I remember the first time I heard a three-rotor RX-7 engine. I thought it was the greatest sound in the world. Then, I heard a four-rotor engine; first Mad Mike’s then the Legendary BMI Racing four-rotor and I knew that four-rotors was the tip top of the mechanically melodic mountain. However, on the horizon is an even higher plateau! Pulse Performance Race Engineering out of New Zealand (The shop that currently works on Mad Mikes cars) has successfully built a six-rotor Mazda-based engine! Yes, SIX! I am not sure if this has ever been done before, but as far as I know it is the first.
The crew recently released video of the engine coming to life and sure enough it starts and runs. Although you wont hear any redline-bouncing revs in the video, the fact that they could get something like that to start and run is amazing! Performance numbers have not been disclosed, nor has the time it took the team to build it or how they pulled it off. As to why, well if you need to ask why then I am going to have to ask you to leave this website and never come back! One does not need a reason to give birth to six-rotors of pure awesome!
Could we see ths engine under the hood of Mad Mike’s next car? I certainly hope so! For now, scroll down and watch the six-delta beast come to life.
Yesterday afternoon Mazda hosted a gaggle of media for their sixth annual motorsports pre-season lunch in which they let the world know how their racing division Mazdaspeed is doing and what they have in store for the year. This year the location chosen for the event was the Crevier Classic Cars collection and club house in Costa Mesa, CA which is host to rows and rows of valuable rare classic cars as well as a few high-dollar modern exotics (more on that in a later post). The meeting was a few hours long so I will just hit all the major news points covered during the conference.
As the meeting got underway the first order of business was introducing the 2012 class of Mazdaspeed Motorsports development ladder graduates. If you are not aware of it, Mazda has created one of the most well defined and most utilized path from armature racing to professional motorsports. Every year they help tons of drivers make it up the ranks from Go-Karting all the way up to the Indy Car Series through the “Mazda Road To Indy” program. 2012 is the year of the “Mazda Seven” as Scott Anderson (Skip Barber Champion), Michael Cooper (MX-5 Cup Champion), Tristan DeGrand (Skip Barber Shootout Champion), Danilo Estrella (Skip Barber Shootout Champion), Elliott Skeer (Club Racer Shootout Champion), Petri Suvanto (USF2000 Champion), and Tristan Vautier (Star Mazda Champion) were introduced as the latest drivers to progress up the Mazdaspeed Motorsports ladder and continue on the Road to Indy program. After this years class was introduced it was announced that 17 year old Elliott Skeer will be joining the CJ Wilson racing team for a full season of MX-5 cup this year.
Mazda racing comes back to television
We also got late breaking news that Mazda has just signed a deal with Discovery to bring television broadcast of their MX-5 cup series, Star Mazda Series, and USF2000 to Discovery’s “Velocity” channel as part of the “Mazda Motorsports Hour”. The show is set to debut in April and the first season will consist of 24 one-hour episodes with Rick Benjamin, Randy Pobst, and James “Hinchtown” Hinchcliffe providing commentary.
B-Spec racing updates
Mazda announced that their B-Spec racing kit is now available and announced an MSRP of $2575 which makes their kit the least expensive offered so far. It was also announced that as of now there are four racing series adopting the B-Spec class for 2012: Pirelli World Challenge (3 weekends x 3 races), GRAND-AM (6 races), Canadian Touring Car Championship (full season), and SCCA Club racing. It was also hinted that winners of B-spec races will be eligible for Mazdaspeed shootout events for a shot at a spot on the Mazdaspeed development ladder.
There you have it! It looks like 2012 will be a big year for Mazdaspeed and for Mazda fans as well. I am looking forward to seeing how things shake out for the new ladder drivers, tuning in to the Mazda motorsports hour, and more developments on B-spec.
We just got this picture in our inbox straight from BMI Racing Manager Sarah Burgess’ cell phone. Looks like the world’s first and only 4-rotor RX-8 is getting a new look as well as rocking a new sticker that looks really familar! There are a few other new surprises for the BMI RX-8 that we will fill you in on soon. In the mean time if you want to help BMI Racing super hype their new livery then tweet this post, send the pic to your friend, do whatever you can to make sure everyone you know sees this picture! Thanks again to BMI Racing for representing for MotorworldHype. You guys rock!
As you may have seen in the previous post the BMI Racing 4-Rotor RX-8 made an appearance at the 2011 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Pre-season lunch. From the looks of the car it was still in the midst of its pre-season build. They did however have the hood off and as you can see it looks like the infamous 4-rotor engine has be refreshed with some new housings and keen eyes will notice the new intake manifold. Gone are the glistening musical trumpet velocity stacks. In its place is a unit that appears to be cast and equipped to possibly accept a surge tank-type unit. Rumblings during the event suggested that a large Garrett unit will be fitted to the beast in an effort to make obscene amounts of power. I wonder how a turbocharger will effect the trademark sound that BMI Racing gets out of their home built monster?
For the last 5 years Mazda has invited journalists to have lunch and discuss Mazda’s standing in the world of motorsports through their Mazdaspeed brand and activities. Usually they incorporate a fun event into the luncheon like electric kart racing at K1 or having a special screening of movies like “Driven To Race“. This year Mazda went all out and roped off a huge area at Hidden Valley park and set up not one but two autocross courses complete with Skip Barber Racing school MX-5 Miata’s, Mazda3′s, and even a full race-spec Mazda2 to thrash!
Also, for the first time since Mazda started the luncheon, drifting was represented at the event with the BMI Racing 4 rotor RX-8, the Bergenholtz Racing/Full Tilt Poker RX-8, and the Kyle Mohan Racing/Nexen Tire RX-8 all on display. Although, none of the RX-8′s seemed like they were quite ready to rock yet it was nice to see the RX-8′s making an appearance.
Once the first session of autocrossing was over we sat down under the canopy of the Star Mazda racing rig and had a chat with Senior VP of Product Development Robert Davis on how Mazda is holding up in the uncertain economy and how their progress is still tied to motorsports. For the most part things seemed to be the status quo for Mazda which is a very good thing in their case. They haven’t lost market share, the Miata has become the #1 selling roadster in history, they’re still the #1 road raced brand in America, and to date over $75 million worth of Mazdaspeed parts have been sold since 1990. It’s also worthy to note that this year marks the 20 year anniversary of Mazda’s overall 1991 win at LeMans with the 787 4-rotor race car. After all this time Mazda is still the only Japanese company to win the event outright! It was hinted that some special events to celebrate the occasion were in the works but no specifics were revealed. I’ll try to keep you posted on that!
It was also pointed out that despite the shaky economy Mazda’s motorsports involvement is still going strong. The Playboy MX-5 Cup is still fiscally one of the most rewarding racing series around with a $250k purse up for grabs (which is more than what you’d get for winning the Ferrari Challenge Series!). Star Mazda has reached its 21st year of competition which makes it the longest running road-racing series in America and the Mazdaspeed motorsports ladder is going on its 26th year. That last bit of info led to the news that despite the demise of the Atlantic series throwing things off Mazda maintains their open wheel ladder by being the official partner for the “Road To Indy“. Which is the path from amateur racing all the way up to Indy Car Series competition.
The next big announcement was Mazdasinvolvement in the new “B-Spec” racing class (sanctioned by NASA) with the Mazda2. In fact the “race spec” Mazda2 at the autocross course that I mentioned earlier was the very same Mazda2 that ran the B-Spec class at Thunderhill. Right now they’re current competitionin “B-Spec” class racing is Honda withthe Honda Fit but Mr. Davis said that he would welcome more competition from other manufacturers like GM (likely with the Chevy Aveo).
When the floor was opened up to questions I asked if B-Spec class racing would be folded into the Mazdaspeed Motorsports ladder. The answer I got from Mr. Davis as well as Alternative Marketing Manager Jim Jordan was that while the B-Spec class wont be an “official” part of the ladder if you win a B-Spec class race in a Mazda2 you will be eligible to compete in the annual Mazdaspeed shoot out which can lead to entrance into one of the Mazdaspeed ladder series. So in a way B-Spec class racing is something of a foot-stool that can help you get to the ladder. Looks like I’m going to need to get myself a Mazda2!
Based on what I heard at this year’s lunch, Mazda is going to continue to make a respectable dent in motorsports. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out! Thanks to Mazda for the invite and for letting me get behind the wheel of a Skip Barber MX-5!
C-West is showing the Mazda some love by applying the same C-West classic design into a body kit for the RX-8. I still remember when this design came out for the RX-7 and everyone instantly fell in love. I think this kit will break a few hearts as well. It just fits so well with the RX-8′s body lines. I just wonder what took C-West so long to do this! How do you guys like it?
If you’re a true racing fanatic you were probably glued to your TV for the entire weekend watching the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona race on SPEED. If you were watching you witnessed one heck of a race that was forged in extreme adversity. Nearly every team on the grid in the major classes suffered some sort of drastic issue that caused a frantic behind-pit-wall session. Amazingly most of those teams were able to fight back from those issues to still finish respectably, yet not as high as they would like. However, there were other teams who saw the misfortunes of their competitors and decided to literally carpe diem and use the rare opportunity to see how far they could get if they gave everything they have. One such team was Dempsey Racing, owned by “Dr. McDreamy” himself Patrick Dempsey. Patrick, along with his driving teammates Joe Foster, Charles Espenlaub, and Tom Long banded together to push their #40 Mazda RX-8 to third spot on the GT class Podium. They finished higher than the typically dominant #69 Speedsource RX-8 which is a massive accomplishment! If you were watching the SPEED TV feed you saw a visually emotional Patrick Dempsey talk about his thoughts on his team’s first ever podium. Congrats to you and your team Patrick!
Team Perseverance & Mazda Reliability Yields Four Top-Ten Finishes at Rolex 24
– First Podium Finish For Patrick Dempsey-Led Mazda RX-8 Team –
January 30, 2011 (Daytona, Fla.) – With new rules and new tires for 2011, Mazda’s teams at the 2011 running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona knew that their best opportunity was to be as perfect as possible – perfect reliability, perfect pit stops, and perfect luck. Alas, the race turned rough for the majority of the 30 GT-class cars that took the green flag on Saturday afternoon. Fate caused the majority of cars, of all brands, to have at least one trip behind pit-wall. The win would be decided by a combination of speed and the ability to deal with adversity.
The breakout performance amongst the Mazda teams was the No. 40 Dempsey Racing VISITFLORIDA / ModSpace / Construct Corps Mazda RX-8. Dempsey Racing is the partnership between actor/racer Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster. Joining Dempsey and Foster in the driver’s seat were road-racing veterans Charles Espenlaub and Tom Long. The team started brightly – in day-glow colors for returning partner VISITFLORIDA as well as new partners ModSpace and Construct Corps. The team led six times for a total of 197 laps, Patrick himself being the first of the four team drivers to lead. The team was leading when Tom Long spun on lap 512, at which time the car developed an electrical issue and failed to restart. The team dropped to fifth before recovering for a third-place finish – the first ever for the No 40 team and the best-placed Mazda in the race.
As the defending champions in just about everything related to Grand-Am GT, Mazda expectations were high in Daytona. After all, 2010 had delivered the Rolex Grand-Am GT Manufacturers Championship, Team Championship (No 69 SpeedSource FXDD) and Drivers Championship (Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato). Mazda also won the GT class in the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona, their 23rd such Daytona class win.
John Doonan, MAZDASPEED Team Development Manager noted that, “As we saw in 2010, the Mazda teams have an amazing ability to deal with adversity. Hopefully we used up our share of bad luck at Daytona today, and we’ll move on towards our goal of a repeat manufacturers championship. We’re thrilled for Patrick, Joe and the entire Dempsey Racing organization as they reaped the results of hard work during the off-season. Once again we had 100% reliability of the Mazda rotary engine. Many of our devout rotorheads followed the action, both on SPEED TV, as well as the growing MAZDASPEED Motorsports Facebook page. The teams have a few weeks off to make repairs before we make a return visit to the sunshine state for the Grand Prix of Miami on March 5th.”
A total of nine Mazda RX-8s competed in the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Their finishing place:
3rd Place #40 Dempsey Racing VISITFLORIDA/ModSpace/Construct Corps Mazda RX-8
6th Place #70 SpeedSource Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8
7th Place #42 Team Sahlen Mazda RX-8
10th Place #41 Dempsey Racing/Team Seattle Mazda RX-8
18th Place #63 Team Spencer Motorsports Mazda RX-8
28th Place #43 Team Sahlen Mazda RX-8 (DNF – Concentrated efforts on #42 entry)
29th Place #36 Yellow Dragon Motorsports (DNF – Crash damage)
On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you’ll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the largest road-racing class in the world is Spec Miata, with more than 2,500 first- and second-generation Miatas tearing up America’s racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda’s involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world’s premier road-racing circuits, the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing, and the Mazda Road to Indy.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
We literally just got back from SevenStock 13 a few hours ago and here I am writing this post! The first thing I want to say is I had a great time! Mazda is one of the few OEMs that really has their fingers on the pulse of their enthusiasts. As always they brought out some legendary race cars from their “museum” and beyond that there were plenty of other awesome factory backed Mazdas on display, including the Rolex Series Champion Speed Source RX-8, the BMI Racing 4 Rotor RX-8, and the Full Tilt Poker/Burgenholtz RX-8. All of that awseomness isn’t even counting the fleets of fresh daily driven Mazdas on display brought by the enthusiasts. There were some fresh rotaries on display! Check out the full gallery on our Facebook Page.
Check out this video of the BMI Racing Mazda RX-8 4 Rotor’s first qualifying run in Formula Drift. This is in-car footage of Drift Alliance Ace Brian Wilkerson piloting the rotary beast to a 30th spot in the top 32 at Formula Drift round 3 in New Jersey.
It is official! Drift Alliance east coast ace Brian Wilkerson has been tapped to tame the monster 2009 Mazda RX-8 4-Rotor built by BMI Racing. So far Brian and BMI are just on for Round 1 of Formula Drift on the streets of Long Beach. However there is a pretty big sponsor waiting in the wings and depending on their performance they could have the support they need to take on the grid for the rest of the 2010 season. We wish them luck and will be following their progress closely.
Also stay tuned to MotorworldHype.com for a few exclusives on BMI Racing within the next few days or so.
TORRANCE, CA (April 4th, 2010)- BMI Racing is happy to announce that Drift Alliance Ace Brian Wilkerson will drive the BMI Racing 2009 Mazda RX-8 4-Rotor drift car at Formula Drift Round 1: Streets Of Long Beach on April 9-10th.
Brian Wilkerson has been a constant presence in the east coast grassroots drifting scene for years, competing in several amateur and semi-professional events since 2006 with impressive results. Brian has renewed his Formula Drift competition license for 2010 and is looking to punch a hole in the pro-drift circuit and show that he has what it takes to be a serious contender among the world’s best drifters in the top level American drift series.
BMI Racing is currently finishing up prep-work on their one of a kind 2009 Mazda RX-8 powered by a rare 4-Rotor engine. BMI Racing is the first performance shop to successfully install a 4-Rotor engine into an RX-8 chassis. Since the car’s completion it has been an internet sensation and has received over 80,000 video hits combined on YouTube.com and StreetFire.net as well as over 200,000 total impressions due to coverage on Autoblog.com and Mazda USA’s corporate website.
While both BMI Racing and Brian Wilkerson have years of experience in their respective specialties both parties are relatively (Brian competed in Round 2 in Atlanta in ’09) new to Formula Drift and expect tough challenges ahead. However, Brian and BMI Racing are also confident that together, they can make a strong impression at Long Beach.
ABOUT BMI RACING:
BMI Racing consists of Adam and Sarah Burgess a happily married couple that moved from Australia to the USA to pursue their shared passion for motorsport, and with over 25 years combined experience they have built extreme and diverse performance vehicles.
BMI Racing has successfully built the World’s only 2009 Mazda RX-8 4 Rotor, a naturally aspirated beast that has a unique engine sound that can only be compared to that of a Formula One car. The RX-8 4 rotor has been well received wherever it has been on display, including shows such as Seven Stock 12 held at Mazda Headquarters Irvine, the final round of Formula D at Irwindale, and the world largest automotive show – The SEMA show held in Las Vegas.