Streetwear moguls Fatlace and their official automotive enthusiast division, Hellaflush, recently amended their standard operating procedure of hosting annual events at their San Francisco, CA, headquarters to throw an impromptu gathering of slammed, fender-flush rides at Blacktrax Performance in Milpitas, CA, to collect proceeds for the Philippines Relief Project. Over 1,500 attendees and rides from as far away as the northern East Coast and Florida rolled through. Here are some of our favs:
Mazdaspeed /MZR Engine
In motorsports news, Mazdaspeed announces the addition of a new rung in their driver development ladder with the cooperation of Mazda and Cooper Tires, in the form of a new championship series. The USF2000 National Championship, powered by Mazda, will be a new stop along the company's "Road to Indy" (designed to support budding grassroots racers), which will be owned and operated by Anderson Promotions, sanctioned by the Indy Racing League (IRL-remember those guys?), and feature 170hp versions of the Mazda MZR engine of the MX-5 roadster and Mazda3. The new effort will join World Speed Motorsports in adopting the ubiquitous DOHC inline-four; the latter will use it in their all-new FormulaSPEED 2.0 series.
Super Taikyu Champs
Also in motorsports news, Team 5Zigen became 2009 Super Taikyu ST3-class season champs, after a flawless victory with their NSX at the series' Round 8 finale at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan, where the NSX finished First Place in both heats of the endurance race's event, driven by Hiroki Yoshimoto, Kousuke Matsuura, and Katsuyuki Hiranaka.
Tricks Of The Trade
Helping You Wrench
Stop Blowing Your Hoses!
There's nothing more frustrating than blowing the charge pipes off your car under full boost. Dislocated piping can be caused by a number of problems, including loose hose clamps or torn couplers, but the most common culprit can be traced back to oil. Motor oil can coat the walls of the intake tract, leaving the coupler slippery and unable to form a tight seal with the charge pipes if reinstalled without cleaning. Using a can of brake cleaner, rubber gloves, and a shop towel, spray the cleaner on a cloth and proceed to thoroughly wipe down the inside of the hoses to remove oil and contaminants. Once clean, allow the couplers to completely dry before attempting to re-install. Refrain from soaking any silicone or rubber material in brake fluid, as the harsh chemical will soften the hose.
Mazda's Rotary-Powered Skyline Killer
Flip to this month's cover feature on page 74 to read about the Skyline GT-R's racing dominance over the years, and when you come to the part about it winning 49 straight victories in its first year racing, know that it was a modified version of this little guy that kept number 50 out of reach: Mazda's naturally aspirated, 1.0L, twin-rotor, 110hp RX-3, which raced in the Touring Car class of the 1972 Japanese Grand Prix.
The RX-3 debuted as a 1971-model sports coupe in succession to the compact R100 (Familia), just one year after the Capella (for the JDM; 616 for the USDM) and the RX-2 (which was initially a coupe/rotary trim level of the Capella) were introduced as the company's mid-sized family car. Despite factory performance numbers being a bit lower than the RX-2's, due to increased weight from its slightly re-worked engine and improved chassis, it replaced the RX-2 as the company's rotary-powered race platform of choice. The RX-3 was initially released with two variants of the twin-rotor Wankel engine, and in a strange twist of practice for Japanese automakers, export markets like the USDM got the better of the two: the 12A, featuring rotor depths 10mm oversized from their counterparts in the JDM's 10A, for an additional 164cc of displacement and five hp at the same redline (additional variants would make 130 hp in naturally aspirated trim).
The car's additional weight mattered little to race-prepped versions, which debuted in 1971 by winning Japan's Fuji 500 race outright, and besting the Skyline GT-R in the aforementioned GP race the following year. The car won First in its division of Australia's Bathurst 1000 (hailed as the "Great Race" by Australian media) in 1974, and defended those standings the following year (holding four of the top five positions), while also placing Fifth overall. It won over 100 other victories in 1976 alone; its 12A engine had become the first engine produced outside the U.S. and Western Europe to finish the grueling 24 Hours of LeMans, and was even adopted in an attempt to break the piston-engine airspeed record in 1977, when two boosted, 330hp 12As were used to power the twin-propeller Aero Design DG-1 to a 450mph top speed.
Based on the success of the R100's and RX-2's trial-run availability in the U.S., the RX-3 became a hit on our shores during its '72-'78 release, and was one of the company's first widely distributed vehicles here. RX-3s were released in coupe, sedan and wagon variants throughout their production (with the wagon becoming the first such body style available with a rotary engine), although coupes quickly became the most popular, and led directly to the decision to release the RX-7 on our shores in 1979.
|1972 MAZDA RX-3 COUPE||1969 NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R SEDAN|
|BODY STYLES||COUPE, SEDAN, WAGON||COUPE, SEDAN|
|LAYOUT||FRONT ENGINE, REAR-WHEEL DRIVE (FR)||FRONT ENGINE, REAR-WHEEL DRIVE (FR)|
|WHEELBASE||2,286 MM||2,570 MM|
|LENGTH||4,064 MM||4,330 MM|
|WIDTH||1,600 MM||1,655 MM|
|HEIGHT||1,372 MM||1,370 MM|
|CURB WEIGHT||884 KG (1,949 LBS)||1,100 KG (2,425 LBS)|
|SUSPENSION||INDEPENDENT, COIL-OVER SHOCK (FRONT); LIVE AXLE, LEAF SPRING (REAR)||INDEPENDENT MCPHERSON COIL-OVER-STRUT, LOWER-WISHBONE, ANTI-ROLL BAR (FRONT); INDEPENDENT SEMI-TRAILING ARM, COIL SPRING, SHOCK (REAR)|
|TRANSMISSION||FOUR-SPEED MANUAL||FIVE-SPEED MANUAL|
|CONFIGURATION||TWIN-ROTOR WANKEL||DOHC, INLINE SIX-CYLINDER|
|DISPLACEMENT||1,146 CC||1,989 CC|
|OUTPUT||110 HP @ 7,000 RPM 100 TQ @ 4,000 RPM||155 HP @ 7,000 RPM 130 TQ @ 5,600 RPM|
|PERFORMANCE||17.1-SECOND QUARTER-MILE 115MPH TOP SPEED||16.3-SECOND QUARTER-MILE 124MPH TOP SPEED|
New NSX FTW
Honda HSV-010 GT Debuted
If you're one of the many enthusiasts who bought this issue mainly because of the NSX name-drop on the cover, chances are you also woke up the morning of October 28th, 2009 with a giant hangover, having spent the preceding 24 hours drinking away the sorrows of Honda's announcement to retire the NSX from Super GT competition the day before-the final nail in the NSX's coffin, after Honda announced the end of its 15-year production run in 2005. Well, get ready to wake up sick again tomorrow-this time from celebration-because if you haven't heard by now, Honda recently announced its return to Super GT competition with this: the 3.4L, V-8-powered HSV-010 GT (Honda Sports Velocity, 10-cylinder, Gran Turismo) that's nothing more than a race-modified version of the company's planned V-10 successor to the NSX that was announced in late 2007, debuted at that year's Detroit Auto Show as the Acura ASCC, tested at Nurburgring within six months, and abandoned the following December due to the world's "poor economic conditions". Honda's appealing Super GT's homologation requirement that mandates a new car be produced for sale to the public before it can be deemed legal for competition-a favor we're hoping they don't get!
Thinking that Myspace friend request from "Falken", or invite to become a fan of "Falken Tire" on Facebook are B.S. from some fanboy in the Middleofnowhere, USA? Guess again. Falken Tire announces the launch of its official social networking efforts, via Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter (with more to be added) by which friends, fans and followers will be among the first to receive news, event coverage and product give-aways from everyone's favorite rubber retailer.
By the Numbers
The number of NSX-R GTs ever produced by Honda. Good luck ever even seeing one.
And Now Our Turn
In motorsports journalism news . . . we'd like to salute photographer Andy Willsheer for being a total badass when he recently shot this sequence of an out-of-control nitro funnycar at California's Pomona Raceway, while gathering event for an overseas magazine. [Editor's note: this is one of the only ways to get a domestic into our mag!]