The second generation Mazda3 was part of a new lineup of Mazda vehicles under the design language by Kunihiko Kurisu. The all-new refreshed styling received positive reviews from the public, which came at a right time for Mazda. Along with a new range of powerplants the 2nd-gen Mazda3 was slightly larger and wider than the previous Mazda3 yet being much lighter thanks to a redesigned chassis.
Unaware by many, the Mazda3 is actually quite involved in motorsports in Japan and America, most notably the Speed World Challenge by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Together with the Mazda2, Mazda6, and Miata (MX-5), they form new generation of Mazda vehicles dedicated to maintaining Mazda’s heritage of racing. Here in Malaysia a new chapter has begun with Fawster Motorsports’ S1K (Sepang 1,000 KM) Mazda3 endurance racecar.
Fawster Motorsports is no stranger to racing with race engineer Faidzil Alang and his 15 years of racing experience and racecar development. Together with their main sponsor – Bermaz Motor Sdn Bhd, they took on the challenge of developing an all-new race machine instead of using an established model.
Fawster chose the Mazda3 1.6 GL hatchback for the 1.6-liter category of S1K, which competes against a field of vehicles like the Proton Satria Neo, Suzuki Swift, and Honda Jazz. With the challenge at hand the 1.6-liter engine would require heavy modification to make it competitive. Starting from the cylinder head, it received a full port & polish treatment by Nasty Port Flow to optimize airflow into the combustion chamber. While it still utilizes the standard valves & valve springs it now has Kelford racing cams which allows for more aggressive timing for the intake and exhaust valves.
A custom intake manifold was specially fabricated for the motor and fitted with a 60mm throttle body as required by race regulations. There’s no exposed air filters here; a custom air box feeds cool air into the motor. The internals were extensively modified as well with custom racing high compression pistons and custom racing steel conrods to tackle the abuse of the S1K endurance.
Also required for the race is an intricate fuel system, consisting of an ATL racing fuel cell (with dry break fill system), ATL internal surge tank, internal Walbro fuel pump in tank, and a Sard fuel regulator. Interestingly the standard injectors were adequate enough to feed the motor with racing fuel. Under6ix also provided a custom exhaust system for the Mazda3 and GT Auto Sunway helped to tune its SYVEC S8 ECU.
Another secret of the Mazda3’s competitive edge lies in the gearbox. The factory transmission was given a complete overhaul and fitted with a custom gear ratio, a custom competition clutch set by BRclutch, and custom transmission mounts. A Cusco 1.5-way LSD sends power equally to the front wheels of the Mazda3.
Faidzil Alang’s experience is invaluable, especially when it came to the chassis and suspension upgrades. A full rollcage was custom fabricated for the Mazda3, and that also meant removing pretty much everything in the car. Only the minimum requirements remain, like the Tonnka floor mounted pedal box, competition steering wheel, competition racing seat, 5-point racing harness, and Stilo radio system. Fawster Suspension developed special racing coilovers for the Mazda3 along with a custom rear toe link for additional adjustments.
With a lot of its weight stripped out the Mazda3 is now significantly lighter and stronger than its road-going counterpart. Still, there was no holding back on the brakes either. The front was given AP Racing 4-pot calipers with Project Mu racing pads, while the rear retains standard calipers and pads. Further upgrades for the brake system also include the Wilwood competition brake & clutch pump and custom brake line to help it cope in the endurance environment. As per regulations, the Mazda3 runs on 15-inch Hankook semi slick tyres.
It’s no easy task to start off with a brand new chassis, but Fawster Motorsports has done it and successfully competed in the S1K on top of that. We look forward to seeing the Fawster Mazda3 in this year’s race and wish them the best of luck. Fawster Motorsports would also like to give thanks to fellow sponsors GT Auto Sunway, BRclutch, Under6ix, Mob Design, Tonnka, Neo Synthetics, Shell, Tutti Frutti London, Nas Energy, and Fuel Athletics.
Car: Mazda3 1.6 GL hatchback
Engine: 1.6-liter DOHC S-VT 16-valve inline-4 engine, port & polish cylinder head by NASTY PORT FLOW, KELFORD racing cams, standard valves & valve springs, custom racing high compression pistons, custom racing steel conrods, custom intake manifold, 60mm throttle body (by regulation), standard injectors, custom exhaust system by UNDER6IX, custom air box, custom engine mounts, ATL racing fuel cell with dry break fill system, ATL internal surge tank, internal WALBRO fuel pump in tank, SARD fuel regulator
Electronics: SYVEC S8 ECU (Tuned by GT Auto Sunway)
Transmission: Custom gear ratio, custom competition clutch set by BRclutch, custom transmission mounts, CUSCO 1.5-way LSD
Chassis & Handling: FAWSTER SUSPENSION racing coilovers, custom rear toe link, custom rollcage, AP air jack system
Brakes: AP Racing 4-pot calipers (front), Project Mu racing pads, standard rear calipers and pads, custom brake line, WILWOOD competition brake & clutch pump
Wheels & Tyres: 15-inch HANKOOK semi slick tyres
Interior: TONNKA floor mounted pedal box, competition steering wheel with quick release boss kit, competition racing seat, 5-point racing harness, Stilo radio system
Garage: Fawster Motorsports
Words: Sean Eu
Photos: Kenny Yeoh