Video: RX-8 Sets New Rotary-Powered Doorslammer Record

The rotary engine is a mystery to a majority of the racing world. Most hardcore drag racers would have a hard time believing a motor with no pistons is capable of running single digit passes, let alone mid six-second passes. Well that is a reality because the New Generation Mazda RX-8 has set a new record for a rotary powered car with a 6.48-second, 217 MPH pass.

The base motor for this record pass is the Mazda Wankel engine, a type of rotary engine. A rotary engine uses a triangle-shaped rotor instead of pistons and rods to transfer power during the combustion process. Power can be increased and changed by using different kinds of ports in the engine. 

The body of the car is the last generation of the RX-8 that ran from 2003-2012. This platform was the successor to the Mazda RX-7 sports car. Engine offerings in stock form consisted of the 13B-MSP rotary motor. The RX-8 came from the factory with a 50:50 weight distribution front to rear which makes it ideal for road racing, however, like any car, it can be cut up and set up to knock down records in the quarter mile.

This particular motor was a variation of the 20B motor with a semi peripheral port. The engine was built by Maiky and Moncho Performance using a modified 20B with a short 3r rotor crank. Wilbert Performance puts the tune up in the New Generation race car, and a Liberty five-speed transmission handles the shifting duties for the Don Ness built RX-8 chassis. 

The New Generation team had set some previous records in this car, but the new pass was very impressive. The slip for the record-setting hit broke down with a 1.03 60’, 2.81 at the 330, 4.22 at 172 at half track, and a 5.45 at the thousand foot mark. Look for this car to possibly set even more records as the season progresses.

(Video credit: GRS Motorsports)

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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