed to take us 3 wide into a corner which is only good for 2. I was forced to give up some room to one of the Porsches to keep from having contact which put me back to 4th. Several laps into the race one of the Porsches who got ahead of me at the start spun off the track so I was able to move back up a spot while trying to chase down the leader who was running ~1 second a lap faster than I was. The 30 minute mark came pretty quick, and the race ended on a not-so-exciting note of me being in 3rd, and the leaders ~ ½ a lap ahead and all but a few of the rest of the field being lapped.

The big question you all want to ask is: “What were you testing for the 3rd Gen Mazda 3?”

First things first, the changes we made to the Mazda 3:
  • We made an adjustment with the CorkSport rear adjustable swaybar. Being able to make quick adjustments on the rear swaybar bar allows us to soften the suspension to match the alignment changes.
  • We had taken more rear camber out of the back of the car with the CorkSport adjustable camber arms, trying to decrease rear grip (yes you read that right). We have been having problems with front end push (understeer) so we worked on dialing rear grip out of the car.  – We had the CorkSport front camber plates maxed out for camber to the class limits, but it wasn’t enough to offset the rear grip.
  • We originally were running our CorkSport Mazda 3 adjustable shocks on the track but we had to remove them as they are not legal for the Touring 4 class. The adjustable shocks make a world of a difference over what I have to use on the car and I wish we could’ve changed back. Being able to fine tune the Mazda 3 suspension is a great asset for any performance driver.

Now to the fun, what I got to test that was new:

The engineers here at CorkSport have been working on a revised Mazda 3 Rear engine mount for the 3/6/Cx5 over the past few months. The best way we have to extreme test parts is on the track.

Think of the race-testing this way: I am driving full throttle, banging gears, and when I am off the throttle means I am on the brakes, so there is no time for the mount to get any rest. There is the maximum amount of heat, load, and stress in a compressed time line, compared to street driven cars, so if failure is to occur it would be on the track.

At the end of the month, I will be doing a test on a final version of the rear engine mount at the SCCA Runoffs and competing to bring home a National Championship for CorkSport and Mazda.

This brings me to my next point: All of the parts mentioned above have been punished on the track and had zero failures. I have been on the same rear sway bar, rear camber arms, camber plates, and short ram intake, and cat back exhaust since we started racing the car at Daytona in 2015.

You just can’t beat the fact that our CorkSport parts walk the talk when pushed to the extreme, which means they won’t let you down, no matter what you’re doing.

Charge for the WIN!

Derrick

How We Tweaked Our Mazda Suspension

One great thing about racing is that you always keep tweaking the car to see how you can make it better. Each track presents a different challenge and setup requirements to keep you on your toes.

Derrick Racing for CorkSport at SCCA

We’ve been developing our SCCA Touring 4 (T4) class 2015 Mazda 3 into a viable competitor, and we recently got the final piece we needed to make it a strong candidate in Indianapolis this year for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. That final piece was a limited slip differential.

CorkSport Limited Slip Differential

A limited differential helps with traction, but it changes the handling characteristics of the car when you install it. We entered the SCCA Majors event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, to see how the car would do with the new differential. The biggest change was the handling; it was tight which means the car wanted to understeer. The car’s existing setup for ride height, toe, and camber would need to be adjusted to help remove the imbalance we had created.

The first thing we changed in the car was the ride height. Some concerns were brought up during discussions with Kenton Koch, our driving coach for the weekend (and a championship driver in several series). He pointed out this was one of the easiest changes to make on the fly. One thing to note: When you change anything, you need to make sure your change did not move something else. Once we had raised the car up half an inch, we took a look at the toe and camber settings. In this case, the car was right where we wanted it, so we headed out to try the new settings along with a 5psi bump in rear tire pressure.

The changes yielded a big boost in performance. We went from 2:02 around the track to 1:58, and moved up during the race from sixth to third. The car was fairly neutral around the track, but we still were not getting any oversteer. We opted to raise the rear of the car another full turn on the springs to see if we could get the change we were looking for. Another check of the rear toe settings after the change showed the new setup was good.

CorkSport at SCCA

That last turn did the trick in regards to oversteer. There was a hairpin corner where the car would oversteer too much, and it required lots of counter steering to stay pointed in the right direction without looping the car. Creating rake in the car was counter to advice we had gotten from the manufacturer of the suspension we are running. Sometimes going against the grain of what everyone else is doing can lead to some good discoveries and lessons learned.

We are already working on a new list of things to try for the next event and the opportunity to make our Mazda 3 a championship-winning car for Indy.

Derrick

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.

CorkSport’s Performance Race Industry Show Recap

CorkSport at PRI

In the car game, there are two big shows each year where all the action happens: the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) and Performance Race Industry (aka PRI). At these events, automotive parts companies flaunt their accomplishments, showing off their latest and greatest mods and parts, while everyone gets a chance to network, catch up, and just generally ogle and chat about gorgeous vehicles. We here at CorkSport love to keep up on what’s hot and new in the automotive industry, so this year we headed to Indianapolis for PRI to see what auto trends are being developed.

First Impressions

CorkSport at PRI

As we first entered the convention center, the stage was set. The picture above features the main PRI banner, which prominently displays some dirt mod cars. That can only mean one thing: PRI would be showcasing a lot of American muscle and, probably, not a lot of imports. Regardless, we braved the show.

The Cars, The Parts, The Highlights

Wandering the aisles of the show, our suspicions were confirmed. PRI had more American muscle than the lineup of cars Vin Diesel will drive in the next “Fast & Furious” movie. But, as we navigated the aisles, we were greeted by a sight for sore eyes — an import you can never go wrong with — a Le Mans-winning P1 car.

Corksport at PRI Mazda

When it comes to performance cars, it doesn’t matter if the car is an import or a domestic, one good thing about them is turbos. Good news from the show is that it looks like Garrett doesn’t have any plans slow down on their production of turbos anytime soon, for themselves or for the Mazdaspeed 3. They had some great tech on display, which is never a bad thing. Feast your eyes on these beauties.

CorkSport at PRI - NP01

Next, we came across a nice surprise in the NASA booth — a paint scheme that any Mazda enthusiast should know. The NP01 is more than just rad-looking, it’s powered by the 2.0 MZR motor and a large selection of other drivetrain parts making it very affordable when it comes to cost to own and cost to race. If you’re in the market for a race vehicle and cannot afford one of the Lola/Multimatic-built Mazda Prototypes that Speedsource is selling, the NP01 is a great alternative.

CorkSport at PRI

Finally, there was one big wow part we have to tell you about. Check out this crazy, billet Duramax Chevy motor.

Corksport at PRI DX600 Billet Duramax

The DX600 Billet Duramax is a supercharged compound turbo setup. Looking for a billet aluminum block for your Chevy truck? We know you Mazda fanatics probably aren’t, but this is really freakin’ sweet piece of hardware regardless. Now, if only we could get someone to make a billet engine for the Mazdaspeed 3. Then life would be really sweet.

Hope you all enjoyed this PRI update as much as we enjoyed checking out cars and parts at the show. As always, at CorkSport we strive to keep you all apprised of the new and interesting car news you crave. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for our latest news.

CorkSport Joins Christmas Toy Drive 2016

A couple of weeks ago, CorkSport was contacted about a toy drive put together by a local car group called Tuner Coalition. They had heard about a group of kids at a local hospital that had hardly ever experienced a true Christmas. CorkSport loves to give back to the community, so we wanted to make some kids super happy this holiday season.

We all know that Christmas is about giving, so that’s what we did. I learned there is no better feeling than knowing your contribution will make a world of difference in someone’s life. That is our main goal here at CorkSport. We strive everyday to help our customers meet their goals and enjoy their modifications. It’s all about bringing happiness to others. And just look at how happy these kids will be.


This was not only a toy drive, but also a car meet. I brought my Mazdaspeed, and there was a first generation Mazda 3 that had some cool exterior upgrades. I also had the pleasure of meeting some really cool people. Even though we drove different cars, we were there for the same reason and shared the same passion for cars.

I had the pleasure of talking to a guy that owned an Ecoboost Mustang. He had a lethal performance turbo kit installed on the cusp of making 500whp. Needless to say, his engine bay was really clean; it had been meticulously hydro-dipped by a friend of his. I always liked the Ecoboost Mustang for its indirect relationship with Mazdaspeeds. The car definitely looked cool, and drew a lot of attention. He was a very humble guy and only had nice things to say about the my Mazdaspeed. He saw the front mount intercooler on my car and instantly had to know what was under the hood.

CorkSport loves to be a part of these types of events, and we encourage anyone to participate as well. We are here to help our community in any way possible. We would love to hear about some of your holiday car meets, and any kind of fundraisers you may have attended this holiday season! Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter to share your mods and stories.

Cheers,

Luke