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flatlander937 HalfDork
11/3/16 9:36 p.m.

So uh... track days are insanely fun.

(Photo credit goes to Michael Shriver of Kamakiri Photo)

We got I think 160min of track time for $175. Can't beat that. I only got roughly 140 because of a couple "offs" so I had to clean a bunch of grass out from under my car before going back out (doh)

It was the Tidewater Sports Car Club's first HPDE/lapping event ever, and everything ran really smoothly, no major problems, wrecks, etc. People were on track at all times.

It was a MASSIVE learning experience. You cannot drive like it's an autocross at 60mph+.... I went off twice. Because I drove like it was an autocross at first (boom06)

Here's a quick clip of my second off... the first one wasn't on video but it was pretty interesting. I was nervous about going off the whole time up until that happened(about 10min into being on track... haha)... once it happened it wasn't so bad and that really helped me shake the nerves after it happened.


Here's a clip of me chasing down a 96(?) Cobra in novice group early in the day. The guy who drove it was super nice and tickled that I was running quicker than his car... The thing is the amazing color change purple/green color. We came upon a white flag due to the slow moving Mini on the side limping back to grid, he left me on the straight, and I reeled him back in around the "peanut."


Here's a video of me driving a couple laps later in the day after I got bumped to yellow group. I chased down a 5.0 Mustang, then got passed by a new GT350R like I was sitting still.


This was by far my favorite part of the day here... a friend of mine Jake was giggling like a little girl in the passenger seat after getting the point by from the silver Mustang, you could hear him laughing from the side of the track:


I got my money's worth from these tires... there are roughly 135 autocross runs, 9500 street miles, then I had them flipped on the rims and ran 167 miles on the track at NCCAR.

It was just an insanely fun day. Needless to say I don't think I'll be worrying about autocross next season. I was thinking about keeping this thing as a daily driver, and buying a Miata for this stuff, and while that is probably the smart/sensible thing to do... this car was just a hoot to drive because NOBODY expects it to do so well. And if I get passed... who cares? It's a Mazda2! I'll probably still autocross it occasionally to keep my Mazda Motorsports membership valid, but I'm going to aim to do 2-3 HPDEs next year I think.

Also for fun reference, I went through 1.5 tanks of gas in 167mi on track... I hand calculated it at 12.9mpg.

Bobzilla UltimaDork
11/4/16 10:08 a.m.

Slow cars that handle well are a hoot on a track like that.

flatlander937 HalfDork
11/4/16 5:34 p.m.

Yeah, my friend Jake was just giggling the whole time at how well the car responded to inputs and how much speed it carried through the turns. Then laughed at how pathetic it is on the straight

It was so insanely fun, I'm already working on trying to get a game plan together to do more of it next year. It's going to start with a drop in spring rate to make it more livable, and likely faster on a road course as well.

I've got one last autocross I'll be running this thing at, next weekend(Nov 12) I'll be at NCCAR with the Tarheel Sports Car Club. I'm kind of sad it won't be to actually run on the road course again, but it's to let a guy codrive my car who is interested in buying my suspension... since I've got a few other tricks up my sleeve for next year

flatlander937 HalfDork
2/17/17 1:28 p.m.

Well, the Mazda2 had a rough start to the new year... I got in a wreck on my way to work on 1/2, slid sideways at 50mph and bounced off a jersey wall... the front end of the car was pulled about 3mm to the driver side, got everything fixed via insurance, and decided at that point I'm done with autocrossing/"racing" my daily driver. If I had had my coilovers on it at the time, and it were a bit worse, I'd have basically lost all the time/money I had into building them just going to work.

The wife approved purchase of a dedicated track/autocross car... so I traded one of my guns + $800 for this rough but mechanically OK 2000 Miata... so we'll call it a $1600 starting point.

It has some oil leaks, a rear wheel hub bearing with a bunch of play, a leaking rear caliper, and of course the body is beat to hell, has a cracked windshield, and there's a tiny rip in the top, but it's going to be a track beater. Parts are on the way to overhaul both rear bearings/hubs/calipers/rotors/pads so I can get it driveable, get the windshield replaced, inspected, then drive it some to assess how bad the leaks are and find any other weak points before redoing the front hubs/brakes, then throwing a roll bar and suspension goodies at it. It'll inherit my nasty set of Carbotech stained TRM C1s once it's safe to drive... anyway that is for another thread...

...I got the 2 back from the body shop about 3 weeks ago, Hampton Collision did a pretty darn good job overall which I'm happy with. The car has stock struts with Eibach lowering springs which are infinitely more comfy for my commute... the car just turned 91k miles.

The whole suspension setup is for sale... $700 will take EVERYTHING. Extra pairs of springs and all. Pairs of 450, 550, 700lb Eibachs, and another set of 700lb Hypercos. There is also a spare top nut that my machinist friend made so I'd have an extra. Deduct $100 if you want to omit two pairs of springs... you can choose any rates you want of the four pairs though. Will come with a couple years of setup notes too.

This setup will work on a Fiesta ST as well if you want to go nuts in STX.

Future of my Mazda2 will be just for commuting... it really is a pretty good little car for that. After I buy a center console and tint the windows I'll be set.

Bobzilla UltimaDork
2/17/17 1:37 p.m.

Wow... all of us STF guys are bailing! lol

flatlander937 HalfDork
2/17/17 2:12 p.m.

Yeah, still owing money on the 2, and it being an otherwise great cheap, reliable, fun commuter just makes no sense in tracking it and buying something else to daily. If it had been totaled, I was set on buying a Prius C + a Miata... save even more money commuting, plus where I'm at in VA, hybrids are eligible for special tags that allow you to take the HOV lane even without 2+ occupants... would save me minimum 20min per day, in the summer time potentially 40-50min some days. That would mean over the course of a year minimum of over 3-1/2 DAYS worth of time sitting in traffic.

But alas, I got it back, and will be paid off in a couple years(aiming for sooner) so I'll have money savings(or rather Miata spendings ) to look forward to at that point.

Bobzilla UltimaDork
2/17/17 2:19 p.m.

Wife is getting the Forte, and I get the motorcycle for 3 seasons and 2 trucks. My drive is a lot shorter than hers. I did the math, I need 20mpg out of the current truck to break even on the Forte and it's premium fuel needs. My last tank driving like a hooligan was 17.1.

sethmeister4 SuperDork
2/20/18 12:14 p.m.

Any updates on this beast, Mr. President? cheeky I'm hoping to make it out to an autocross or 2 this year in my beater Sentra.  Maybe I'll finally meet you!

flatlander937 HalfDork
5/6/18 6:42 p.m.

Been super busy with the TSCC Presidency thing... (by the way check out www.tidewatersportscarclub.com if you're in the Hampton Roads area laugh) and haven't updated anything on here really...


But in a nut shell I'm an idiot. I bought the Miata, sunk some money into making it safe/driveable again, it spun a bearing, and the short while I did drive it... it was never as enjoyable as the Mazda2.

So I sold it.

Then I continued to track it because it's fun... I did a day on just Eibach lowering springs and stock shocks and it was surprisingly just as fun... though the body roll made for terrible wheelspin off corners and bad inside edge wear on the tires...



And because I had so much fun... I threw another $900 at some BC coilovers in 6k/5k rates and am running that currently.  I also have begun instructing at NCCAR for our HPDEs which is a lot of fun.  This last weekend was my first time doing that and had a great time. I had a lot of fun playing in the instructor group with point bys anywhere(as opposed to dedicated passing zones)... and surprisingly enough was able to pass a few nice E46 and E90 M3s... along with a NASA TT3 prepped Z4M.  This stupid little car sticks in the turns(which there are many at NCCAR).  I have yet to hit 100mph on the front straight... which I enter at about 82mph... and the straight is a 1/2 mile long... blush I reach about 97-98 at the end. Needs more power.

It's still kicking along with 121k miles on it now.

I corner weighted it before the event and it weighs 2200lbs even without me in it and about 1/4 tank of fuel. I weighted it to have the same weight on both front tires completely disregarding the rears... works great for a FWD car since I carry a rear tire a few inches in the air no matter what.


But yes, Seth you need to make your way out to a few events!

J1000 New Reader
1/14/19 12:08 p.m.

Anything new for the 2019 season for the little 2? ECU flash or other power mods? You'd probably pick up some HP from going to E85 fuel. I love these cars, yours looks awesome lowered on those fat tires.

flatlander937 HalfDork
1/23/19 7:12 p.m.
J1000 said:

Anything new for the 2019 season for the little 2? ECU flash or other power mods? You'd probably pick up some HP from going to E85 fuel. I love these cars, yours looks awesome lowered on those fat tires.


I'm not too worried about power just yet as I'm still daily driving it.  Will be rolling over 140k miles this week actually.  I do already have a Dynotronics tune on the car... it is a huge difference and I highly recommend it if you haven't already.

The plan this year is to add a B-Spec rear sway bar (technically is a brace that runs from spring bucket to spring bucket) which will also allow me to get rid of some rear toe and add torsional stiffness to the beam.  I will be using the Tidewater Sports Car Club Spring HPDE in March as testing to see how it feels for overall balance before I resort to changing springs again.

I acquired another set of strut cartridges up front for my BCs valved for 700lb springs already, will be buying a set for the rear as well, but will be sending them all off to Red Shift Motorsports in NC to be revalved with Bilstein pistons/internals for better digressive dampers.  Spring rates to be valved for are undetermined.. but I think 11k/8k (616/448 lbs) with no front bar again will be about right.  If it is still too much body roll, then I'll add the front bar back in and then add as much rear bar as necessary to fix the balance.

My wife finally finished school and just landed a job so this car is about to get all sorts of stupid over the next couple years I think. devil  This will be my last year as TSCC President so I can move onto doing more track events.  I'd like to build a 12:1, ported head, big cams, 8000rpm screamer for the hell of it just to see what kind of potential these little 1.5 MZRs are capable of in NA form.  Hopefully next winter.

flatlander937 HalfDork
1/23/19 7:38 p.m.

Oh yeah, almost forgot in September we had the first ever Mazda2s on the Dragon event!  We had a whopping 9 deuces show up... we were joking that it was probably more than were ever on any Mazda dealer lots in the US.  It was a ton of fun!



I didn't take a ton of pictures, but Josh made a really good video documenting the highlights of the trip.  Make sure to join the M2O Mazda 2 Owner's Group of Facebook if you have one of these cars!



Also here are some shots from a couple track weekends last October.  These were on the 6k/5k BC setup.  Decent overall, but needs more rear roll stiffness.




J1000 New Reader
1/27/19 2:09 p.m.

Wow sounds like you do have quite a bit planned for this season! I have looked into the Dynotronics tune but the 2 is my wife's car and she thinks it's perfect the way it is. She won't even let me put on lowering springs.

We did race the 2 at an ice autocross which was a good time. We actually placed really well winning the 2WD studless class. 


The only mod she let me do is install a seat heater pad and polish her headlights.

I would love to see you build a high-strung 1.5L that would be super cool!


5/2/19 12:48 a.m.

@flatlander937, I just wanna say that I loved every bit of this thread from 1st page til last.

I absolutely do not want to hijack your thread, but I just thought it appropriate to credit you with inspiring me to undertake a similar project on my 1985 Honda City Turbo in the last year or so.

I'm based in Australia, and have caught the hillclimb bug in the last 12 months. At the time that I decided to forge ahead with Koni 8610 inserts, I stumbled across this thread via a google during my research, and haven't looked back since. Like you, I fabbed some custom housings and bought a bunch of hardware to make them a coilover design. I would have loved to make spherical bearing strut tops, as you did, but I just couldn't figure out a way to come up with a design which didn't adversely affect my front ride height. The hole in the tower area is also incredibly small, so making anything camber adjustable plate was wishful thinking too.

Some pics:





Full extension below. I really don't like the way the spring maintains just one point of contact at the base, but it's the shortest spring I can use whilst still remaining completely captive. With the way the suspension arm moves in an arc, i'm also not sure whether this is avoidable...


Fully compressed:

As you can see from the above, the perch is already wound down to the maximum low setting, and the car still sits a little high (will be even higher once i change for firmer springs later this year). The only work-around I can figure it to butcher the rear strut housings and weld in some extended top hats, like below, which would allow me to maintain full damper travel, and actually adjust the height of the rear. At the moment i'm not at the stage of wishing to do something irreversible to the car, so this is probably how it'll stay for a while.

Most importantly, the car! :

flatlander937 HalfDork
8/9/19 4:54 p.m.

So about 2 weeks after the my last post my wife asked for a divorce... So needless to say car stuff wasn't at the forefront of my mind. 

I moved out, stepped down from the President position, and have been spending a lot of great time with my son and working on myself. I went from 235 to 175lbs, and honestly feel like I'm better off as a person now. I just started getting back into doing car things and ran a 2 day HPDE weekend with TSCC Aug 3-4. Had a great time!

I added the B Spec rear sway bar (in addition to the DDMWorks rear bar), and drove to VIR Saturday night to pick up some take off Hoosier SM7s and a set of Continental rain tires for free. I was halfway there at NCCAR so the 4hr round trip was worth it. These slicks let you get SO greedy with trail braking it's silly.

Not a WHOLE lot more lateral grip than my RS4s, but WOW they brake well... Running CCW I'm braking at what would be the 50ft marker from ~100mph to make a tight hairpin turn. The G Loc R8s also help, though I think I need R10s if I continue to run the purple crack.






These tires are AFTER I put 150mi on them on Sunday... These things wear impressively IMO considering the started out with 4-5 heat cycles already on them.


Hatchbacks rule. I brought back 4 mounted wheels/tires + the set of rain tires plus all my stuff for the weekend no problem.

spike10000 New Reader
9/20/19 12:10 a.m.

Dude, that rough news on the home front. Hope all's going better now? At least that drastic weight loss would have equated to time in hand on the circuit!

flatlander937 HalfDork
10/5/19 12:12 a.m.
spike10000 said:

Dude, that rough news on the home front. Hope all's going better now? At least that drastic weight loss would have equated to time in hand on the circuit!


Yeah I'm good now... I've been actually spending some great time with my son,  met a woman who is totally into the racing thing, the 2 is nearly paid off, I didn't really get screwed over in the divorce (separation agreement signed, but can't be officially finalized until at least February), and I've got another HPDE next weekend.

Your coilovers look great by the way!

I think my new lady friend and I will be going down to Florida later this month to pick her up a Mazda2 of her own to drive on track... She will be driving mine in novice on Saturday if she gets off the waitlist .. if not I think she will run Gripfest on Sunday.

I've been fiddling around with off the shelf parts for various cars to build a poor man's big brake kit. Fiesta ST calipers, maybe Mini or Kia Rio SX 280mm rotors with a custom centering ring should make for a nice simple upgrade that doesn't require modding consumables (drilling rotors like if you use ST rotors since they're 4x108).

I probably won't actually run them, will probably buy the DDMWorks 2pc rotor and Wilwood kit, though I'd rather have Dynapros than Dynalites. What I REALLY want are Stoptech ST42 calipers and 2pc 11.75 rotors since consumables would be dirty cheap and still lighter than stock. I need to see if my wheels would fit or not with a template but this won't happen for a while.

I just bought some GLoc R10s and stock centric rotors which should last through next season.

I also finally punched my upper strut tower holes out to 52mm so I can adjust my camber plates for more camber and caster.

I've also been talking to an engine builder. I'd like to start building something over next season to get it to 130-140whp naturally aspirated and it seems that probably won't be a problem. Need to acquire another long block. I think I may buy the Webcams available to throw into a junkyard engine (hopefully for 110-115whp? I want to see how it would respond before throwing money at another), then build mine to be silly. If I can put off replacing the clutch a bit longer, I'd also like to get another trans, throw an LSD in it, and put a lightweight flywheel and new clutch and throw all that in at once to refresh the drivetrain.


Lots of plans to come, just a matter of time. Will post photos of relevant stuff soon.

flatlander937 HalfDork
3/14/20 3:09 p.m.


Life's been busy, but as stated before we've now got two Mazda2s... I'm going to pump the brakes on all the things I previously posted about wanting to do... going to continue tracking my car but will be doing it on a budget for the foreseeable future.  I will be putting some new drums and shoes on the back of my car (Porterfield R4-S) in an attempt to get some more braking done back there vs all up front.

For Blue, we've got new brake rotors/pads/drums/shoes to go all around, plus new (rubber) brake hoses, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting.  Lots of Motul 600 to be used between both of our cars.  We're not entirely sure what will happen because of this Coronavirus thing going around, event is last weekend of April... so we'll see.

flatlander937 HalfDork
9/20/20 9:54 p.m.

So the 'Rona ruined most of our season. As a result I ended up saving a bunch of money to get stupid with my car. I totally forgot that I ordered a set of Redshift Motorsports coilovers back in January, received in July. We worked with BC to build a one off set with larger 46mm rear shock bodies. This will eventually become the new rear DR rear shocks from what I understand.

They are BC shocks that get taken apart by Chris at Redshift Motorsports and revalved using Bilstein Pistons and internals. They are very heavily digressive and ride AMAZING. Even with 11/10k rates. (616/560lb) I am running these with a DDMWORKS + Mazda B-Spec rear sway bars, no front bar (though I do have white line and links on hand if I want to experiment... As well as some 450lb springs).


Oh. And 15x9 Konig Dekagrams up front with 15x7.5 out back. 225/195 RS4s reverse staggered. This thing grips something ridiculous.




I'll be running at Summit Point on the Shenandoah Circuit with the Mercedes Benz Club next weekend. If there's anywhere to test the suspension that place looks like it. 

flatlander937 HalfDork
9/20/20 9:59 p.m.

Stock rear BCs vs Redshift. With the top adjuster vs the window style adjuster, I have extenders run into the trunk for easy valving adjustments, plus it gives 0.75in more travel.

flatlander937 HalfDork
9/20/20 10:02 p.m.


Blueboy is looking good, got some Conti ECS in 205/50R15 and this thing rides amazing. Awesome daily tire, I am tempted to buy a set for myself.

flatlander937 HalfDork
9/20/20 10:07 p.m.

I just created an IG account, you can follow both cars @dropped.deuces

The black car was nicknamed "Tot" by my son as well... He was giggling in the back one day and said he wanted to name it that... Because it's a small car and hasn't grown up yet laugh He's not wrong.

Since this car has gotten a LOOOONG way from the original purpose/thread title as an STF or even autocross car in general, I'll probably start a couple new threads for each car some time over the winter.

singleslammer PowerDork
9/20/20 10:44 p.m.

This makes me miss my 2. Such great little cars.

flatlander937 HalfDork
9/23/20 9:16 p.m.

Got a decent shot of the car leaving work today. Looking forward to running at Summit this weekend!

flatlander937 HalfDork
4/18/21 2:58 p.m.

Was going through old info and noticed I forgot to link to the new thread for anyone that stumbles upon this... It got the nickname "Tot" from my son, and being it's no longer autocrossed figured I'd make a dedicated thread for track shenanigans:



This thread shouldn't be bumped anymore, the other one will have all up to date info regarding setup preferences, etc.

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