So You Want to Go Racing in a Family Sedan?

CorkSport Mazda in NASA 25 Hours of ThunderhillNot too often do you get a chance to cage up your family sedan and “run what you brung,” but that’s exactly what Mazda and Robert Davis Racing (RDR) did in the 2013 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Mazda took three brand new Mazda 6 Skyactiv diesel sedans out to the track and ran them. There were a few on-track incidents in the 2013 race but nothing too serious. Mazda was lining up to run the cars again in 2014, and several things fell into place that allowed CorkSport to provide some additional power improvements to the cars. We outfitted them with a downpipe and exhaust made from 80mm stainless steel, a high flow intake system, an upgraded intercooler and piping, and some ECU tuning. This gave the cars more power to stand a shot at the podium in E1 with better fuel economy than the other class cars and more power than the previous year.

CorkSport at NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Inside the group of three Mazda Sedans was a rivalry of the Mazdaspeed Guys (comprised of Mazdaspeed Motorsports employees) and the Dealers CEB (Crayon Eating Bastards), a group of Mazda dealership owners/employees. The dealers controlled cars #55 and #56, and the Factory Guys (Mazda Employees) had #70, all fighting it out for bragging rights. Before the race got going #70 hit a snag where a coolant line came loose and overheated a motor, which prompted a Thursday motor change.

By Friday the cars were all in good shape for qualifying. This went down trouble-free despite a giant rainstorm, as if it wasn’t hard enough trying to run a fast lap with 58 other cars out on the track in six classes— all of which had different speeds.

CorkSport Mazda parts qualifying

Thankfully, by Saturday morning the weather had cleared up, and the forecast predicted dry racing for the full 25 hours. This prompted us to get the three cars ready to run on slicks which were mounted up on the wheels and installed on the cars.

CorkSport Mazda parts ready for racing

Right at 11 am the flag dropped and started the longest race in North America. This was, needless to say, an adventure for the whole team. Several hours into the race, the driver of #70 reported that the car would not shift into all of the gears. It turns out the extra power was a little harder on the drive train in the higher gears, which removed the 5th gear from being functional. The driver decided to stay out and run the race in 6th gear until the fuel stop came up. That turned out to be hours later courtesy of the excellent fuel economy of the Skyactiv engine. The pit area was prepped for a transmission swap with a spare gearbox the team had brought with them. Unfortunately, this took the car out of any chance of being on the podium, but with endurance racing you never know what will happen! So the transmission change went ahead as planned.

At the first extended yellow flag session #55 and #56 reported a power loss in the cars. This resulted in a massive jam session to diagnose and fix what was going on with the cars. Since these specific cars live their lives on the track they did not get a chance to be tested with the new modifications at low speeds (AKA street driving speeds) which brought up an exciting challenge with the fire control systems in the cars. It took ~about 2 hours to sort out the problem, and we had the #55 and #56 back at full speed heading into the night.

Mazda Sedans drive into the night

The #70 was getting its final work completed with the transmission change and ready to head out onto the track again well behind the Mazda dealers in the #55 and #56 cars. Late into the night, after a driver change, we got a call in on the radio #55 had an on-track incident with another car in the E2 class, and sadly both cars had to retire from the race. This E2 class car happened to be leading the class which RDR was also fielding “Kermit,” the green RX8, in. Though the incident was unfortunate, as a result Kermit moved to the leader position of the E2 class.

Several hours later we got a call in from #56 of an off-track situation which required the car to retire from the race too. This put the #70 Mazda 6 in position to finish ahead of the #55 and #56 for total laps if its drivers could finish the race trouble-free. As the sun came up, the #70 car was running without a hitch, as was Kermit.

Mazda RX8 racing at sunrise

From sunrise until noon, the race for the two remaining cars was uneventful. At the noon finale of the race Kermit secured the win in E2 for the first time! Like in any race, there were things you learn and adjustments for the next time on the track. I want to give a huge thanks to RDR, Mazda, Mazdaspeed, the volunteer crew peeps , and Weldon for the guidance on my first time being a crew chief for an endurance race. Lastly, a big thanks to Ruandy from Pacific Northwest Life for the great camera shots—and to my family for letting me miss an entire weekend at another race.

-Derrick

Interested in any of the diesel performance parts we developed? Shoot an email to sales@corksport.com for more information.

The End of the Mazda Rotary RX

tombstone

R.I.P Mazda RX Rotary

We received some sad news a few days ago about the much loved Rotary RX-7, RX-8 and other RX series. The official word according to the Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai is that “we don’t have that kind of vehicle in our future product plan.”  when asked about a future RX. 

Honestly I’d love to pontificate about this more, but there isn’t much to say. It sounds like the final word from the current CEO. When pushed further he gave some reasoning that honestly makes perfect sense, “If you increase the number of segments, then the resources we can allocate to each will decline and that will prevent us from developing truly good products.” Also stated was the fact that “It’s difficult for us at present to further expand our lineup. The company is still in the process of improving its financial structure. We want to focus our limited resources on the Skyactiv products that we have today” 

Though this probably makes the most sense from a stability standpoint, it certainly doesn’t make us excited or want to say “Zoom-Zoom”. What happened to the Mazda passion? All that racing knowledge and development? Did they just give up on pushing the bar? Honestly, I don’t think so, I just think they are changing focus. The Rotary is off the board in the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean their current lineup won’t see some improvements…. after all, what about that Mazdaspeed 3 and MX-5?

Nonetheless, let us all take a moment of silence and mourn the passing of the RX series, for now.

 

Cheers

Spencer@CorkSport

Spencer CarsonWritten by Spencer Carson. Spencer is a car enthusiast and Mazda fan at heart. Whether enjoying the power of a modified Mazdaspeed 3, or driving top down in his 1992 MX5, he always enjoys getting behind the wheel. As much as Spencer loves driving, he loves helping out other Mazda owners even more. Whether helping at a local install day or heading to a car meet across the country, he loves chatting about Mazda and giving advice on how to get more Zoom-Zoom out of any car. 

 

Representing CorkSport Mazda Performance

Representing CorkSport Mazda Performance.

Since starting here at CorkSport HQ, I find myself searching the lanes of traffic for Mazdas. I can’t deny that it gets my heart pumping a little bit when I see a Speed3, but that’s merely because I have a preference for them and the “zoom-zoom” effect.

What keeps me looking is that I don’t always see Mazdas of what I’ll call the “proper persuasion”. It may just be a Pacific Northwest thing, but there are a lot of sexy performance cars roaming the streets disguised as family vehicles. Now don’t get me wrong, a family car is always necessary, but after seeing what the enthusiasts are capable of, I get a little disappointed when I don’t see a CorkSport branded vehicle behind every Mazda emblem.

Over Labor Day weekend I was driving home from camping and having a conversation with a fellow car enthusiast (he’s into Mitsubishis, yuck) about how often we see cars “repping” their favorite performance brand. He was actually doing a great job of making me defensive, saying that he’d never seen a good looking performance Mazda. He said it was a rare occurrence out here to see a clean/stance one and then for it to also be repping CorkSport, “like seeking unicorn’s”. I was disagreeing with all that I had, and yes I mean that in reference to volume control.

We were in a deep, what I’ll refer to as an, “elevated and passionate” conversation, when low and behold, there in the lane just left of us, was a tiny 6” decal on the back right of a very clean Speed3 (Gen2). A perfectly pitched screech of “TOLD YOU SO” bellowed from my mouth, followed by a quick cell phone pic and a good long laugh at how “I (Kim) am always right, get used to it.”

Bloogggoooo2Bloogggoooo

Since then, we have found and rewarded the owner of this beautiful beast https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151905810739257&set=a.317272679256.181853.126409094256&type=1&theater, but it got a great conversation going in the office of “where is the best spot to place a decal?”

So, this is the question I pose to you, our readers:   “Where do you think is the perfect spot to rep your favorite performance brand?” I prefer them to go along with the elegant lines of the car, but others say that having them stand against those brings a slick look as well. What do you think?

Here are some of the pictures that we have seen the in past, please feel free to post yours so we can check it out!

   CorkSport-Blog-Decal-Sticker-Reward-Repping-Mazdaspeed-Mazda-3CorkSport-Blog-Decal-Sticker-Reward-Repping-Mazdaspeed-Mazda-3-6-CX5-2

CorkSport-Blog-Decal-Sticker-Reward-Repping-Mazdaspeed-Mazda-3-6-CX5-20

Can’t wait to see what you all show us!

Sincerely yours,

The very passionate and boisterous CorkSport Customer Service Representative,

Kim

Clearance Bonanza!

Around this time of the year everyone is looking for a good deal on some parts to make their money stretch just a little further. If you are a Mazda enthusiast you may naturally take a look at CorkSport to see what we have to offer in the way of deals this holiday season.

This year CorkSport has a large range of parts on clearance for Mazda enthusiasts across the spectrum, from 90-94 Protege parts all the way up to the 2010+ Mazdaspeed 3.

Need some examples?

For the Mazdaspeed 3/6 we have an Aluminum Fidanza flywheel for $373 on the shelf.

Want something for the exterior of your Mazda? How about an AutoExe Rear Bumper which fits 2004-2009 Mazda 3 hatchback and Mazdaspeed 3s. We have one available for $389 which is $263 off the regular price.

Yes, we have suspension parts available too with everything from an AutoExe front sway bar for the Mazda 3 to adjustable swaybar end links for the Mazdaspeed 6.

Many of the items we have on clearance are parts which will no longer be available once we sell out so this could be your last chance to get them. This is especially true for parts that we have listed for the older car models like the 90-94 Protégé.

Now here comes the really fun part. Beginning today until the end of the month, we are giving you a chance to make an offer on any of the clearance items we have listed! If a price is just out of reach, but you REALLY want that product, you can email me Derrick@corksport.com with the part you are interested in and your best offer. There are rules to this so please read the rest of this post before you go crazy and start sending over your offers.

RULES:

  • We are not accepting offers on regularly priced items. This only applies to clearance items.
  • Email is the only way we will accept an offer on a clearance part.
  • Do not call up to make an offer, I will not be able to help you on the phone about it.
  • Do not post up on this blog with an offer.
  • Do not post up on Facebook or in a forum either. I will not be looking there and we will not answer you.
  • Do not send us a contact us email through our webpage with an offer on a clearance part, we will delete it.
  • If a part is no longer in the clearance section then it is sold out or no longer available at the clearance price.
  • This is a first come, first serve deal, so please no whining or complaining if the part is no longer available or
  • on clearance.

    Happy Shopping!

    Derrick-

    P.S. We will be adding more parts to the clearance section as the week goes on (no, not top mount intercoolers, intakes, or exhaust systems…or any other CorkSport parts that have been released in the last two years) so feel free to check back throughout the next week to see if a part you want comes up.

    CorkSport Product Development Update

    As many of you know, here at CorkSport we always have products in different stages of development and recently have been splitting our time between two areas of the Mazda world, suspension and exhaust.

    Because we support so many models, our time gets allocated between several different product lines to ensure we have parts coming out consistently to support our whole customer base. Today, I will be covering just a few of the items I have been working on over the last several weeks and give you an idea of what we have working in the pipeline.

    Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3

    This summer it will be time to step up, or drop down, to a new set of coilovers designed by CorkSport. They will of course be CorkSport quality and be optimized for most of our customer base. Adjustable height, adjustable dampening and front camber adjustment will be a few of the characteristics. We are also working on producing some camber adjusters for the rear as a separate product.

    We have also been exploring many options to get internals or a fuel pump upgrade to market over the past several months and we have started preliminary testing and design of CorkSport’s own fuel pump upgrade solution for our customers. We are in the preliminary stages of testing and will be working through the development process over the next several months.

    Mazdaspeed 6

    Mazdaspeed 6 owners have been lacking options on the market for a front sway bar application for a while but don’t worry, this summer you should have that bar you’ve always dreamed of. Our beta car has had this bar on for a while and with a few revisions it is getting tremendous results in terms of improved handling and feel. We are in the final stage of development, are going into production now and expecting a full release of the product as early as next month.

    1999-2005 RX-8

    All of you RX-8 fans out there will be glad to know we are in the final stages of development for a single exit exhaust. It has been a long time coming but the drift style exhaust is almost ready for release. We are doing final test fitment now and have identified some beta testers that will be getting the parts on a pre-release later this month. The Beta testers will run the exhaust making sure they like the fitment and sound of the part and will help us to refine our installation instructions to make sure that they are easy to follow before we release it for sale to the public.

    Keep watching the blogs because we will be sharing more information that will give and inside look on the engineering and development of many of the parts we are releasing. I will be writing an in depth blog on the coilovers and coilover development and will also be writing a blog on all the information we are learning about fuel pumps, including spill valves, relief valves, fuel injectors, fuel pump internals, and information on the cam that drives the pumps.

    Brydon –