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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone!

My name is Todd, I'm a new Mazda2 owner out here in Phoenix Arizona. I drive a 2011 Silver Mazda2 touring with the 5-speed manual. This is my second Mazda as I also own a turbocharged 2005 RX-8.

I participate in HPDE events and Time Attack with the National Automotive Sports Association here in the Arizona region and thought you guys might enjoy some video of the Mazda2 on the track. I apologize as the camera is in a bad spot due to having none of my camera mounts that I needed.

You can see the video here:

This video was taken at Firebird International Raceway here in Phoenix on their West Track. FIR West is a 12 turn track with a pretty technical design and a 1/4 mile straight. It's perfect for Mazdas and it was a blast to drive.

Overall the car performed pretty well under the circumstances. Our local Time Attack group is pretty quick so I ended up dead last during the TA runs but I was 1.5 seconds off of a race prep'ed Miata running obviously better tires and better suspension. The car behaves very predictably on the track and would have done much better with just having better tires.

I'll have additional video after next weekend when I am racing at the INDE Motorsports Rance in Wilcox, AZ. Till then, enjoy!
 

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that looked like a lot of fun. is anything done to your Mazda2 or is it just stock?

how did it perform around the track? was it what you expected?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
that looked like a lot of fun. is anything done to your Mazda2 or is it just stock?

how did it perform around the track? was it what you expected?
It's 100% bone stock. I'm rebuilding the motor in my RX8 so I've been holding off doing anything to the Mazda2 until that car is back on the road.

I'd say the performance was a little better than expected. The car plows like a school bus which isn't any surprise but it is very easily controllable. The understeer is predictable and normally only required modulation of the throttle to keep in check. The side effect no doubt will be me destroying these pizza pan sized tires.

It carries speed really well. The group of high speed right hand turns ended up being my favorite area of the track that day as towards the end of the day I was going through them flat out and drifting out on all 4 tires. I doubt I could have taken those corners any faster. The car felt really safe and I figured I would have had to do something very very dumb before I would have lost control.

Brakes were good but there is always room for improvement. Being able to brake a bit later would be valuable but my top speed all day was something like 76mph.

I'll be tracking it again this weekend so we'll see how things go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
As promised! Video from this past weekend at INDE Motorsports Ranch.

http://youtu.be/CplXWw1nNzA?hd=1

What you have is video from my warm up lap and first hot lap of my UMS Time Attack session. Sadly the camera card filled up literally as I crossed start/finish and it failed to capture the significantly faster and much more exciting second lap...with my fantastic finish of doing a 180 degree spin in the last corner getting me DQ'd.

I had a rather interesting weekend racing this car and learned a lot about what I think is necessary to make it a lot of fun and possibly even competitive.

For starters, I drive the DE4 group for the AZ region of NASA so I'm sharing the track with advanced drivers and much faster cars. I'm easily the slowest car in the group with the Mazda2 in it's current configuration. That said, this car is a total blast to drive. INDE provides a wealth of track goodies such as elevation changes, tight turns and long sweepers. It has nearly everything you could want from a track. The 2 performed pretty well even on the stock Yokohama pizza pan tires which have pretty much no grip.

The entertaining aspect was pushing the car to the absolute limit of traction resulting in all 4 wheels sliding through turns. Understeer is a big problem but easily manageable and comes in handy during high speed sweeper turns to keep you out of trouble. This car is easy to drive fast and does so with minimal risk.

Those tires, however, don't take a ton of punishment for very long:



After my first day on the track my passenger front tire had given up the ghost. I ended up throwing a huge chunk of rubber from it and exposing the cord which caused a slow but steady air leak. I was having so much fun that I wasn't going to let this ruin my weekend so I had our trust tire guy throw on a fresh pair of 205/50/15 Toyo RA1's. Best money spent yet.

The car became a different animal with loads of front grip. Understeer was still an issue but overall grip was much higher so I was braking less and carrying more speed. By the end of the weekend I had knocked nearly 10...yes 10 second off my best time on Saturday. Tires were certainly the reasoning but increased confidence as a byproduct also helped.

I can't drive around with RA1's on the car so I'm getting street tires put on the stockers this week and have ordered race wheels for the track. I honestly, truly, did not buy this car with the intention to track it. I just hopelessly have an itch I had to scratch while my RX8 is being rebuilt. I discovered this car is fun as **** to drive.

Tires will seriously improve the performance of this car...hands down. I imagine the Racing Beat springs will do so as well. A local 2 owner here has the H&R springs which appear to be too soft for even street use let alone the track. Racing Beat's history with the rotary normally has their parts being slightly more aggressive than stock without compromising the car's suspension geometry.

Brakes are held back by the rear drums but honestly the braking was great on this car. I'm a bigger guy but the car came in at 2,580 lbs with me and a full tank of gas when we put it on the scales. I'm about 260 to 270 lbs normally. Considering the NC Miata is 2,410 curb weight, I think the Mazda2 could be competitive against it with minor upgrades.

I know many of you will be looking at exhaust, intakes, shift knobs and other nonsense but I encourage you to look into suspension upgrades, lighter wheels and better tires as you'll get MUCH more enjoyment out of them. You'll also surprise your friends when they see that the Mazda2 can corner carve with the best of them.
 

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It's 100% bone stock. I'm rebuilding the motor in my RX8 so I've been holding off doing anything to the Mazda2 until that car is back on the road.

I'd say the performance was a little better than expected. The car plows like a school bus which isn't any surprise but it is very easily controllable. The understeer is predictable and normally only required modulation of the throttle to keep in check. The side effect no doubt will be me destroying these pizza pan sized tires.

It carries speed really well. The group of high speed right hand turns ended up being my favorite area of the track that day as towards the end of the day I was going through them flat out and drifting out on all 4 tires. I doubt I could have taken those corners any faster. The car felt really safe and I figured I would have had to do something very very dumb before I would have lost control.

Brakes were good but there is always room for improvement. Being able to brake a bit later would be valuable but my top speed all day was something like 76mph.

I'll be tracking it again this weekend so we'll see how things go!
As promised! Video from this past weekend at INDE Motorsports Ranch.

http://youtu.be/CplXWw1nNzA?hd=1

What you have is video from my warm up lap and first hot lap of my UMS Time Attack session. Sadly the camera card filled up literally as I crossed start/finish and it failed to capture the significantly faster and much more exciting second lap...with my fantastic finish of doing a 180 degree spin in the last corner getting me DQ'd.

I had a rather interesting weekend racing this car and learned a lot about what I think is necessary to make it a lot of fun and possibly even competitive.

For starters, I drive the DE4 group for the AZ region of NASA so I'm sharing the track with advanced drivers and much faster cars. I'm easily the slowest car in the group with the Mazda2 in it's current configuration. That said, this car is a total blast to drive. INDE provides a wealth of track goodies such as elevation changes, tight turns and long sweepers. It has nearly everything you could want from a track. The 2 performed pretty well even on the stock Yokohama pizza pan tires which have pretty much no grip.

The entertaining aspect was pushing the car to the absolute limit of traction resulting in all 4 wheels sliding through turns. Understeer is a big problem but easily manageable and comes in handy during high speed sweeper turns to keep you out of trouble. This car is easy to drive fast and does so with minimal risk.

Those tires, however, don't take a ton of punishment for very long:



After my first day on the track my passenger front tire had given up the ghost. I ended up throwing a huge chunk of rubber from it and exposing the cord which caused a slow but steady air leak. I was having so much fun that I wasn't going to let this ruin my weekend so I had our trust tire guy throw on a fresh pair of 205/50/15 Toyo RA1's. Best money spent yet.

The car became a different animal with loads of front grip. Understeer was still an issue but overall grip was much higher so I was braking less and carrying more speed. By the end of the weekend I had knocked nearly 10...yes 10 second off my best time on Saturday. Tires were certainly the reasoning but increased confidence as a byproduct also helped.

I can't drive around with RA1's on the car so I'm getting street tires put on the stockers this week and have ordered race wheels for the track. I honestly, truly, did not buy this car with the intention to track it. I just hopelessly have an itch I had to scratch while my RX8 is being rebuilt. I discovered this car is fun as **** to drive.

Tires will seriously improve the performance of this car...hands down. I imagine the Racing Beat springs will do so as well. A local 2 owner here has the H&R springs which appear to be too soft for even street use let alone the track. Racing Beat's history with the rotary normally has their parts being slightly more aggressive than stock without compromising the car's suspension geometry.

Brakes are held back by the rear drums but honestly the braking was great on this car. I'm a bigger guy but the car came in at 2,580 lbs with me and a full tank of gas when we put it on the scales. I'm about 260 to 270 lbs normally. Considering the NC Miata is 2,410 curb weight, I think the Mazda2 could be competitive against it with minor upgrades.

I know many of you will be looking at exhaust, intakes, shift knobs and other nonsense but I encourage you to look into suspension upgrades, lighter wheels and better tires as you'll get MUCH more enjoyment out of them. You'll also surprise your friends when they see that the Mazda2 can corner carve with the best of them.
wow...

good to finally see someone take the Mazda2 on a real track for some real testing.

i plan on modifying the Mazda2 and making to perform like a champ on the track, will be taking your advice on upgrading the suspension system, and tires/wheels.

looking forward to future video's of your car!
 

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thats crazy, almost makes me feel as if i'm playing a video game haha

here's the video embedded, no need to click the link now :D

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbxp9jlpc_0

you know an econo-box like the Mazda2 is a sick car when it can catch up to a prelude which is meant to go fast, that video raised my expectations on the Mazda2. Either the prelude driver is horrible or the OP behind the wheel of the 2 is a sick driver. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the comments guys! For some reason I seem to be retarded with the tags for the youtube videos and couldn't get anything but the link to work.

Over the New Year's weekend I'll be headed to Laguna Seca for a track day with NCRC and I'll be running Toyo RA-1's on all four corners instead of just up front now. I also took in and installed the Racing Beat torsion bar so hopefully I won't lose the nice rear rotation that I have now with the hockey puck tires on the back.

In case anyone is interested, I was able to easily see the reason there is a price point difference between the Racing Beat bar and the Corksport bar. The CS bar looks to be 1/4 to 1/2 the size of the Racing Beat bar. I have no idea whether it gets the job done as well or not but the Racing Beat bar runs pretty much the entire length of the rear torsion beam.

I'll be running the point-by group with NCRC since it is my first time with that organization on Saturday the 31st. More video then!
 

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Thanks for the comments guys! For some reason I seem to be retarded with the tags for the youtube videos and couldn't get anything but the link to work.

Over the New Year's weekend I'll be headed to Laguna Seca for a track day with NCRC and I'll be running Toyo RA-1's on all four corners instead of just up front now. I also took in and installed the Racing Beat torsion bar so hopefully I won't lose the nice rear rotation that I have now with the hockey puck tires on the back.

In case anyone is interested, I was able to easily see the reason there is a price point difference between the Racing Beat bar and the Corksport bar. The CS bar looks to be 1/4 to 1/2 the size of the Racing Beat bar. I have no idea whether it gets the job done as well or not but the Racing Beat bar runs pretty much the entire length of the rear torsion beam.

I'll be running the point-by group with NCRC since it is my first time with that organization on Saturday the 31st. More video then!
Laguna Seca is pretty sick, keep us posted on that!

What do you have planned next for your Mazda2?
Any mods for the engine to come?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Laguna Seca is pretty sick, keep us posted on that!

What do you have planned next for your Mazda2?
Any mods for the engine to come?
Laguna Seca was a blast! I'll have to upload some video for everyone!

I have been running race tires only up front previously but prior to the event I found another 2 Toyo RA-1's here at a local shop in Phoenix. I had them put on a matching set of 949 6UL's and the result was awesome. The car had SO much grip. I still have understeering issues going up hill but because of the soft suspension all the weight is getting transferred to the back.

The corkscrew and the following downhill were a huge equalizer. I was easily able to keep up and in some cases pass cars in that area. I was driving with NCRC's intermediate group so the drivers might not have been quite as experienced but the 2 did really well.

I think my best recorded lap of the day was a 2:01.555 on Trackmaster. There was a sub 2 minute lap for sure as I was still making mistakes all over the place.

As for modifications right now I have a pretty short list. I recently installed the Torsion bar stiffer from Racing Beat. I honestly can't quite tell if it made a difference because I didn't drive with the bar on my old setup. Overall it felt like the car remained more neutral but I was told there was some pretty epic tire lift going on. The photographer of the event came to find me to have a laugh over it.

I'm looking into KSPORT coilovers at the moment. Ksport is local here in Phoenix and they have a set on their shelf I have been eyeballing for a while. I'm concerned the spring rates might not be stiff enough and they are setup to put more weight on the rear which I don't want. So, I might end up having to fork out the cash for a custom spring/valve set. I'm sure they would be perfect for the street though.

A brake upgrade might be in order but honestly unless I go turbo I fail to see any reason to do anything beyond a pad change. Mazda's B-SPEC 2 is running HP+ pads I believe and that's it. Nothing done to the rear drums either from what I can tell.

Suspension and brakes are about it at this point. I've been doing a lot of reading about turbo setups on Mazda24/7 but having been tuning the RX8 for a while I'm spoiled with flash tuners and I'm not sure I would enjoy the drivability issues of a piggy back. Still, another 50whp and this car would be a riot to drive. It just needs some low/mid range to handle climbing hills.

It has been a very rewarding car to track. Anyone who thinks they would be laughed off the track needs to get involved in their local racing clubs. A good set of sticky tires are all you need. I was pushing a Lotus down the hill after the corkscrew. The poor guy couldn't shake me till we hit the straight. Not bad for what, a $50,000+ price difference between cars?
 

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Fantastic videos and info. I'm looking for better tires, than stock, but need pretty decent wear. Any advice would be appreciated. Also what ever brake / suspension you could recommend.

Thanks in advance for any help!!
Again, just great videos!!
 

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that will seemed like a lot of fun. can be something performed on your Mazda2 or even could it be just inventory?

how did it carry out throughout the monitor? ended up being the idea whatever you estimated?
 
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