What’s Racing Got To Do With It?

Looking from the outside, racing really doesn’t make much sense. You spend a bunch of money to win some trophies, which are nowhere near as valuable as the money spent on the racing to get it. This leaves most people asking “why?”

I’m here to explain why the people at CorkSport spend the time and energy to go racing.

First, we get access to world-class drivers. I’m not saying I’m not a decent driver, but I’m always learning, just like the best drivers out there. The best example we have is recently hiring pro driver Kenton Koch to do development work on our 2016 Miata suspension.

If you haven’t heard his name, you should by now. He’s a Mazda development driver and he’s won the Skip Barber Series Championship, Skip Barber Mazdaspeed Series Championship, Battery Tender MX-5 Cup Championship, and this last year, the IMSA Prototype Lights Champtionship. This year at the Rolex 24hour in Daytona, Kenton was part of a JDC-Miller PC team that won their class and the first race in the Patron Endurance Championship. This was also the first time he’d raced this car against other competitors. So you can say Kenton is good.

Kenton Koch Daytona Win

The second thing about racing is you’ll break and wear out parts. If you’re not wearing out parts, you’re not pushing the car hard enough and you’re officially a Sunday driver. Brakes, tires, suspension, and motor components are exposed to the worst conditions while racing. A recent example was when I raced at Daytona for the SCCA runoffs. We raced our 2015 Mazda 3 2.5 with all of our parts for an entire week. Every lap we hit a top speed of 139mph, hammering the brake to make corner 1. The intake and exhaust got a massive workout dealing with the full throttle driving for extended periods of time on the embankment of the oval. The CorkSport springs and swaybar were pounded over the curbs on the infield and the bus stop. The end result of the race weekend was zero problems with our parts, even in a worst-case environment.


The third reason is just as compelling to me as the first two reasons: you learn. When I head to the track, I make sure I have a goal in mind of what I want to accomplish ahead of time. For this upcoming year, CorkSport is an associate sponsor of Hale Motorsports Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car effort with two MX-5 TC classed cars and a very familiar Mazda 2 TC B-Spec, which CorkSport built and raced. I’ve signed on to be a crew chief for the car driven by Joey Jordan, who piloted the CorkSport Mazda 2 last year to four straight 1st place finishes at the end of the Pirelli World Challenge season. We also have a future star in the making. Henry Morse will be driving the Mazda 2 for this season as well, which makes for a busy schedule.

My goal for the season is to develop the skills to operate at the highest level needed by a crew chief in strategy, drive prep, team communications, and operations. Each one of these items is essential inside a team to be effective and win a championship.

Now that you know, what do you think? Do you understand why we race? Feel free to post your comments here on the blog and I’ll make sure I reply back personally.

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.

4 Replies to “What’s Racing Got To Do With It?”

  1. Derrick, I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m a novice in the motorsports world and I’m already addicted to the thrill of racing and more importantly building up my car with my own two hands. I drive a 2008 mazdaspeed3 and its on a healthy diet of straight up CORKSPORT. Your parts are of the utmost quality and have allowed me to leave those silly little Honda’s in the dust. You’ve also inspired me to pursue a career in the automotive performance industry as a professional performance automechanic and tuner, mainly for Mazda’s. San Diego is largely untapped in the Mazda performance and aftermarket and I hope to establish a trusted and respected name for my company, much like the feeling I get when I think of CorkSport. Do you have any advice for me as I begin my endeavor into this brave new world?

  2. Start off with HPDE and work you way into the advanced groups. From there either get yourself into the drivers seat in chumpcar/lemos racing or pick up a spec miata and hit the track. Spec Miata (SM) is bang for the buck the best racing option for learning and competition. Both NASA and SCCA in your area have events always a few weekends away.

  3. The mazda 2 and mx5 are great cars for their class but the mazda 3 is being left behind unless mazda can achieve what ford has done with the focus RS. Do you guys at corksport have any hope for the mazda 3 to get back in the game? I have a 13′ skyactiv which i like well enough to keep driving (mostly because of its hatchback) but I’ll probably never win my local SCCA STF class, no matter how much i improve, without some more grip and more power… so im getting kinda deppressed and dreaming about the ford rs, forced induction, or rwd conversions. I like my corksport exhaust and high flow cat btw.

  4. We will be trying our best with the Mazda 3 and win some titles this year. We are working on the development of the setup for T4 and hopefully working towards the future if a new speed model is released.

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