Formula D, Northwest Style

CorkSport spent Friday and Saturday soaking up the summer sun at the Round 5 Pro Championship Formula Drift at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. The weather could not have been more perfect; blue skies and moderate temperatures welcomed us on both days. I was joined by our lead engineer, Andrew and our shop manager, Dustin and we brought out our Rx8 and Mazdaspeed 3 to show off our CorkSport parts during the show.

Participating in the drifting event over the weekend were four Mazda’s. Two Rx8’s, a FD Rx7, and a FC Rx7. The two Rx8’s and the FC were part of the Formula D pro series and the FD was participating in the Pro-Am event.

The first Rx8, raced by Kyle Mohan of KyleMohanRacing out of California, is powered by a 13B turbo engine which generates 525 wheel hp through a liberty transmission.

Kyle made it to the Great 8 round despite an ambitious chase car that hit Mohan’s in the round before, bending a tie rod end, which required some fast service work on his car. Unfortunately for Kyle he lined up against Rhys Millen and did not make it to the final 4 to compete for a trophy.

The second Rx8, built by Bergenholtz Racing and driven by Joon Maeng, is powered by a turbocharged 20B putting the power down through an HKS sequential 6 speed. The exhaust note of the engine is crazy loud but incredible sounding.

Joon was knocked out in the top 16 round after he had what looked to be a problem with a gear engagement on the last corner.

The last Pro entry Mazda was an FC Rx7 driven by Charles Ng and prepared by Evasive Motorsports.

Unfortunately this Rx7 was not running a Mazda power plant and went the path of an LS7 V8 making it undeserving of any close up pics, but we did get some video of his run. Charles qualified for the event in 20th but was knocked out in the first round of 32.

The FD Rx7, competing in the Pro-Am Formula D event and driven by Tyler Wolfson from Del Mar, California was the most entertaining story of the weekend, even though we regret that he suffered the worst ending. Tyler is currently working toward a Pro license for Formula D by racing in the Pro-Am events in his FD Rx7.

He had an unfortunate part failure that left his car disabled and despite putting up a sign in hopes of getting onto the track, no one offered up a spare part and after a few hours and a post on Facebook, it was apparent there would be no luck in getting a transmission for the disabled FD.

On Saturday, Wolfson gave it one more shot by making an appeal for a loaner, but with no luck on that front either, he relented and got to hang out and enjoy the show with the rest of the spectators. We wish him luck in the upcoming drift events this year.

We had a great time talking with the racers and our customers at last weekend’s race and look forward to next year’s event.


Mazda Makes (Helps) the World Go Round

With Mazda getting ready to end production of the RX-8, it seemed fitting to take a look back in history to see just how the rotary powered Mazda faired in the US nearly 30 years ago. The newspaper article on the right is from the Thursday, March 1st, 1973 edition of the Toledo, Ohio paper; The Blade.

With the introduction of the 1975 EPA air-pollution standards, came required catalytic converters and unleaded gasoline. While some US car manufacturers struggled to meet the strict (for the time) standards, Mazda was decades ahead. Maybe so far as to say that the US auto makers were trying to insinuate that the Japanese based Mazda was somehow cheating the system.

In continuing with the rotary history lesson, the article below is from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (June 29th, 1973). While some auto makers were having trouble with detonation due to the newly introduced unleaded gasoline, the rotary powered Mazda showed no signs of weakness in part to the limited number of moving parts and overall simplicity of the rotary engine design.

After having such a long history with rotary engines, will Mazda finally say goodbye to the rotary engine? Will we see an RX-7 inspired vehicle from Mazda in the near future?

In more recent rotary inspired news, last weekend, three race teams (SpeedSource, Dempsey Racing, and Team Sahlen) raced with special logos on the sides of their vehicles promoting donations to the American Red Cross to help fund the Japan Earthquake Tsunami Relief Fund. The Mazda Foundation also made a #150,000 donation.

If you would like to donate $10 to the Red Cross Japan relief efforts, simply text REDCROSS to 90999.



The SFLA Mazda Crew hosted their second Epic Florida Meet at Lou Bachrodt Mazda on Feb 21st and CorkSport was invited to attend. Agreeing to attend and getting to the event which was 3230 miles away made for some tough choices for us. We decided to forego bringing a booth and parts show up with a backpack full of t-shirts, can koozies, and the new CorkSport license plate frames to hand out.

Lou Bachrodt Mazda is located in Coconut Creek which is about 45 minutes north of Miami Florida. The weather for the event was beautiful, 80 degrees with a light breeze all day. Compared to Vancouver, WA which was 45 degrees and cloudy, it was a huge difference for winter weather.


MazdaSpeed 6s

160 Mazdas showed up to the event and they ranged from a beautiful 1971 RX-2 to a 3 Rotor 1000+ Hp RX-8. The RX-8 was a beast with a turbo the size of my head.



Huge turbo 3-rotor RX-8 engine

There was a portable dyno on hand for the day but it suffered a failure which kept anyone from getting pulls completed. The failure occurred when the first car was on the first power run.

RX-8 on a dead dyno

There was a great turnout of Mazdaspeed 3s, both 1st and 2nd gens. There were several standouts I saw at the show for both generations.

2nd Gen MazdaSpeed 3

1st Gen MazdaSpeed 3

A visit from the Red Bull girls kept everyone going all day long. The aftermath at one of the garbage cans shows the carnage of drinks consumed.

Dead Redbulls. Deadbulls?

I would like to give a big thanks to the SFLA Mazda Crew for organizing the Epic Meet and Lou Bachrodt Mazda for hosting the event. For more pictures of the event check out our CorkSport Facebook Page.

Hosting a Mazda enthusiast event this year? Contact us and we might just show up.


I’m a Mazda Girl

To all the Mazda’s I’ve loved:

It started with a toss-up between an MX-3 and a Millennia. The MX-3 was amazing and built with all the fast and furious stuff a girl could even need. The MX-3 was a beautiful car, and it has the magazine article to prove it. However, I have a lead foot and the driving record to prove it, so I opted for the float-a-cality of the Millenia. Good thing too, not to long after I purchased it my commute got very long and full of traffic hell.

The Millenia began to have issues, so off it went to the shop and I spent the summer in my 1st gen RX7, a super rare convertible no less. I love convertibles! The sun, the wind, it was the best! But like any older car with rotors and a history of drama, I knew it would be a short-lived love affair. Plus, convertibles in the Northwest during the rainy season are zero fun; cold and leaky.

Next up was a MX-5 Miata ‘M’ edition. I loved the car. It was fun to drive, took corners like a dream and was super sporty, really the perfect fit for me. But like all good things, it too came to an end.

Then came the CX7, wow, I could haul my skis up a mountain AND it had a turbocharger! What more could I want? Better long-term leasing options, could have solved that problem. Good by CX7 I’ll miss you…

Next up was the Tribute – purely functional, good for camping and that’s about it. No love lost when this one went to a new owner. It drove like an old, slow, tired, beast, but it got me to my next Mazda.

Wee, this is a great car, sporty, fun and I can get my kayak partially in the wagon (though with most of its 13ft hang out the back-end). I refuse to put a rack on the roof, in my opinion it would wreck the look of the car. It has been the only car that I have actually installed parts on. Even without a turbocharger it has proven to be a fun car to drive with great handling and plenty of gitty-up on the freeway.

I have two other affairs, a second gen RX-7 convertible and an RX-8. Both out of this world and not even remotely daily drivers. Their beauty and engine tenacity make my day when I have the opportunity to drive or ride in either. My grumpier half won’t give up the keys to the RX-7 since it’s big engine swap. Apparently it has so much power that my husband fears I will either kill myself while I whip the crap out of some poor Honda dork or there will be a high-speed police chase. My vote it would be some combination of the above, while on the way to Mexico.

I’m a Mazda girl now.

– Kelly

May-June Event Wrap Up

I’ve attended quite a few events over the last two months, everything from a pre-release Mazda 2 measuring session in LA to the All Mazda Meet in Newburgh, NY. Take a look at where else we have been:

May 12th, MazdasNW

There was a really big turnout at the May monthly meet at NorthGate mall in Seattle. There was a huge range of vehicles, RX-7s, B series trucks, Mazda 3s, Mazda 6s, MX-6, etc. This meet was surprising simply in the quantity of people and cars. There were several notable vehicles at the meet. A really nice FD RX-7 showed up at the event, which was all built by the owner. The whole car was well thought out and looked amazing. There was a really nice B Series truck with quite a long list of modifications as well, which I liked.

The whole range of Mazdas

Really nice FD RX-7

May 19th, Mazda 2 Measuring Session.

For the first time ever Mazda put up a vehicle and let companies get a chance to look at a new model before it is released through what they call a SEMA measuring session. This gives companies like CorkSport a chance to get measurements and start getting parts built and ready to sell as soon as the car is available. We flew down to Irvine, CA to spend the day collecting information to make new parts. Mazda provided two cars to look at and get information from.

While we were in Irvine we stopped by Tuttle Click Mazda, a Mazda dealership that offers our CorkSport brand products. If you’re in the greater Irvine, CA area stop by and check them out!

Tuttle Click Mazda

Their parts department showroom was in the middle of a remodel for better product displays while we were visiting so we couldn’t check out their awesome CorkSport display. If you are in So Cal and want to pick up CorkSport products locally give George a call at 949 421 3200. He is the parts manager for Tuttle Click Mazda. They had a good selection of Mazdas on the lot including a Red 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 with powder coated wheels and no front plate.

New and black powder coated wheels and no front plate

June 9th, MazdasNW

The June MazdasNW monthly meet had a smaller turnout than usual due to the Junuary weather the NW was experiencing. Despite the threat of rain we trekked to Federal Way, WA to attend the meet. One lucky customer was able to have their CorkSport Mazdaspeed6 cat-back exhaust delivered, saving him quite a bit in shipping costs.

Ecstatic new owner of a CorkSport Mazdaspeed 6 Exhaust

We also got a chance to do investigative work into the 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 as to why the factory keyless entry system was not working on our Project Mazdaspeed3. More details on that adventure can be seen in my blog post about it.

Troubleshooting the elusive keyless entry problem

June 5th, OCC All Mazda Meet

One June 4th at 9:30pm Chris and I hopped on a plane headed to for Newark, NJ to attend the OCC Mazda Meet. The plane landed at 5:30am local time (Sleep?? What’s that?) and we jumped in our rental and headed north to Newburgh, NY. Heading up the freeway we got passed by a train of Mazdaspeed3s on their way to the meet.

A train of Mazdaspeed 3s

The event didn’t officially start until 10am but people started showing up early. When we arrived at 7:30 people were already getting cars parked in the lot. Due to an unexpected surprise our parts we had shipped to the event via UPS did not arrive so we were limited on the parts we had crammed in our carry-on bags to show at the event. This was one of the bigger all Mazda non-rotary specific events which I have attended. The RSVP list had 532 people signed up and 273 vehicles. Here’s a few pictures from the event, there were lots of cool cars there.

Really nice and rare yellow MP3 Protege

Rotaries including a really clean RX-3

Chris milking a giant NY cow

June 19th, MazdasNW Summer BBQ

MazdasNW hosted their annual summertime BBQ in Carnation, WA at Tolt McDonald Park. MazdasNW provided the food, drink, and cooking (thanks!) for the BBQ. The weather was unusually kind to us and there was no rain all day.

In true MazdasNW style, a parts installation immediately took place. A CorkSport SRI was installed at the event on a Mazdaspeed 6.

Installing the CorkSport SRI

Installation complete

Well, that’s it for events for the last two months. We have plenty more events lined up for the next 3 months, so stay tuned here for all the updates!