While not a new product, there is still plenty to be excited about. Say hello to the new and improved CorkSport Aluminum Skid Plates for 2008-2013 Mazdaspeed 3 and 2004-2013 Mazda 3. We took all of the great features present in the original one-piece design, and then went back to the drawing board to improve the fitment, make installation easier, and make shipping cheaper for everyone. Read on as we go through the full details of this redesign.
Designing the GEN 3 Skid Plate
While designing the GEN 3 Skid Plate for 2014-2016 Mazda 3, we realized that utilizing a two-piece design is a fantastic way to save you some money on shipping. The overall design is smaller which allows us to use a smaller box to eliminate any oversized package charges from shipping companies. This is the same reason why our GEN2 Speed3 Front Lip is made of multiple parts. By designing the skid plate into two-pieces, installation on your vehicle becomes more flexible when aligning the front and rear sections. The multi-piece lineup creates wiggle room to help get everything all lined up properly on your car. Since each and every car is just a bit different, the extra wiggle room helps to achieve the best alignment possible, even on cars that have had their subframe, radiator support, and/or bumper removed and not reinstalled perfectly.
The Perfect Fitment
Going to a new design gave us the freedom to improve fitment even further. We have revised the mounting locations to ensure the easiest installation possible and reshaped a few areas to best fit on your car. Like the original though, no permanent modification to your Mazda is needed as we use all OEM mounting locations. Plus, the CorkSport Aluminum Skid Plates for Mazdaspeed 3 ship with all of the tools that you will need to install it.
Ultimate Protection Without the Weight
Both GEN1 and GEN2 CorkSport skid plates are made from laser cut and precision formed 0.090” aluminum sheet. This thickness offers great protection from road debris and the occasional tall speed bump without adding a ton of weight to the front of your Mazda3. Where an OEM plastic splash shield would crack and fail, the CorkSport skidplate can take a beating, offering you peace of mind whether you’re riding at stock height or have lowered your MazdaSpeed 3. Speaking of riding low, the CS under tray sits up slightly higher than the OEM shield, giving you that little bit of extra clearance when you need it.
If this is just your next mod in a long list of mods do not worry. The CorkSport Aluminum Skid Plates fit with both GEN 1 and GEN 2 Front Mount Intercooler Kits as well as the CorkSport Lower Tie Bar. The CS GEN2 Front Lip will fit as well but may require some modification to the skid plate and/or front lip. For all of you Mazda 3 owners, just a heads up that these skid plates were designed for the Mazdaspeed models so you may require some minor trimming for best fitment, all of which can be done with a simple hand saw or razor knife.
There you have it folks, the new and improved CorkSport Aluminum Skid Plates for GEN1 and GEN2 Mazdaspeed 3 & Mazda 3. Let us know if you have any questions down below and we will be sure to help you out!
New & Improved: The CorkSport Aluminum Skid Plates for Mazdaspeed 3 April 8th, 2019CorkSport
That’s right folks; CorkSport’s favorite skid trays have made their way to the GEN3 Mazda 3. Whether you have a broken OE plastic skid tray or are just looking for some extra protection for the winter months, please welcome the CorkSport 2014-2016 Mazda3 Skid Tray. Made from laser cut, 0.090” thick aluminum formed to a perfect fit, this skid tray is a direct upgrade from the OE Mazda3.
From the factory, the GEN3 Mazdas come with a flimsy plastic under tray that can crack and break with the smallest of impacts.
It exists primarily to smooth the airflow traveling under your car and act as a splash shield for the engine compartment while driving in the rain but offers no real protection for your oil pan. We felt compelled to remedy this issue, and thus, the CorkSport Mazda3 Skid Tray was born.
The 0.090” thick aluminum protects your Mazda 3 from road debris, rocks, and damage to vital engine components while adding minimal weight to your car. This aluminum is the same material as our Mazdaspeed 3 skidplate, and it has proven itself to take plenty of punishment. We even torture tested one of our prototype skid trays during the 25 Hours of Thunderhill on the CorkSport Mazda 3 Race Car and had no issues.
As always, we sought out to make the installation as painless as possible while retaining all OE features. The CorkSport skid tray only uses the OE mounting locations without having to drill or trim anything. The CorkSport Mazda3 skid tray is a two-piece design that allows for a more straightforward install. Each piece is more manageable to move around for installation than the traditional one-piece design. As a bonus, it also makes the shipping is cheaper! We retained The oil and filter access panel so you can easily perform maintenance without having to remove the Mazda3 skid tray.
By extending the front of the skid tray above the bottom of the front bumper like OE, the CorkSport Skid Tray retains the smooth transition from bumper to skid tray to ensure smooth airflow under your car. You can even run the CorkSport Skidplate with the Mazda OE front lip with no issues.
If you’re worried about your oil pan or can’t seem to keep an OE skid tray in one piece, let the CorkSport Skid Plate for 2014-2016 Mazda 3 alleviate your issues.
P.S. Our two-piece design allows us to develop fitments for other models. If you’re interested in a skid plate for your car, let us know, and we might start work on one for you!
Protect your Mazda 3 with the CorkSport Skid Tray February 28th, 2018CorkSport
For many people across the USA, the days after Thanksgiving means one thing. To them, it’s the start of the Christmas season. The beginning of holiday shopping, pumpkin spice lattes, and the best home cooked meals you can’t wait to dive into.
However, for a small select few group of individuals and teams, it’s a time for something completely different. It’s a time to see what you are made of, a time to put it all out on the table. A time where you know if the past year of planning, testing, and preparation are about to reward you greatly or tear you down completely. It’s the time where you hope to be able to stand up on a Sunday at noon and can say proudly “I survived the 25.”
For those lucky few (some call them crazy or stupid) the weekend after the Thanksgiving Holiday is what you might call a different type of holiday.
For the past 15 years, the 1st weekend of December is when some of the worlds best pro and amateur drivers descend upon a small city in Northern California known as Willows. Just on the outskirts of this quaint little city lies a little well-known road course titled merely “Thunderhill.” Now what makes Thunderhill so unique, well it’s probably the fact that this venue host the longest and most extreme endurance race in all of North America. For 25 hours straight; teams, coaches, drivers, and fans endure the rain, cold, dark, lack of sleep and more to try and make a name for themselves, and this year CorkSport did just that. Made History…
While attending the 25 Hours of Thunderhill is nothing new for CorkSport as we have spent the past several years supporting Mazda North America and their racing efforts with logistics, crew, and parts. This year was the first year where we entered a new team ourselves and brought our car, crew, trailer, and everything else you need to try and survive 25 hours of racing.
Sadly MNAO did not attend this year so it was up to us to make sure that the brand and name would make a forceful showing at the event and that is precisely what we did.
To start this whole thing off, we brought out our 2016 Mazda 3 GT. You guys are more than familiar with this car as Co-owner, and founder of CS Derrick Ambrose has been piloting this ride for two race seasons now in SCCA racing. We spent several weeks leading up to the event preparing the CorkSport Mazda3 for this daunting task.
We got extra safety equipment installed, upgraded our data acquisition package, optimized and engine tune for the 2.5L engine, and even installed some upgrade prototype pieces to have the car suited for the race.
Some of the CS goodies that were on the car during the run where our SRI, Cat-back exhaust, RMM, sway bar, and some prototype pieces like our aluminum skid tray and upgraded transmission engine mount. We needed the best parts we could get in there if we wanted to be competitive and make history.
No one has ever raced the 3rd generation Mazda 3 for this long in any endurance race. This car started off just like any other Mazda 3 and still retained a full OEM chassis, transmission, and engine. The engine internals where untouched and the transmission received a CorkSport LSD.
The team showed up on a brisk and cold Thursday morning, and we went to work. We immediately set up and got the drivers briefed. We got some practice in on Thursday followed with some qualifying on Friday all to be prepared to push this car to the limit for 25 hours. The team grabbed the pole position, and we were 1.5 seconds ahead of the next car which was fantastic. It showed we had the pace and ultimately the faster car. Fast forward to Saturday, and the flag drops green.
We had a great start and excellent drivers in the car. We struggled a bit through the night with consuming tires at a rate faster than we had anticipated and also had a few issues with how quickly we could get fuel into the car, despite the problems the team and the car pushed through the night. With just a brake change and tweak to the exhaust through the night, we maintained a good pace that ultimately got unwound due to the fuel issue mentioned above.
There was a Miata in our class that could get better fuel economy and tire consumption and slowly crawled there way up to lead during the night.
As the sunlight begins to break through, we are in a healthy 2nd place but a bit far off the leader, however, it does not worry us too much as we still have a shot at a win. Things were looking good till right about hour 22. One of our driver’s radio’s in and let us know he lost 4th gear (that’s not good). None the less we keep pushing knowing we have a spare transmission should we need to swap.
Now at hour 23 we get another message. “I lost 2nd gear” The transmission has now lost two gears, and we get a bit nervous. The car is still going and driving strong but our lap times do suffer from not being able to use all of the gears. After a quick powwow with the team, the decision is made to leave the car out on track and finish the race between 3rd and 5th gear.
With only 2.5 hours to go swapping out the transmission did not make sense as we were very secured in 2nd place. So we did just that and pushed on through, and you know what happened? We did it. While we didn’t get the P1 spot like we had wanted we did what no other SKYACTIV-G Mazda3 had done before.
We survived the 25. We proved the chassis and the platform, we pushed harder, longer, and further than absolutely anyone else has. The car was relatively unscathed, and minus the transmission, the vehicle performed excellently. All of the CorkSport parts did precisely what they needed to and outperformed all expectations.
We took the 3rd gen platform and solidified it as a competitive car and chassis that can be used and used well at all levels of motorsports.
So, what happens next?
The Mazda 3 made it back home and now lay dormant inside of HQ. We will be spending the next few weeks going through a ton of data and running through the car with a fine tooth comb.
We’ll take the transmission apart and see what her demise was. We’ll likely strip the SKYACTIV 2.5L down as well to check out what two years of racing looks like on her. The oil is already out of the car and on its way to the lab so be sure to stick around and see what we find out there.
Now one of the great things about this is what our success brings to the community. Everything we learned here can and will be applied to all of our parts and products moving forward. When we win, you guys all win. So, celebrate our accolades with us and wish us luck as we begin to prepare for the 2018 race season.
Do we tackle the 25 hours again next year? Do we show up with a turbocharger and more aero? And do we fight our ways to a P1 finish? You better believe I am going to try.
25 hours of Thunderhill February 21st, 2018CorkSport
The CorkSport Mazda/Mazdaspeed Protégé Skid Tray will provide solid protection against rocks and road debris and is designed to prevent damage to key components of the 2001-2003 Protégé undercarriage.
Made from 0.090” precision machined aluminum, the CorkSport Skid Plate will provide maximum protection while adding minimal weight to the body of the vehicle. This one-piece precision bent skid plate is angled for a tight fit and structural rigidity and offers a more complete seal to handle harsh conditions and provide smoother airflow under the front side of the car.
“There are a few companies in recent years that have jumped on the bandwagon to develop products for the Mazdaspeed 3 and other newer Mazda vehicles.” said Rich Harris President of CorkSport Performance, “CorkSport is one of the few Mazda Performance Companies that is in the business of supporting the full line-up of Mazda vehicles. We are happy to deliver this top of the line product to add to our catalog for the Protégé and continue to support our Protege customers needs.”
The CorkSport 1999-2003 Mazda/Mazdaspeed Protégé Skid Plate is is available for purchase at CorkSport.com for $249.00 and and comes with a two year warranty, full color installation instructions, all of the needed installation hardware, and knowledgeable telephone installation support.