Day one, was a 6-hour drive from Utah to Boise Idaho. I was supposed to head out with a couple of other Utah guys, but they were not able to make it. I was on my own for 6 and the only thing going through my head was, “I’m on my own, driving to a town I know no one in, I have zero friends and that I’ll probably be the only Mazda 3 there”. I made it my goal to make friends wherever it is I go or else this was going to be a alone and this trip would have been a waste. As I get into town I settled into my Airbnb and decided to hit the town. I only saw one speed that night but I was anxious for the next day to go to the events start.
Day two, I went to this pancake house to grab some grub and I was shaking out of excitement. I head over to Keith’s house and see four speeds outside. I immediately knew I was in the right place. I walk up to Keith and welcomes me with open arms and announces I am the only Utah guy to show up this year. I start talking to everyone and get to meet everyone who shows up and I’m having a blast every one welcoming me to Idaho and the first takeover for me.
Keith announces we will be going to horseshoe bend. A canyon drive day one, one I will never forget. It was a beautiful sight the entire time. Brett hanging out of Corey’s MX-5 MSM taking beautiful shots of everyone’s cars and even a drone in the sky.
Later that day we head off to start our first competition of the weekend, go-karting. Name of the game fastest lap time wins a prize. I can’t remember who it was that won. Then that night was BBQ night and drinks all around. That’s when I got to meet everyone else who had shown up, share a couple of beers and enjoy the CorkSport koozies that were handed out.
Day three, I woke up in my car…well because of the night before.
Saturday was a slow and relaxed day of just hanging out in the garage hiding from the rain. While we hanging out in the garage some of the Oregon guys decided to adopt me and I can join them since I was the only Utahan. I also got to talk to Dale and pick his brain about tuning and learned a bunch about speed that I had no knowledge of as well. Later that night we head off to the raceway and I’m excited to see everyone run and see lap times everyone was laying down. There were a bunch of cool cars and Barett laying down some fast times on street tires.
Day four, the last day.
Everyone meets up to say their goodbyes, have a beer or two, share some last tales. The few people that have left a great memory for me where Keith, Jordan, Anthony, Aaron, Dale, Brett, Corey, and how could I ever forget Brian. As I head back to Utah with everyone on my mind and how my entire weekend went I wanted to turn around and just stay. I had made new Mazda Friends and Family.
Those four days were ones I could never forget. The feeling of being accepted into a group of people I didn’t know and didn’t necessarily fit in with was one that cannot be explained. It can only be experienced. When I came back to Utah, I couldn’t stop thinking about my vacation in Idaho. How it ended so soon. How it felt like I started a new life for just 4 days. I want next year to come sooner so that I may meet the friends and family I now have in Idaho, Washington, and in Oregon. Thank all of you again for the wonderful experience.
Roasting the Top Five Car Guy Stereotypes…it’s all about the Mazda Enthusiasts We’ve met…
The friends I want to talk about are your Mazda Event friends. Likely, you know them from your Nator club, Mazda club, or local car community, and truth be told they often fall into pretty great stereotypes of “Car Guy”.
Ready to have some fun…Let’s Roast ‘em!
This Guy is new to the Mazdaspeed/Mazda scene. He doesn’t know a ton about his car, it’s capabilities, and some of us would like to give a couple driving lessons to him first. He has big dreams for his Mazda and has a full wish-list of parts to prove it.
We can’t hate on this guy too much, because we all start somewhere, but the amount of time it takes to get him up to speed on acronyms, lingo, and basic tools isn’t always worth it. You would rather just do the work for him yourself so you can trust it’s done right. He’s a great guy, and will eventually be an awesome full member of the Mazda club, but he has some growing to do…
The Know it all
This Mazda Guy just NEVER SHUTS UP… whether he is right or wrong, he always has something to say and will stick to his opinions regardless of being proved wrong. He’s nice enough to hang out with, but we all avoid having strong opinions with him… it’s a guaranteed disaster.
These Guys end up spinning out of the group or buying a new (non-Mazda) vehicle, either way, they don’t make friends easily, and we often don’t get together and hang out without them on purpose.
The Actually DOES know it all Guy
Ironically enough the “Actually does know it all Guy” often speaks the least in the group. Having learned from experience, they set back and watch some people make fools of themselves and others take the hard path to learning. Always there to lend a helping hand when something does go wrong, and offer up advice when it’s requested in a respectful manner, this guy is it a DIY mechanic and has no trouble getting his hands dirty for his friends…
Arguably the best Guy of the stereotypes and genuinely a great resource for the Mazda and Mazdaspeed community. A true influencer and most likely a beta tester.
The Not So Great with People Guy
There is often this guy at car meets. He’s not great with people, especially girls, and even more especially with new people he’s quiet. He’s necessary to the club because he truly does have one of the best rides there are, and it inspires us all to push our capabilities. He can drive the sh*t out of his Mazdaspeed, is seemingly fearless when it comes to speed and handling, and is always willing to talk like a savant when it comes to his build, driving style, and dream car plans.
Talk cars or parts and you’ve got this guys attention, try to talk about anything else and you can see the glaze come over his eyes as he takes another drink from his beverage of choice…and dreams about a BIGGER and BETTER MAZDA.
The Guy Who Always Breaks Down
Whether at the track, a long drive, or auto crossing, every time we get together this Guy is going to break something, or completely break down. More often than not it comes down to just plain crappy luck, so we all do our best to pitch in and help him get things fixed before we head out. “Never leave a man behind” means we’re often out at all hours in an abandoned parking lot or garage trying to get him back on the road again!
We wish this guy’s luck would change… especially because we’re always there trying to help fix it…
I know there are plenty of other stereotypical car guys, and heck there are even stereotypes for the Car Girls out there. I cannot wait to see you ROAST your friends in the comments…perhaps without even telling them which type of Guy you’re accusing them of falling under.
Until next time, whichever Guy you are, stay safe, stay happy, and stay fast my friends!
Top Five Stereotypes… It’s all about the Mazda Enthusiasts We’ve Met September 13th, 2018CorkSport
Nannies. One thing we have discovered while racing our Mazda 3 is that the OEM safety systems in the newest generation of Mazda 3 work well, too well in fact for racing.
Each year, new safety features are added by Mazda which make the cars safer and reduces the risk of collisions. This is great for day to day driving and commuting, but it presents a problem if you plan to take your car to the track to race it.
The OEM system in the car really frowns on lifting a rear tire off the ground, or when you get wheel spin accelerating out of a slow speed corner. They design the cars against these things happening for safety purposes (understandably). However, Mazda does give you a button on your dash to turn off the traction control. This gets us racers around the limitations to a certain degree.
Let me explain:
When you disengage traction control, the system which measures yaw/pitch and ensures your car has all the wheels on the ground is actually still working, even with the button off. What the button does essentially is give you a sort of leash with more leeway, until the computer thinks you have gone too far of course, then it will kick in traction control again.
So, how do we get past these nanny systems so we can push our cars for maximum performance?
Can you simply unplug the computer which controls the this? I wish it were that simple, but you cannot. The systems in the car are all tied to each other, and the car may not start, it may not run safely, or it may run in a limp mode. A good example of this in our 2015 Mazda3 is: if you unplug the rear view mirror the car won’t start. The ABS is also controlled by the same unit, and this is very handy to have on the track. The ABS is very good in the Mazda3 by the way, so I recommend you keep it.
The solution we’ve come up with at CorkSport is pretty simple: Leave the computer plugged in and turn it over.
That’s it, simple, nothing else is required. What happens when you turn the computer upside down is the computer loses its physical reference point, so it defaults by turning off the stability control and nannies, but most-importantly, the ABS still functions.
A big word of caution: The computer which controls the nannies also runs the airbags. If you race your car on the track, the airbags will have been removed from your car already. DO NOT drive your airbag-equipped car with the module flipped over.
The reason this solution works for the track is that our Mazda 3 race car has additional safety equipment installed, with the 6-point harness and halo seat, along with the rest of the driver’s safety gear, that keep you from injury in the event of any wrecks.
FYI: When using this “hack”, your Mazda 3 dashboard will light up like a Christmas tree from all of the warnings; but that is a small price to pay for the improved performance while racing.
DISCLAIMER: This modification is for racing purposes ONLY. Doing so will render many of your car’s safety systems ineffective. Installing other safety systems after this modification is essential.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org so we can be sure to get you on the calendar!
Guest Blog – Mazda Takeover Event September 13th, 2018CorkSport
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!