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

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

Get Ready for Boise’s 2017 Mazda Takeover Event

Another year, another weekend of Mazda community love. Here’s a rundown of 2016’s Mazda Takeover Event in Boise to prepare for 2017.

Last year, Barrett and I got the chance to head to Boise, Idaho, for a great Mazda Takeover event that my good friend Keith Eggert put together. People from Utah, Washington, and northern Idaho all made the trip for a fun weekend full of racecars, beer, and good laughs. We met some new people and reconnected with friends that we hadn’t seen in awhile. It was a big event made even better by securing a few shops so we could do some fun things besides racing.

This Thursday, we’re heading back to Boise for another weekend of good times. But before we go, let’s reflect on last year’s event.

The 2017 Mazda Takeover event in Boise, Idaho, is a great Mazda community event.
It’s always a good time when the Mazda community gets together.

Dyno Day

Everyone who wanted to dyno their car had the opportunity to do so last year, which made for an incredible day. Almost all of the cars that attended Dyno Day were fully bolted and tuned on E85, so you can imagine we had a lot of quick Mazdaspeeds in attendance.

A few notable results: Cody Allington from Utah made right at 500whp with his HTA turbo and port injection. Next up was my car strapped with the CS turbo and meth coming in at 400whp on the stock block. There were plenty of other Speeds right around 320whp. The smell of E85 and meth definitely told us we were in the right place!

Drags

Once we were done with the dyno, most of us hung out and prepared some cars to run in the 1320. Cody needed to install a cut-off switch, because he had relocated his battery from the engine bay to the hatch of the car. Once we had that all figured out, it was time to head to the track.

Over 40 Mazdaspeeds attended the Mazda Takeover in Boise, Idaho, last year.
That’s a lot of Mazdaspeeds.

We had about 40 Mazdaspeeds show up to the track — the biggest turnout I have ever seen.  I remember thinking this is what the Mazda community is all about: a bunch of friends getting together to have a genuinely good time. That’s something I think we forget about from time to time. I realize there’s a lot of competition out there, but at the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

That race night was great because I got to see a bunch of Mazdas ripping down the track. And, I also got to see the smiles that came with a fun night among a great community.

This year's Mazda Takeover in Boise promises to be bigger and better than the amazing event in 2016.
Boise, here we come.

We’re going to be in attendance again at the Mazda Takeover this year in hopes that the event is even bigger and produces an even larger turnout. The plan is the same as last year. But, this time around, the boys from CorkSport have more lead time so we can take more time off than just the weekend. It’s going to be a amazing!

We are very excited to see what happens this year and look forward to hanging out with 40+ Mazdaspeed people. I highly encourage anyone that is within driving distance of Boise to check out this meetup. At its current rate, this takeover event is turning into the largest on the West Coast. The meetup begins on June 8, and I’d really like to see some fresh faces there!

If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me (Luke McCarvel) a Facebook message.

Cheers,

Luke

NATOR OR BBQ and Dyno Day

As some of you may know already, CorkSport HQ made the move to a much larger and more functional building in January 2014. I think we can all agree that moving sucks and basically consumes your life for at least the month before and after the actual move. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s a hundred times worse when you are trying to move a business while still “keeping the doors open”. In the chaos of moving and getting the new location setup just right it’s easy to forget about the little yet important activities. So what better way to get back in the groove than a BBQ and Dyno Day to support the local community!

July 18th was the big day with 15 cars scheduled to get on the dyno, and another 35-45 cars planning to show up to watch the numbers! With everything set up and the burgers and dogs grilling away, people started to roll in by 12:30pm. The first car got on the dyno and the show began.

Dyno Testing Day

First, a bit about our dyno; it’s nicknamed “The Heartbreaker,” and oh so many hearts has it broken. The Tq/Hp curves look good, but it just reads low numbers. For example, a stock Mazdaspeed3 puts down a sad 190whp. Anyway, amongst the 15 Speed3s that planned to hit the dyno the mods varied from nearly stock to big turbo builds with lots of meth. There were quite a few Speeds in the 200-250whp range with a nice assortment of bolt-ons, a couple cars running a BNR or CS turbo in the 295-320whp range and then there is Justin England: a local out of Washington rocking a built block, GTX3071r at 34psi and tons of meth. He put down a very respectable 400wHp/365wTq on the heartbreaker dyno.

More Mazda Dyno Testing

Just to give you another reference point, we threw a 07’ Corvette on the dyno that also has high flow cylinder heads, intake & exhaust manifold, performance camshaft, and full exhaust system. He put down a mere 420wHp/380wTq…yup. Anyways, enough about our depressing dyno!

Along with the constant roar of WOT pulls there was plenty of food and drinks and even a raffle thanks to a handful of sponsors: Tuned by Nishan, Justin at Freektune, Damond Motorsports, James Barone Racing, and CorkSport.

Check out the images below!

Mazda BBQ 1

Hot Pink Mazda Miata

Yes, that’s a pink Miata with a V8 that’s a daily driver drift car…it’s basically badass.

Dyno Testing a Mazda

Mazda BBQ 2

Mazda BBQ 3

All-in-all it was great day! We had a blast, put down some numbers, and stuffed our bellies. What more can you ask for?! Big thanks to all the NATOR OR members and CS employees that made this day possible and to the sponsors that donated items for the raffle! This is what makes the Mazda community so great!

 

Cheers,

Barett

Barett Strecker-01