Here is a sneak peek on the '09 Bergenholtz Racing Mazda RX-8, which is currently being built for dual purpose usage. The BR-8 will be competing in drift and time attack events across the nation in 2009. Turbo & High-Tech Performance magazine will be following this build from the delivery of the chassis until the finished product as we anticipate watching this machine tear up Formula D tracks across the nation. After speaking with Ron Bergenhotz, the mastermind behind this BR-8 project, we were amazed with the practical approach this team is taking to overcome obstacles that a normal drift car runs on the track.
A big concern for many of the pro teams is maintaining professional look while bumping and grinding on the track. What Bergenholtz plans to do to overcome this problem is to make disposable fiberglass fenders (this should be real interesting). Another concern Ron ran into with his last drift car ( A'PEXi RX-7) was bringing in drivers from Japan. Typically Japanese drivers are not comfortable with driving lefthand drive cars, so Ron is planning to make things as non-foreign for the driver as possible and change this new RX-8 from left to righthand drive.
Currently, the build has been moving along with the main focus targeted on reducing the vehicles overall weight. As you can see a majority of the floorboards have been cut out and all of the external metal parts of the chassis have been replaced with either fiberglass or carbon-fiber parts. All four doors have been replaced with Seibon fiberglass doors and the hood and rear deck lid have been replaced with carbon-fiber Seibon parts.
Ron also let us in on what powerplant will be used for this new RX-8. The new engine will be a turbocharged three-rotor 20B motor. This motor should be able to make the 500-600hp target with no problem at all. Using a three-rotor engine puts less stress on the motor and by doing so should help extend reliability through out the year.
Stay tuned we will be following this drift RX-8 to the chassis shop to get a full cage installed and chassis stiffing in our next issue.