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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My Mazda journey began back in April 2013 when I found my beloved “Halo” on Kajiji, a local classifieds site. I’m her second owner. My goal was to find a car that was fun to drive, and after driving my girlfriend’s Mazda 3, I fell in love.
Continue reading “My CorkSport Mods: Yolanda’s Mazda 3”
I’ve met a lot of amazing people thanks to my Mazda 3 Sport, but Yolanda Sampson (Instagram: @bluehalogirl) is the one I blame for this addiction we call “modding.” When we met, I hadn’t done much to my car yet, just a couple minor things like tinted windows and tinted taillights. She had a feeling I’d be into meeting some more like-minded locals and invited me to a meet. We got along like only two Mazda nuts could, and it was game over for me.
Continue reading “My CorkSport Mods: Keith’s Mazda 3 Sport”
Last year we embarked on a new race car project: the Mazda 3. Our goal was to develop the car into a frontrunner in the T4 SCCA class and have a shot at the national title at the SCCA runoffs in 2016. Along the way, we’ve been making changes to the car and working on improving the setup, along with testing out products. One of the products we developed and built along the way was our Big Brake Kit (BBK). We never really explained why that kit was so important. So let me explain.
Continue reading “Mazda 3 Carnage”
It’s fair to say that we all love the look of a lowered car, especially when it’s your car right? However what we don’t love is lowered headlights, but sadly that’s a result of your ride’s new look. There are less desirable ways to fix the new lowered headlight issue and there are correct ways. Here at CorkSport, we wanted to provide you the correct method to get your headlights back in line.
Continue reading “CorkSport Headlight Leveling Link”
Back in March 2015, I bought my Mazda3 i Touring brand-new from the dealership with intentions of keeping it stock. Clearly, that didn’t last long. The challenge was how to make an already fun car more fun. That’s when I turned to CorkSport.
Having purchased my third Mazda, and having numerous friends who shop through the company, it was a no-brainer to start here first. The first week having the car, I purchased the license plate relocation kit because, let’s face it, the factory mount looks atrocious smack-dab in the middle of the grille.
Continue reading “My CorkSport Mods: Andrew’s Mazda 3 i Touring”
First things first, we took a different path on the CX-3 springs. We know most people are looking for that “look,” and the CX-3 really comes through from Mazda with great design and styling. The only miss that is really evident is the wheel gap.
Continue reading “CX-3 Lowering Springs Now Available”
How does the CorkSport Big Brake Kit hold up to the track? Has the kit been tested at the limit? What do the brakes look like after a weekend of taking a beating?
Continue reading “CorkSport’s Big Brake Kit at the Track”
Whether you want a lower center of gravity for better handling or you want to get rid of that ugly wheel well gap, lowering springs are a great buy.
From hitting the track on the weekend to a spirited drive through the countryside, CorkSport lowering springs are the upgrade you’ve been looking for. By adding our lowering springs, you’re lowering the center of gravity. This allows the car to stay more planted to the road.
One of the biggest things to note on the stock suspension is how far upward the suspension travels when hitting bump. It can make the car feel like it wants to lift off of the road depending on how fast you’re taking corners. Lowering springs help correct the car’s suspension travel when you hit a bump in a turn.
Lowering springs also have about 25% increased stiffness. For the Mazdaspeed platform, increased stiffness in the rear is a must. Mazdaspeeds like to squat pretty hard when hitting full boost, so any way you can manage to stiffen up the rear is a great modification for your car.
Adding lowering springs also gives your baby amazing eye appeal and a much more aggressive look. Whether you drive a MS3, MS6, Mazda 3, or MX-5, lowering springs will get rid of that ugly wheel well gap. If your model wasn’t just mentioned, springs will still work for you too! The result is a Mazda that carries a much cleaner look and gives you the ability to take it to the track if you want to.
Some people want to drop their Mazda as much as possible, and some don’t. CorkSport lowering springs don’t deliver a super aggressive drop. If you’re not interested in scraping your front bumper on every road bump, the CorkSport lowering springs have the right drop for you, and provide the increased handling capabilities you’re looking for.