"Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest) - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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"Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

I read with much interest that through the magic of shuffling paperwork the Mini Cooper Base model is now allowed to have installed, as Stock, the
JCW (John Cooper Works) suspension parts (springs and sway bars.....and perhaps more). Essentially these are "tuner parts" that never came installed
from the Factory, but were somehow magically installed "at the Port of Entry".

This is only a concern to those of us who do battle in the SCCA Stock Classes, as the Mini Base Model is in our H Stock class. Apparently this "option"
is not widely used yet, but it's out there for any Mini owner who wants to use it. This was only recently "approved". Or, should I say "created"?

So, to counter this, I am offering my driveway up and have renamed it "Port Mazda". Any Mazda3 owner who is so disposed my come here, and bring with
you a set of MazdaSpeed3 springs and sway bars, and I will install them for you (for a fair price). I will also provide all necessary paperwork, in my mind,
at least as valid as the Mini paperwork that justifies their JCW option.

I mean, isn't that fair? What's good for the goose, is......well, you know the saying.

If we all ran by NASA-X rules, this would be available to all under their structure. In SCCA, their rulebook is full of special conditions and exemptions
to allow very special and hard-to-find cars into Stock classes. Certain Miata models and the Shelby Mustangs to name just a couple.

So, yes, this is "tongue-in-cheek", kind of. But to me, if the Mini can have the good stuff, so should we.

End of venting therapy.............

Scott Meyers
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 02:24 PM
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

Lol, good luck.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 02:44 PM
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

First a comment on the SCCA rules - I have no problem with them. They have been developed over the past 40 years and create stability in the classing structure. Are there times when a brand has an advantage, sure, but eventually, those things even themselves out.

As far as Port Installed...

A lot of imported cars, not just the ones we autocross, have options installed once they reach our shores, but before they reach the dealer. It basically allows a the flexibility to let the factory not have to change their production line for a less popular option (sunroofs are a popular POI.)

Essentially, it is just an extension of the factory.

As to the Mini - do I like it? Not really, but I didn't like the fact that the Neon ACR came with the option to put a 'crash bolt' in and get 3 degrees of camber while I struggled to get a degree out of my Sentra SE-R, which had no crash bolt option. But those are the breaks. I at least rested with the knowledge that my head gasket would last more than 40K and the car sounded better with a cat-back straight pipe than a Neon.

But, make the Mini too fast, and a JCW option might do that, and you might be looking at a GS car instead of HS.

2008 New England Region SCCA HS Class Champion
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92HS - 2007 Mazda 3s Sport Sedan -2006 Miata Wheel, 16x6.5, 15lb w/ Hoosier A6 245/45R16 (f) and 225/50R16 (r) MS Accessory Sport Shocks
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

We will have to disagree about the stability within SCCA Classing decisions.

The crash bolt example is essentially another example of how skewed some of the SCCA class rule logic is. Instead of the "same for all",
often it is what is approved only by the factory or what is approved via "special circumstances" by SCCA. In my view, no one in their right
mind would create what SCCA has evolved to. In my opinion it is a conglomeration of evolution and special circumstances/favors, as well
as far too many classes.

There is a huge interest in defining Stock Classes as Street Tire classes, and all efforts to move in that direction are being stonewalled. Look
at which classes now are among the most popular in SCCA; they are the new Street Touring/Street Tire classes.

In short, if one car is allowed to add springs and sway bars in Stock, all should be. Period. That is logical and makes a lot of sense.

Know that I was autocrossing before SCCA even knew it existed, and have participated under many different classing schemes. In many places
SCCA is all there is, so we have to deal with it; but it is far from ideal.......IMO

[quote author=PZ link=topic=202471.msg4176419#msg4176419 date=1327175040]
As to the Mini - do I like it? Not really, but I didn't like the fact that the Neon ACR came with the option to put a 'crash bolt' in and get 3 degrees of camber while I struggled to get a degree out of my Sentra SE-R, which had no crash bolt option. But those are the breaks. I at least rested with the knowledge that my head gasket would last more than 40K and the car sounded better with a cat-back straight pipe than a Neon.
[/quote]

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 06:44 PM
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

So first you bitch about R-comps (or the lack of street tires in Stock)

But then you come out and say (basically) that Stock should allow springs and sway bars because one car has a factory option (remember, Port Installed is considered factory.)

Go to STF, you'll be happier there.

The port installed rule (actually a clarification) is not new. It's been around for a fair amount of time. Kudo's to the Mini driver that did the digging and found that option. It's probably not one that the Mini dealers go out and push.




2008 New England Region SCCA HS Class Champion
2008 New England Region Stirling Moss Championship co-winner.
92HS - 2007 Mazda 3s Sport Sedan -2006 Miata Wheel, 16x6.5, 15lb w/ Hoosier A6 245/45R16 (f) and 225/50R16 (r) MS Accessory Sport Shocks
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 01:30 AM
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

[quote author=PZ link=topic=202471.msg4176472#msg4176472 date=1327189462]
So first you bitch about R-comps (or the lack of street tires in Stock)

But then you come out and say (basically) that Stock should allow springs and sway bars because one car has a factory option (remember, Port Installed is considered factory.)

Go to STF, you'll be happier there.

The port installed rule (actually a clarification) is not new. It's been around for a fair amount of time. Kudo's to the Mini driver that did the digging and found that option. It's probably not one that the Mini dealers go out and push.
[/quote]

+1, sometimes you just have to get the right car.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 10:32 AM
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

[quote author=PZ link=topic=202471.msg4176419#msg4176419 date=1327175040]Not really, but I didn't like the fact that the Neon ACR came with the option to put a 'crash bolt' in and get 3 degrees of camber while I struggled to get a degree out of my Sentra SE-R, which had no crash bolt option.
[/quote]

Most of that 3 degrees was due to the fact that the stock struts had slotted mounting holes allowing for adjustable camber on 95-97 ACRs. You can get about 2.5 degrees with the slots and by pushing the top of the struts in as far as they will go. They did away with it in 98 but you could legally slot the struts on 98-99 ACRs. Crash bolts helped non-ACR's more than anything...


1997 Neon ACR - FWD Autocross Weapon
2006 Mazda 3 - Family Truckster
1999 BMW M Coupe - Tire Destroying Clown Shoe

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

[quote author=PZ link=topic=202471.msg4176472#msg4176472 date=1327189462]
So first you bitch about R-comps (or the lack of street tires in Stock)
But then you come out and say (basically) that Stock should allow springs and sway bars because one car has a factory option.
Go to STF, you'll be happier there.
[/quote]
What's that phrase..... "Don't cry for me, Argentina"?

I'm doing fine in H Stock/Street Tire class locally (See below). Logically allowing one Marque to have stuff and not all in Stock is folly. To sit by and say nothing
is equally foolish, in my *opinion*. If everyone just stands by and accepts whatever is dished out, then you deserve what you get.

As stated, this was a vent and an opinion. I've dealt with SCCA for more than 30 years, and seen a lot. Much made sense, some did/does not.

If you are happy with the cards dealt, fine. Whatever I stated here will not change what or how SCCA does things. Just needed to be said, IMO.

As far as how I'm doing, how is 14th overall Pax (946) on Street Tires last event? The "*" are National Champions or National trophy winners in class.
We have a very healthy talent pool around here in Phoenix/Tucson Arizona (azsolo.com). Imagine how I'd do with the JCW suspension option!

Just teasing..........

Pos. Class Name Car Fast Time FT% PAX Time Overall PAX
1 DM *Mark Huffman 1965 Lotus Elan 40.075 1000 36.669 1000
2 STR *Brian Peters 1999 Mazda Miata 44.713 896 37.335 982
3 STC *Jim Harnish 1989 Honda Civic 46.088 870 37.792 970
4 STX Clint Child 2000 Acura Integra R 46.127 869 37.916 967
5 STR David Lahey 1999 Mazda Miata 45.432 882 37.936 967
6 ESP Tim Bergstrom 2006 Ford Mustang 44.820 894 38.007 965
7 STR Chad Mizner 2007 Mazda Miata 45.638 878 38.108 962
8 STR *Jay Balducci 2007 Mazda Miata 45.642 878 38.111 962
9 STR Matt Soeffner 1999 Mazda Miata 45.816 875 38.256 958
10 SS Steve Eymann 2010 Corvette GS 44.601 899 38.268 958
11 SSM Kevin Gleaton 1999 Mazda Miata 43.608 919 38.331 957
12 STR Larry Burrow 1999 Mazda Miata 46.066 870 38.465 953
13 SSP *Ted Lewis 1965 Lotus Elan 44.645 898 38.618 950
14 HS/ST Scott Meyers 2008 Mazda 3 48.517 826 38.765 946

When I went out to buy my last car, the base Mini was on my list. So was the Mazda3, the base RSX, and a couple of others. As far as also needing to have
the car be fun and perky on the streets as a daily driver, just couldn't buy the Mini. Not nearly the car that the MZ3 is. So, I'm dealing with it......as well as
the darn wheel-spin/wheel-hop I didn't know about.

Scott Meyers
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 05:04 PM
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

Scott, you certainly have a point, but you have to remember with almost any kind of racing there are loopholes and gray areas and changing the rues would just open up new loopholes and gray areas.The JCW suspension in HS directly affects me because I race against Mini's equipped with the JCW kits on the national tour. That statement you referenced in the Fastrack was actually a response due to me (and perhaps others as well) writing a letter to the SEB questioning the validity of such modifications. The JCW kit was deemed legal because it is a port installed option and they an official letter from Mini Corp backing that up. As stated earlier, the port is considered an extension of the factory so port installed items are legal. If Mazda offered a port installed sport suspension kit for the Mazda3 then we could legally run that as well, but they don't. It's impossible to apply 100% parity to racing unless it's a spec class where everybody is using the exact same car. This is where doing your homework and research comes into play if you want to gain an advantage....or not.

The Mini vs Mazda3 battle comes down to more than just the suspension anyway and it's a course dependent thing. The Mini will always be the clear favorite on tighter technical courses. That is a result of many things, but mainly the fact the Mini has a wheelbase that is almost 10" shorter than the Mazda3, weighs 200-300 lbs less, and the Mazda3 struggles to put the power down in those situations. Even with Mazdaspeed springs on the 3, the Mini will still be the weapon of choice in those instances. However, it's not all bad news. On more open courses which have relatively high sustained speeds and power sections the Mazda3 can put the hurt on a Mini because it has a better power to weight ratio and a much taller 2nd gear. Unfortunately, most courses fall more under the 1st one I described, but every now and then you'll find courses that suit a Mazda3 better than a Mini. Regardless, it's good to know the strengths and weaknesses of the competitions cars as well as your own car and try to exploit your car's strengths while minimizing it's weaknesses.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Port Installed" MazdaSpeed3 Suspension on Regular Mazda3's (SCCA Interest)

[quote author=Adam3s link=topic=202471.msg4176660#msg4176660 date=1327269894]
Regardless, it's good to know the strengths and weaknesses of the competitions cars as well as your own car and try to exploit your car's strengths while minimizing it's weaknesses.
[/quote]
Totally agree. That, and I have a history of choosing cars not the "favorite" and taking them on. I guess the MZ3 fits that profile.

So far, so good. I'm enjoying the heck out of this car as I learn it, and I have to say that you and the others on this Forum have
helped me shorten the learning curve. For instance, all of the wheel hop was "right foot induced", but I had never had a FWD car
with this much spin/hop. Controlling the right foot actually helped me in more than just launches.

So, thanks guys for the previous advice. I do get real idealistic when experiencing certain rules; not a new thing with me.

Scott Meyers
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