Guest Blog – Mazda Takeover Event

Recently, we’ve been posting a lot of blogs on clubs and connection in the community, and I’m sure you’re wondering what that’s all about. We’re hoping to help people get connected in their local areas and start throwing more meets!

What way to better understand how to get a HUGE group of MAZDA ENTHUSIASTS together than ask a Mazda Meet Organizer?

Keith Eggert has been an influential event planner for a lot of West Coast Mazda clubs. Below, he walks us through how it was for him setting up the first couple Mazda Takeover events. We hope it inspires you to start the process of creating your own!


KEITH:

Let me start off by saying that I am by no means a professional at getting a large gathering of people together, nor am I very organized. However, I love the Mazda community and enjoy connecting with fellow Mazda enthusiasts.

A unique opportunity was laid out before me: Get as many people with Mazdaspeeds together here in my area. (For those of you who don’t know where I’m from, I currently reside in the greater Boise, Idaho area.) 

Dale Owen, head honcho of the Mazdaspeed Idaho group on Facebook, who also runs Gem Tuning (yes, he tuned my car), approached me with a yearly meet idea.

He explained how it’d be a huge help if I lent a hand in helping organize our yearly Mazdaspeed group meet, since I live in the epicenter of the majority of the Idaho members.  Of course I said “Yes”, and just minutes after I told him yes, I had an idea:  “Let’s do it big!”, I said to Dale:

“Let’s make this thing huge, not just a simple one-day hangout, let’s put this party on the map!”

He reluctantly agreed to that, and since that day over two years ago, I took the reins and ran with it.  I figured I had to give it a name, but more importantly, I had to figure out what we were going to do for two whole days. It had to be exciting, it had to fill empty time, it had to connect Mazda Groups from all surrounding areas.  Most importantly, it needed to be fun.  I decided to call it the Mazda Takeover because that’s how I envisioned it; Mazda after Mazda after Mazda, driving down the road to locations in the valley where events were set up. It was a beautiful thing to see.

I invited anyone in the Mazda Community willing to make the drive from as far as Utah to come up.  I invested about three months into getting known, talking to people, and helping members with their questions on the Utah Mazda Enthusiasts Facebook group.  It paid off. As luck would have it Cody Allington is kind of the go-to guy down in Utah, and with his help he generated interest, and brought up 7 cars with him in the first year, which blew me away given that the planning span of 3 months was all the time I gave him to gather a group willing to drive up.

Friday through Sunday. That was the game plan, come to find out, clearly waaaay too short of a time frame.

Between the Friday evening’s Line the Streets meet, Saturday mornings dyno day, Saturday nights drag racing, and Sunday’s farewell, I think everyone managed to get about 3 hours of sleep each night. That needed to change. We absolutely needed an extra day; that way people wouldn’t feel burned out, and would have time to relax and just talk to people. So, for Year Two, we did just that.

Mazda Takeover’s second year was much more organized, spanning from Thursday night through Sunday.

Three days to dyno, race, and have a scenic cruise.  It was perfect, and even had people making the trip in the late evening on Saturday just to make two passes down the drag strip before the lights went out and everyone went home. We now have a perfect amount of days, but there was still quite a bit of downtime that we attempted to fill with a garage day, which was way too stressful given that it was hours before we all left to go drag racing. That won’t be happening in Year Three.

So what did I learn in all of this?

Two successful years, triple the amount of attendance from people outside of Idaho, states I never contacted via Social Media wondering about the event and contacting me directly…  I think I have a recipe to keep this thing going.

Here is just a little bit of wisdom should you find yourself wanting to have a huge meet.

  1. First things first: PLAN PLAN PLAN.  Do not fill a day with too much.  Two events per day spaced out is perfect.  Dyno in the morning from 9-2, then have everyone meet for a BBQ from 4-7.  However, you wish to fill the day, keep in mind: the key to a successful meet is to utilize the reason you are there.  If you get Mazda people together, do Mazda stuff.  Go for a cruise, schedule time for how long that drive will take, and any pit stops needed for photo shoots, fuel, etc.
  2. Second. When doing two events during a meet, NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO TWO CAR RELATED EVENTS IN THE SAME DAY. Meaning, don’t schedule a dyno day and an evening of drag racing in the same day.  Can you? Sure you can.  Should you? Probably not.  Cars are like people, too much stress and they break.  Don’t need to go breaking any cars; this is supposed to be fun.  And if you do, know your groups of attendees. Scheduling an Autocross event and a drag event on the same day is far more acceptable, since autocross drivers are less susceptible to drag racing, and a drag car sure as hell won’t ever see an autocross course.
  3. Third. Keep in mind, you are doing this for a group so that everyone can have fun, yourself included.  Call ahead, give businesses a heads up that a group is coming on a certain day, that way it alleviates stress on the business and on you as the administrator. The less stress, the more fun everyone has.

With those three key ingredients, you can build the foundation for a successful meet.  

Keep in mind, if you are planning on doing a multi-day meet, the more notice the better.  Also, keep in mind that not everyone can make it, even with six months of notice.  Life happens fast, and things change quickly.

I think the biggest thing I learned is to not fear failure.  

The first year of the Mazda Takeover, THE DAY OF the start of the meet, I had doubt, fear that no one would show, a sinking feeling that three months of phone calls and planning was all for nothing.  Push that aside, people will come.  Hype up your meet, make it sound like the best weekend people near you with a Mazda could ever have. I did just that for two years worth of events.  Last year Corksport sent Luke McCarvel and Barett Strecker to the event.  This year I got Luke and Barett, and Brett White got the chance to join them.

Evolutionary Performance out of Salt Lake even shut it’s doors for the weekend to relax and have a good time.

So that just goes to show: If you never settle for OK, and constantly push to have bigger and better meets, performance shops will come to your meet, retailers can come to your meets, tuners can come to your meets, but most importantly, people will have a good time.

Lastly, a shameless plug for the Mazda Takeover 2018. – June 7th-11th in Boise, Idaho.

Dyno, Drag, Karting, BBQ, Scenic Cruise. Whether you drive a Mazdaspeed, Miata, Protege, or just regular Mazda that you’re proud of, you won’t want to miss this year’s event.  We hope to see you there. Camping is encouraged!!!

Cheers,

– Keith Eggert

Check out the Mazda Takeover Event Page on Facebook!

If you’re looking for an excuse to connect with your local Nator Club, Mazdaspeed Group, or Mazda community, Keith has shown you how to stick with it and come up with a great event. However, if you don’t want to plan your own, stay tuned as we’ll be working with clubs all over the US to promote events and meetups throughout 2018.

If you’re a club and you have an event page, email kim@corksport.com so we can be sure to get you on the calendar!

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
Souther 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 Kileen/Ford 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/?ref=br_rs FL
Nator Missouri https://www.facebook.com/groups/natormo MO
Nator Arizona https://www.facebook.com/groups/708796579135806 AZ
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 Englan
Nator Houston Miata https://www.facebook.com/groups/446031202177809 TX
Mazda Owners of Nebraska https://m.facebook.com/groups/733704760063616 Nebraska
Speed Squad https://www.instagram.com/speedsquad.tm/ Quebec Canada
Mazda Flow London https://www.facebook.com/groups/934300966591060/ Ontario Canada

Dear Car Clubs: We Want To Hear From You!

Dear Car Guy,

Did you know there are LOTS of Car Guys and Gals out there in the Mazdaspeed world?

From Nator Clubs and Mazda Nova Clubs to Mazdaspeed and Meet Up Clubs, the branding is slightly different for each area and each group, but the heart and soul of the people who get involved stays the same.

Great people, big appetites (for speed and food), awesome tastes in beers and booze, and a genuine care for their fellow club members. I have made sure to attend meets and get to know the nitty gritty center of our Mazda Community, mostly because who doesn’t want to do Car stuff with their Car friends. However, I also do it because it’s an integral part of CorkSport’s vision, to give unprecedented levels of customer support and connection to the Mazda Community.

We ultimately just want to LOVE OUR CUSTOMERS, and I’ll take one for the team and meet you Guys and Gals face to face.

We’ve been to the MidWest Nator meet, the East Coast Nator Meet, and the Boise Mazda Take-over event this past year. We have also hosted our CorkSport Dyno day and given the west coast Mazda community a place to gather as well! Let me just say, it’s been amazing getting to know everyone, and seeing some awesome familiar faces.

The one thing that really stands out for me is the sense of community that is built at the center of all of this. I’ll admit I’m a people person, so of course YOU are my favorite part of working for CorkSport, however, it’s a community like no other, regardless of the title it goes by. The values of the Mazda community stay fairly similar, with mods, install days, track days, meet ups, and expansion of the love we all share for the Mazda Platform.

A group of awesome individuals, getting together, teaching those who don’t know how, and taking are of those who do (and still break down).

There are Groups all over the US (and I’m sure international), that we don’t even know about. It’s my hope that when you read this, you pass me your group pages, club names, social addresses, etc., so that CorkSport can help others in your area connect!

Near and Far, no matter where you are, let CorkSport hear from you!

Until next time, stay safe, stay fast, stay happy my friends!

-Kim @ CorkSport

 

 

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

We want YOU to help us design the next CorkSport Branded Ride!

As if it wasn’t obvious, we have a plethora of vehicles to work with around here. True to fashion of course, we at CorkSport have gone and done it again: We went and filled some of the last remaining shop space with ANOTHER CAR.

Not just any car. Say “Hello” to our newest addition: 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback, touring 2.5L SKYACTIVE-G. Equipped with an automatic transmission and some of the nicer creature comforts.

We love the sparkle of the Eternal Blue Mica and of course her 18” gunmetal dancing shoes. However, as with all things good and standard in the world, we couldn’t help but think that the potential for upgrading is endless.

Do we strip it and go full race car? Perhaps something crazy and AWD swap of sorts? Or maybe we take it way out of left field and go rally-style with it?

With the opportunities being endless, it was starting to make our heads hurt, so we decided to take a step back and start with the basics. We asked ourselves:

“How would our average customer who just picked this car up dream of modifying it?”

And that is exactly what we are doing.

If you guys are anything like us, then you have several hobbies that extend beyond just cars. Some of our team’s personal favorite other hobbies include hiking, camping, traveling, water sports, chilling at the beach, and has recently included obstacle course racing. With all these interests taking up different aspects of our time, we would need a ride that can accommodate our lifestyle. While it would be awesome to have a 6-second drag car, we’d probably have to lose some creature comforts or find a pot of gold to cover the cost, and that’s just not what the average Mazda enthusiast is about.

This project, like we said, is for YOU. And if it’s for you, then we need your help in putting it together.

PIC: NWAPA – Vinnie Nguyen

This car, or as we are designating it: “Project CBR” (CorkSport branded ride), will be built by the people for the people.

We are going to take you with us on the full journey of this car; from the basic mods to the full on weekend task. From the daily driver to the long road hauler. From the car wash to the full service details. We are going to show you everything and anything on this car.

And through the whole process, everything is going to be built with your help.

Over the next several months as we put some miles on our test mule, we will want your guys’ feedback.

  • Do we put springs and shocks on it or full coilovers?
  • What type of wheels should we get?
  • Tint the windows, wrap it, get rid of the chrome?
  • The list goes on!

Every couple of weeks, we will keep you updated on where the car stands and what you think we should do next.

We will create a section on the CorkSport site so you can follow along, ask questions, provide suggestions, and fully immerse yourself into the car. Ever so often, we will also host a poll and you guys will vote on what happens next!

Think reverse sponsored: Instead of CorkSport’s name being the only one on this ride, we will be giving Sponsorship Cred to the Mazda Enthusiasts who give us the ideas for our mods. (first come, first credits).

We’ll put YOUR NAME on the CorkSport Branded Ride.

If you have a Dream Mod, and We pull it off on the CBR, you’ll get the credits… Remember: The CBR is By the People, For the People!

Stay Tuned, we’ll need your feedback soon!

CorkSport