Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mazda RX-7 FD3S - Obsession


This Garage Kagotani-Built FD3S Fuels The Desire For Fast Track Action

The track represents a different place for different people. Professional drivers see it as their office, the place they go to everyday to test and race with their teams with one sole objective: to win. Enthusiasts, like Dr. Wada, see it as a place in which to relax, to cultivate their passion for the automobile in a safe and legal environment.

Dr. Wada, a surgeon by trade, likes to calm his nerves by taking his FD3S RX-7 to Tsukuba Circuit and driving it hard. He has been doing so ever since he got the car more than ten years ago, except as of late, things have began to get a little more serious. Partnering up with well-known tuning shop Garage Kagotani, Dr. Wada has just taken his RX-7 to the next level, ready to take the upcoming Battle Evome privateer time attack series by storm.

This amateur series attracts some of the most committed enthusiasts in Japan, people so taken with the whole passion of going faster around Tsukuba, that they have created some of the fastest cars in the country. We followed Dr. Wada as he took his recently upgraded FD out at Tsukuba for a few shakedown runs.

For years, Dr. Wada entrusted his pride and joy to Garage Kagotani, a well-known name in the Japanese tuning scene, which over the years has slowly built it into the car you see today. The latest set of modifications has seen the side-ported 13B drop the stock and restrictive twin turbo set-up for a Trust T78-33D turbocharger and external wastegate. This will enhance the true potential of the freshly rebuilt engine ready to take on the series of Battle Evome track days. Kagotani-san and his mechanics are on-hand to assist Dr. Wada as he gradually gets used to the savage power delivery the 13B now supplies. A few laps out on track and the times are already impressive, hovering around 1-minute flat, with the car feeling a little lively around the tighter corners.

The jump over to a single turbo set up called for a number of modifications, starting with the special HKS exhaust manifold and front pipe, pieces that Kagotani fabricated. Exhaust gasses are channeled to the rear using a Garage Kagotani titanium exhaust system, which does away with any catalytic converters, seeing as how the car is used only on track.

Connecting the compressor outlet of the T78 to the HPI intercooler is all custom piping, which on the engine side, brings the compressed and cooled charge to the free-flowing GReddy intake elbow. Here it meets with the fuel delivered by the 1000 cc SARD injectors, two on the primary circuit and two more on the secondary. With boost set at 1.1 kg/cm2 and the HKS F Con V Pro handling fuel and ignition maps, the 13B can crank out 500 HP, which with only 1,150 kg to haul around is a very good number. The Koyo racing radiator and HPI oil cooler help keep the engine cool, while a special Garage Kagotani radiator shroud was constructed to help channel as much air as possible through the radiator and intercooler cores.

Dr. Wada didn't want to take any chances with the transmission, insisting that the stock box be upgraded with a Quaife 6-speed sequential, something that didn't exactly come very cheap! But with its bullet-like shifts, this kind of transmission is what you need when going for fast lap times. In addition, an Exedy twin-plate clutch and Cusco RS LSD were specially set up by Kagotani for hard track use.

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