December 13, 2012

#COTD | 2002-2008 Mazda6

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Giancarlo Pawelec @ 8:00 AM

The Mazda6 otherwise known as the Mazda Atenza in Japan is the replacement for the less popular 626 model and first introduced in 2002. Thus far,  the Mazda6 has sold over one million units worldwide since its introduction over a decade ago and has also hit this sales milestone faster than all previous Mazdas partially due to its unique design cues. By the time the new millennium came to be, Mazda rolled out their new “Stylish, Insightful, and Spirited” design philosophy which later followed suite in their Mazda2, RX-8, and the rest of the line up. During a time when the leading full size sedan competition included the bland design of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, Mazda’s introduction of the 6 was spot on in way of not only styling but more so bang for buck.

Globally the Mazda6 came with an assortment of engine variations including a 1.8L (L8-DE), 2.0L (LF-VE) and 2.3L (L3-VE), initially with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. In the US a 3.0L Duratec 30 V6 engine was made available matted to a five-speed manual or automatic gearbox, until 2005 when a 6-speed automatic became the replacement. All the engine choices allowed the Mazda6 to be tailored to a particular consumer around the world although the Duratec V6 was by far the most popular option in North America due to the demand for power in full sized sedans.

Unknown to many the Mazda6 was built on the G-series platform, by far one of the most successful in the Ford-Mazda partnership resulting in vehicles such as the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ, Lincoln MKX, and many others. The side profile of the car is spot on with wide arches on the fender lines and great wheel option especially with the higher trimmed levels. As mentioned in an earlier posting during this time, the Lexus IS300 was debuted and “Altezza taillights” were all the rage, thus Mazda used the concept for their design which can be seen wrapped around the rear quarter panel.

The Mazda6 not only filled a much-needed void in way of a full size sedan able to capture the hearts of younger buyers or one seeking something less conservative than the other Japanese offerings, it also became very competitive in various racing series. Most notably the Mazda6 was campaigned in the GTS class of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge. Mazda took first in the manufacturer’s championship while its drivers finished first and second on the podium in the Touring Car driver points. If that doesn’t speak volumes about Mazdas dedication to making their vehicles work in every realm, than nothing else does.

Later on the Mazda6 was introduced in a sport-wagon format which allowed the versatility of more in-cabin room, while still looking the part of “Stylish, Insightful, and Spirited” as Mazda tagged it. For a starting price sub-$30,000 you simply couldn’t go wrong although selecting which variation could have been confusing. The Mazda6 has since gone through various changes including the most notably a more robust exterior and bigger power plant as well as the introduction of the Mazdaspeed6 in 2005 with it’s turbocharged engine pushing out 270 hp and 280 lb·ft of torque!

In the world of tuners, the Mazda6 was well received especially with the introduction of the Mazdaspeed6 and its turbocharged engine. The lines of the car flowed very well and no one could deny the beauty and simplicity of the multi-projector look of the headlights. Throw on a nice set of wheels, drop the car a few inches, add a lip spoiler, and you’re all done. For those that didn’t want to go enroute of the smaller Mazda3, the 6 offered the look and feel of the smaller sibling with the performance expected from a larger output vehicle – a true win-win scenario.


August 6, 2012

Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 4

Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 4
Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – DDT
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
August 5th, 2012

After much anticipation weeks prior, the final round for the 2012 Sigma Racing Time Attack (SRTA) series was set to crown winners and separate the pack on the leader board. Back at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park driver development track (DDT), the day began with usual driver’s meeting and information announcements. The weather forecast called for rainy conditions later in the day which would prove not only frustrating for many of the competitors, but would also result in slow lap times making for an even tighter grouping of racers.

Despite the less than favorable weather, the SRTA began as always with the first half dedicated to open lapping for competitors to dial in their suspension setups, tire pressure, and anything else that might need tweaking. During the morning the weather reached low 20-degrees Celsius and a medium level humidity, but that didn’t seem to deter anyone from jumping on the track.

This Mitsubishi Evolution X was looking fast lap after lap. Unfortunately, it was unable to compete in the Official Time Attack later in the afternoon due to a transmission cooler core bursting. Boost and all-wheel drive, a threatening combination even at the technical and tight DDT course.

One of the giants at the track during the lapping portion was this silver / orange Porsche GT3 RS. This $200,000 German track-spec exotic packs a 3.8-liter flat six that puts down 435 horsepower on a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. It’s not every day that one gets to see a gem like this on the track, although it has become apparent that at least one gets written off yearly on the Grand Prix circuit – thankfully, no GT3s were harmed this time around.

The little Vitz (Yaris) that could being hunted down by a sub-500 horsepower Nissan GT-R! This little blue hatch was working its way around the track and putting down respectable lap times. Thankfully, the DDT circuit is well suited for small and short wheel base cars more so than power monsters like the R32.

It was good to see an usual track setup like this RX-7 powered by a Toyota power plant on the course. One might be thinking as to what’s under the hood, we’ll leave you guessing for the time being.

It’s always a pleasure to see Pat Piotr Burdon pilot his Mazda RX-7 and make it stick through the corners even though it seems to prefer to go sideways naturally. Burdon was nailing corner after corner and getting his lap times down, thankfully without his rotary rocket having any issues.

Like clock work, 2:30pm rolled around and the announcement for the Official Time Attack spread around the paddock. The driver’s meeting gave clear and defined instructions as to how the sessions would run with only three cars on track at any time. Furthermore, if a car was to spin out (due to the rain or not), the driver would be disqualified – such are the rules of time attack.

Immediately after the driver’s meeting concluded, competitors ran to their cars for final preparation and began lining up in order of their grouping.

When Mazda states that more of their vehicles are tracked on any given weekend, it is no lie. The SRTA events alone have a turn out of 20+ Mazdas on average ranging from the best selling sports car of all time the Miata to the Mazda 3 and variation of RXs. Here are two rotary siblings, one has four doors the other has two, one is naturally aspirated and the other is turbocharged – which would you pick?

The first session began with the groupings going from slowest times to fastest. This little Toyota was doing a great job of taking the wet line, but regardless of what any driver could do the track was very slippery causing lap times to drop drastically as the rain came in.

The AMF | MTM Suzuki Swift driven by Tim Hillier was putting down some great lap times. Unfortunately, the lack of rain race tires became an issue in way of lap times dropping by 10+ seconds compared to the morning shake down sessions on drier track conditions. However, the car did look awesome as it blazed by the straight on its three cylinders!

This awesome late-gen Miata running on sticky Advan AD08 tires was looking sharp through the tight parts, but again the dry nature of the tires proved difficult to plant the power down. Gotta love the level of concentration from the driver with his eyes on the corner exit and feeding the wheel through the turn.

One of two MazdaSpeed 3 at the event putting down fast laps time and time again. Alex Morrow was nailing turn by turn and his boosted Mazda was powering out successfully making it look easy.

By far one of the best looking Honda S2000s to have ever graced the DDT circuit. Not only did the car look fast, the driver James Won was consistent throughout his time attack runs keeping the car flat around corners and easing into the throttle. Any more power delivery from Won’s right foot and this S2000 would be sideways.

Unfortunately the day claimed more than a handful of spin outs due to the slippy track conditions. This clean looking RX-7 got caught sideways through the hairpin turn at the lower part of the track flinging it into the grass as if it were on skates instead of tires. Thankfully no cars or drivers were injured throughout the day, but being shook up is most certainly a definite.

Taking the big win in Group A was Alex Morrow in his blue Mazda MazdaSpeed 3. Morrow like the other competitors struggled to get the power down and prevent sliding through the tight corners, but managed a best lap of 1:26.20! Kudos to him for his consistence and stay just under a second ahead of his fellow MazdaSpeed 3 competitor.

Congratulations to James Won for taking 1st place in Group B with his beautiful and very fast blue Honda S2000. Won kept his blue coupe as straight as possible despite the rainy conditions forcing most cars sideways and ended with a best lap of 1:26.46 – impressive!

SRTA Round #3 Race Results

Group A
1. Alex Morrow: 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Blue – 1:26.20
2. MajesticBlue: 2008 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Red – 1:27.81
3. SED-G: 2012 BMW 335xi Black – 1:27.84

Group B:
1. James Won: 2007 Honda S2000 Blue – 1:26.46
2. Kyle Beaty: 1990 Toyota Celica Black – 1:34.26
3. Lazor: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 Blue – 1:37.60

For more information, please visit Sigma Racing Time Attack

Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 1
Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 2
Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 3

Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec


June 4, 2012

CSCS 2012 – Season Opener

CSCS – Season Opener 2012
Toronto Motorsports Park
Cayuga, Ontario, Canada
June 3rd, 2012

The long awaited season opener event from the Canadian Sport Compact Series (CSCS) kicked off this past weekend at the usual home of Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario, Canada. As always around this time of year – especially at the race track – the weather was unpredictable. According to weather reports there was a 60-80% chance of rain and high wind gusts, but the anticipation for motorsports enthusiasts this season was too much to pass up over a little drizzle. Hundreds flocked to what we consider the home of CSCS for a full day packed with drag racing, time attack, and the always popular drifting.

Unlike other track based events, CSCS also hosts a massive show n’ shine competition that brings out triple digit numbers in competitor of every car imaginable – there truly is nothing you won’t see here. From Honda to Mazda, Scion to Subaru, and every other make.

Gotta love the unique style of each competitor car, from aggressive wheel fitments to slammed. This Mazda 3 is not an everyday sight sporting a set a clean set of WORK Equip wheels.

The much anticipated rebuilt TRD supercharged Celica of Tom Wilga from Nine-O-Five Rides was looking spotless and as always, super fly.

Our friends at S&P had sectioned off an area of the show n’ shine for their Fitted competition. If you’re into the stretch n’ poke look of slammed rides, then this was the best eye candy you could ever imagine. Yellow Honda S2000, gold Honda Civic (EL front-end) or blue Spoon S2k – which would you choose?

It was also good to see an assortment of lifted trucks like this Ford giant. We posted a versus battle last week during #WhatIfWednesday pairing the Ford and Chevy, in this case the Ford won.

A clean 8th generation Honda Civic Si in the Standard Suspension area. Gotta love the ghost-like graphics on the clean white paint. It seems everyone’s picking up on the AMF green wheels concept… LOL!

A beautiful pair of demo rides from Team Import Fest promoting the event coming up on August 25th, 2012 in Toronto. Vorsteiner BMW 6-series or Powerhouse Amuse Nissan 370Z? Tough choice.

The beautiful and bright orange BMW M3 from Gary Collins of Team Toyo Tires.

Amongst the mass of usual Hondas were a select few German tuner rides like this pair of Volkswagen Golfs – yellow Mk3 and blue Mk4.

Scion Canada had a handful of beautiful FR-S coupes out for show goers to take on track both road course and drag strip. What other car manufacturer have you ever seen support the grassroots motorsports scene like Scion? If you weren’t able to get behind the wheel during the event, be sure to check out Brimell Scion and get your test drive on!

In the paddock area, we spotted Chris Boersma’s turbocharged Civic SiR looking to be back in full racing form. Only a few weeks ago during round 1 of the Sigma Racing Time Attack series, Boersma’s Civic suffered a serious accident when his 949Racing wheel sheered off during mid-corner. It was good to see him back in top form and ready to take on the CSCS time attack race.

A surprise to many was this Mine’s Nissan GT-R driven by Kimi Qin ripping it around the Toronto Motorsports Park road course. By the second hot lap, this heavy beast was getting squirly despite nailing down a 1.16 – the fastest lap of the day.

Defcon Racing’s Integra was looking fast through the corners with Mark Botelho behind the wheel.

The always beautiful blonde bombshell Alisha Lynn caught driving up and down the paddock, guess she was itching to race as well.

By early afternoon the drifting competition began with majority of the field running the usual S-chassis, SR20-powered setup. The race between this Nissan hardbody and 240SX (driven by Marin Guilbault of Drifters Anonymous | AMF) was incredible to watch. Tight corners, fast entry speeds and an usual tandem pairing – that’s what CSCS is about!

Fellow AMF friend and CoolKidsClub drive Anthony was holding it down lap after lap throughout the Top 16 run.

Ryan Stock lead the tandem with Anthony leaping onto three wheels during the last corner – yes, it’s a tripod 240SX! It was a good back and forth battle with some aggressive angles from both drivers.

The final four battle between Marin Guilbault (Drifters Anonymous | AMF) and Ryan Stock was intense. Although the crowd kept cheering Guilbault for his insane entry speed and aggressive angles unlike his competitor, Stock took the win. Check the photo above and you be the judge – post your  thoughts below.

On the other side of Toronto Motorsports Park, the 1/4-mile track was shortened to 1/8th due to the wet conditions. Regardless, drivers got out their horsepower machines and lined them up. The burnout box was smelling great as always from the melted rubber.

Even some old school muscle cars were on the drag strip laying down the rubber and quick times with their big block V8s.

Taking the win in the Unlimited FWD class was Mark Botelho in the Defcon Racing Acura Integra. Congratulations to him and the entire crew for an incredible showing!

Shortly after all track events concluded, it was time for some shenanigans in way of tire shredding and massive burnouts. This hardbody Nissan went up against the concrete wall and began lighting them up giving everyone a taste of the delicious white smoke.

The Drifters Anonymous crew got the crowd pumped with a little “Drift Matador” action with Jordan holding pool noodles and Miguel Pereira in the 180SX doing donuts around him.

Unfortunately not everyone had smiles during the freestyle run. Chris De La Cruz of CoolKidsClub ended up under-steering into the wall and hitting the hay bails damaging his E30 BMW.

Even with the on and off weather, the crowds at CSCS brought out an assortment of enthusiasts and collection of vehicles in the parking area. Just taking a quick glance at this photo facing the paddock area you can everything from Honda Civics to a JDM Mitsubishi Evolution, an Eagle Talon and Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

The end of the day brought out the rain-soaked trophies awarding the 2011 past winners and current Season Opener champs. Everyone was eager to get their prize and head home after a long day and awesome at the track.

A big shout out to the CSCS crew for kicking off the 2012 season with a bang and with this, celebrating their 10th year anniversary. We look forward to more years to come from the Canadian Sport Compact Series and round 2 at Grand Bend on June 24th, 2012 – see you there!

For more information, please visit CSCS

Words: Giancarlo Pawelec
Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec, Ben Fry, and Josh Smith


May 14, 2012

Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 1

Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 1
Toronto Motorsports Park
Cayuga, Ontario, Canada
May 13th, 2012

It was a cool early morning at Toronto Motorsports Park for round one of the 2012 Sigma Time Attack (SRTA) series. The day began as usual with registration confirmation and brief driver’s meeting around the SRTA mobile office. Despite the weather forecast calling for rain and mild temperature, nearly 50 drivers / teams were ready to go and hit the tarmac for some opening lapping.

By mid-morning the sun had come out and cars were sporting their track wheels, suspensions were dialed in and helmets on.

The MT Motorsport / Suzuki driven by Tim Hillier was looking good with its fresh set of Hoosier racing slicks, boost set to 10psi and firing on all three pistons (yes, you read correctly – it is a 3-cylinder engine). There is no doubt that this 1,500-pound rocket could go fast, it was just a matter of the transmission holding up and how brave Hillier was going to be behind the wheel.

Unlike other lapping and / or time attack events, the SRTA is all about bringing the very best driving talents from all aspects – amateur to professional level – at one track and for a hot lap competition. Lined up and ready to head onto TMP’s road course was Dov Aronoff’s Subaru Impreza 2.5RS (NV Auto) which we featured just weeks ago ahead of Pat Piotr Burdon’s Mazda RX-7 (BosoMode | NEO Motorsport) and a rare Nissan Pulsar GTi-R.

How often does one see a Nissan GT-R (R32) being hunted down by a 120hp+ Mazda Miata? This is a perfect battle pairing of power and all-wheel drive vs. light weight and rear-wheel drive.

On the back straight of TMP were these three keeping pace in the pack with the nimble MazdaSpeed3 leading the way followed by Mike Bartlett’s C6 Corvette and an LS-powered Mazda RX-7 just behind. Turbo 4-cylinder up against two large V8s, a challenge not often seen.

Chris Boersma’s turbocharged 1999 Honda Civic SiR was not only sounding like a bat out of hell, but was also sticking to the corners like it was on rails! Powering this beast is a B18 that has been massaged to the tenths. We look forward to featuring this great car in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back.

Mazda’s marketing has had much luck with their “More Mazdas are raced every week than any other car brand” ad campaign, but it’s true! During the SRTA, I counted at least 10 Mazdas at the paddock ranging from a slew of Miatas (of various generaitons), to the Mazda3 and plenty of RX-7s / RX-8s. It’s good to know that a little four-cylinder can rival its rotary sports car sibling – this is what motorsports is about!

The only accident (of sorts) during the day was Chris Boersma’s Civic SiR at Corner 5. The incident happened just as Boersma was making the corner and his rim with tire came off the vehicle. Thankfully, Boersma kept the car straight and safely got off the track.

The cause? His 949 Racing 6UL wheel was sheered off completely leaving the rest of the rim affixed to the hub – lug nuts and all too! The smoke that you see coming from under his wheel well is due to the high temps of the brakes and his hot engine sitting on the grass. Thankfully, there was no fire or further damage to his car other than a bent up fender and minor cosmetic damage – at least from what was known yesterday. The vehicle will be further examined and we hope to report some good news or not. The most important thing is that Boersma (the owner / driver) is safe and not injured – fenders and cars can always be replaced, not a life.

The remains of the 949 Racing 6UL wheel. As you can tell all 12-spokes were sheered off from the remaining part of the wheel still affixed to the hub. Could it be a faulty design, bad metallurgy, or just a random case? We will be investigating this issue more as we hear back from all parties especially as there have been many reports of bad products entering the market under various brands. 949 Racing has had a good reputation especially with Miata enthusiasts in North America as many run their wheels, but this incident makes one question their quality control – especially if branded as a track wheel and causing catastrophic failure on a vehicle.

After nearly 30-minutes and thanks to the help of both track hands, the SRTA crew, and the driver (Chris Boersma) the vehicle was able to be jacked up with a combo of mechanical and human power for a spare rim to be put on so the car could be towed back to the paddock. KUDOS to everyone for their help – “United we stand, divided we fall!”

Setting the fastest pace all day at the track was James Houghton in his Integra Type-R. If you’re a Honda fan, then this is your vehicle of choice for track runs!

A not so common sight at any track is this MazdaSpeed Protege in a beautiful sun burst orange.

Another casualty of the day was the MT Motorsport / Suzuki during its final time attack lap. The issue was a simple fuse that popped and as such shut down the standalone ECU. Hillier was on pace to hit 1:24 during this lap, but will have to settle for a 1:25 – a strong showing for this car’s first ever time attack challenge and Hillier’s first time on this road course! We are all very proud!

Jason Woo in his Mazda Miata (MT Motorsport / looked strong lap after lap and loved his new tune on his supercharged 4-cylinder. You could hear this car’s blower whine half-track before you ever saw the vehicle – oh so awesome!

Who ever said cute small cars couldn’t track? This Toyota Vitz showed that anything is possible given the right tools and skill. Congrats to the driver for laying down some quick times and looking great while doing so in his blue hatch!

Like Mazda? Well this is one of many carving through the corners all day long. It might not have cool looking aerodynamic bits, a whale tail or a powerful engine, but its consistency time and time again is what matters. Gotta love the locked-eyes look of the driver as he hits the apex on point and powers out.

Mazda RX-8 love for all to enjoy. This rotary rocket looked great speeding down into Corner 9. It may not have a boosted engine like its predecessor, but its balanced chassis is what its all about.

Winner of SRTA’s Group B is Douglas Love in his ’04 Mazda RX-8 with a time of 1:26.82! Congrats to Love for putting down the consistent fast laps and making fellow rotary owners proud!

The biggest winner of the day overall and racing in Group A was James Houghton in his Integra Type-R laying down a best lap of 1:20.95. Houghton was attempting to break into the 1:19-range, but came short a few tenths – next time it is!

After a full day of lapping and time attack runs, it was time to wrap things up. The drivers gathered for a brief award ceremony and drivers began packing up their rigs for the long journey home. AMF would like to thank the entire crew at Sigma Racing Time Attack and all of the participants for an incredible turn out! The car gods gave us perfect weather, no one got hurt (despite the two mechanical issued mentioned) and everyone put on a strong performance. Onto the next event on June 10th, 2012 at Mosport International Raceway – DDT. Until then, keep your helmets on and your foot planted through the apex!

SRTA Race Results – Round 1

For more information, please visit Sigma Racing Time Attack

Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec


May 9, 2012

Kaizen Tuning Open House 2012

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — AutoMotoFoto @ 11:00 AM

Kaizen Tuning Open House 2012
Kaizen Tuning
Acton, Massachusetts, USA
April 29th, 2012

Months of planning, countless days of promotion, hours upon hours of preparation all leading up to one of the most anticipated shows of the year.  The effort that goes into preparing for a show this size, almost always goes unnoticed by the general population.  However, come Sunday morning everyone in attendance would see all the hard work come together.

After having last years open house cancelled by a freak snowstorm, Kaizen Tuning prepared for a wave of attendees at this year’s season opener. The day took off quickly as 500+ cars rolled in, attendees started overflowing into local lots throughout the day. The DJ spinning at the event supplied a great soundtrack to an overwhelming event.

Fighting my way through the crowds, I tried my best to see everything the day had to offer.  I am still amazed at the variety of cars New England always seems to produce. Even though the show was swamped with Evos and GTRs the Euro and American cars still did what they could to stick out at the show.

This leaning Audi A3 was tucked away in the corner, but didn’t escape my eye.

As well as this E46 M3 on Work Meister S1 wheels parked across the street.

The highlight of the event came around 1, when I was pulled from the sales tent. “Dude, did you see who was here!?” My friend yelled. I obviously had no idea since, for the most part; I was trapped in the sales tent. “Look over there” as he pointed to our garage. To my surprise, standing with one of Kaizen’s shop technicians was the Owner and Founder of Rauh Welt (RWB), Nakai-San. The Japanese tuning legend himself was at this little shop.  After spending some time talking with Nakai-San, acting like a complete nerd, I continued on with my day.

As the day came to a close I looked back on the event and smiled. It was nice to see hard work pay off and hear the positive reviews. The show was a fitting farewell to Kaizen’s old shop as they look forward to bigger and better things at their new location.

For more information, please contact Kaizen Tuning, LLC

Words & Photos: John Raftery


May 5, 2012

Togue Track Day #3

Touge Track Day #3
Toronto Motorsports Park
Cayuga, Ontario, Canada
April 29th, 2012

A perfect day! The sun was shining, but it was still cool making it an ideal afternoon for Touge’s 3rd lapping event of the 2012 season. It could be seen when I first entered the gates that the turn out was already fantastic and there was only more to follow. Once the majority of the pre-registered drivers checked in, a short drivers meeting was held then it was game on!

The majority of the pack on Sunday was held by Subarus, but there were a couple Fairladys tossed in to spice things up.

Shortly after 4pm the drivers gathered as the Touge boys lay down the ground rules for the day and gave instructions to those who required them.

Before the cars made their way onto the track they gave a couple bikes that showed up the chance to rip around the track a few times. Ivan Lam was getting some serious angle in the turns for the few laps he was out.

This BMW 335i was one of many BMWs in attendance that day. He was also one of the first drivers to get out on to the track giving him wide open space out front to really let loose.

This R33 (Skyline) has all the toys and goodies you could ever get your hands on. An HKS turbocharger, coilover suspension, Nismo intake manifold, upgraded fuel rail, GReddy big brakes, and an Apex’i fuel management system just to name a few. This event was the first time the owner had his R33 out on the track.

The recently featured Subaru Impreza 2.5RS driven by Dov Aronoff was also letting loose as well on Sunday. This is gonna be a busy season for the boys at NV Auto so they decided to get some laps in before the time attack season starts.

This supercharged 350Z was tearing up the course like it was his only job to put down some serious lap times. The awesome rear spoiler is also functional, but had to be installed at the track most likely to avoid attracting unwanted police attention driving to the event.

I haven’t seen to many BMW Z4s ripping around the track lately, but it was obvious when this one came blazing around the corner that the great handling and awesome speed of this coupe make for an incredible weekend track car.

With such beautiful weather a few of the drivers decided to rock it topless for a while like this S2000, but as soon as the sun started to set it was back on with the hardtops.

This highly modified K-powered RSX fell victim to a combination of cold track temperatures and a corner apex cracking up the front bumper. Thankfully, with a little white duck tape the driver was back out onto the course for a few more laps before the night ended. All in all it was a successful day with an awesome turnout and little mishaps. Touge will be holding their next lapping session this Saturday on the Shannonville Motorsports Park full track, so stay tuned!

For more information, please visit Togue

Words & Photos: Josh Smith


October 13, 2011

STREETPOWER Performance Dyno Competition

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Giancarlo Pawelec @ 9:00 AM

Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec

STREETPOWER Performance Dyno Competition
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
October 8th, 2011

It was a surprisingly beautiful Saturday afternoon during the of STREETPOWER Performance dyno competition. As a proud supporter of this inaugural event, AMF was there to provide event coverage and give some freebies to show goers. Although STREETPOWER Performance is known for their tuning of Mazda RX-7s this day was solely about horsepower, specifically horsepower to the wheels. Be it 200 or 600whp, fans were treated to an array of finely tuned machines of all kinds and some delicious treats.

This pristine white RX-7 started the afternoon right spitting flames every chance it could. It is times like these that makes me want to get an RX-7 and convert to a rotary fan.

A husband and wife team of VW GTi Golfs, both in black with black wheels. Tucked just behind is an awesome early 90s Lamborghini Diablo slated for a twin-turbo application, V12 + Twin Turbo = FTW!

Fellow AMF photographer Mark Harris brought out his track-spec VW Golf for a few pulls. He was pleased with a run of 160whp from his NA built engine. Good thing to note that another engine is currently being developed capable of 10,000-rpm, we can’t wait to feature the build process and final debut next season.

There were plenty of gift bags for the winners of the dyno competition. These gift bags are possible thanks to a number of supporters donating goods, including AMF – a proud supporter of STREETPOWER Performance. The top 3 winners each got an AMF t-shirt and decals along with prize money! Tucked just behind is another demo car from STREETPOWER Performance, in this case a seriously boosted RX-7 FC-gen.

This clean Camaro caught the attention of on lookers despite it not being a Japanese vehicle or rotary-powered for the matter! Gotta love the bright green metallic paint that pops under the sunlight and the chunky “Bullet style” five spoke chrome wheels. American muscle anyone?

A unique surprise showed midday at the dyno competition. It was an open-wheel car built by select students at the University of Toronto engineering program and thanks to the help from Sean at  STREETPOWER Performance the car was very competitive this year. Custom open-wheel race car anyone?

The entire dyno competition was streaming LIVE on the net via a webcam / laptop hook up so that those who weren’t able to attend could at least see the event.

BBQ chicken anyone? No dyno competition would be complete without some delicious food for the hungry attendees. Also, due to Sean (owner of STREETPOWER Performance) being of Trinidadian decent, the lunch included Caribbean-styled dishes and were they ever delicious!

1 Rotor, 2 Rotor, 3 Rotor! Yes, that is in fact the coveted 20B 3-Rotor engine sitting pretty in the matte gunmetal STREETPOWER Performance FD3S RX-7 demo car. Matted to the 20B is also a large turbo (aka meat grinder) with an inlet big enough to feast on any road kill in its path!

A beautiful and ominous looking 6th-gen Volkswagen GTi putting down the power on the STREETPOWER Performance dyno. The sporty hatch put down a roughly 200hp to the front wheels, but the sound from that 2.0-liter turbocharged engine was simply awesome! We look forward to feature this GTi and its marital twin – you’ll get what I mean in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

At the end of the dyno competition, Sean from STREETPOWER Performance strapped down his RX-7 FD demo car for a few runs to showcase the build / tune capabilities of his shop. Initially, Sean teased the show goers with some light pulls until I enticed him to show what that turbocharged 3-rotor was all about. Without any hesitation, the throttle went wide open resulting in a dyno pull of 567.8whp with much more power still available although Sean didn’t want to show off. During the pulls, the RX-7 was popping 3-foot flames from the exhaust and even through the external wastegate – what a sight!

A big thanks to Sean and the crew at STREETPOWER Performance for putting on a great dyno competition. It was awesome to see so much support from across the Greater Toronto Area. Furthermore, a big shout out to all the competitors for keeping the competition lighthearted and being in a great spirits. Delicious food and fast cars, what more could one ask for? Be sure to check the STREETPOWER Performance site for updates on the 2nd event happening in a few months.

For more information, please visit STREETPOWER Performance


February 28, 2011

24 Hours at Daytona – Dempsey Racing

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , , , , , — AutoMotoFoto @ 3:06 PM

Words: Giancarlo Pawelec
Photos: Alison Merion Padron

When one thinks of Patrick Dempsey, professional motorsports rarely enters one’s mind. Truth be told, the film and tv actor known mostly for his suave role in ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy has quickly climbed up the ranks as a proficient motorsport’s driver.

What started off years back as an innocent gift from Dempsey’s wife to attend the Skip Barber Racing School soon turned into full-fledged passion and career in motorsports. Most notably the creation of Dempsey Racing, a motorsports team running a GT-class Mazda RX-8 racecar in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.

Dempsey’s experience behind the wheel started soon after his time at the racing school in 2005 with the Toyota Pro / Celebrity Race in Long Beach. Following that event, he continued onto the Mazda Miata MX-5 Cup and Panoz GT Series.

As the lead driver and part owner of Dempsey Racing alongside co-driver and business partner Joe Foster, this year at the 24 Hours at Daytona was no different although challenging.

Placing third on the podium and reaching a team best record, Dempsey Racing’s RX-8 cut through the pack like a hot knife during the 24-hour prestigious race. The team was poised to take first place at the checkered flag having held the lead for a number of hours until driver Tom Long took over driving duty and unfortunately spun. The Mazda shortly after began suffering engine problems resulting in pulling the vehicle into the pits for repairs.

Although much work and lost time went into getting the rotary rocket back to spec, the crew and team still managed to make up a few spots with a valiant effort. Our congratulations go out to Patrick, the entire crew and their families for adding to the beauty that is the 24 Hours at Daytona. We look forward to next year’s car and an even greater podium finish… possibly a win!

For more information, please visit Dempsey Racing