Check Out Australian RX-8 Spec Racing and Gain Some Respect for Mazda’s Weird Rotary Sports Car
Rotary sports cars modded to match each other makes for some very competitive high-RPM racing.
Spec racing is by far one of the best forms of amateur racing around the globe. Racers take a chassis that’s known for having good handling characteristics and go to town creating a ruleset that puts every driver on a level playing field. The reasoning behind this is to make driving skills the main factor that determines who gets on the podium. One such series that seems to have this locked down well, with some impressive car counts, is Australia’s RX8 Cup.
RX8 Cup is a super-straightforward spec racing series. Take a Series I (2003-2008) Mazda RX-8, keep everything factory-stock from the intake manifold to the end of the exhaust manifold, run spec suspension, wheels, and tires, add safety equipment… and that’s essentially it. There are some other minor things here and there, and alignments are open to modification as long as they’re adjusted via OEM points. But that’s it!
This series is a shining example of spec racing at its finest, and the car counts prove this. As the series founder, Rick Shaw, details in the video below, it’s a fun, low-cost, and up-close racing series. They’ve drawn drivers from all levels, including top pros, which is a testament to how fun and value-filled it is. I like to keep an eye on the series’ Facebook group, and the camaraderie among racers looks to be really positive. This is crucial in spec racing.
Recently, they made a little promo video that discusses what they’re on about with embracing a cheap sports car powered by a love-it-or-hate-it, non-peripheral-exhaust-port rotary.
The series’s very own YouTube channel is chocked-full of great race coverage! The videos are on-par with SRO World Challenge racing coverage here in the USA, which is a big compliment. So if you can’t make it down to Oz to participate, at least you can get a good idea of what this racing is all about.
We’ve got great spec series here in the good ol’ US of A for a few different models: Spec MX-5, Global MX-5, and Spec Miata come to mind first. Then, there’s the excellent and very-underrated multi-make B-Spec. It would be quite cool if something like RX8 Cup came to fruition here, as there are still a good amount of race-worthy, Renesis-powered 8s out there both as race cars, and street cars ready to go under the knife. Why do we need this series in America, you ask? I mean, come on, if “more spec racing” isn’t a good enough reason, I’m just in favor of any excuse to keep RX-8s alive.
Just check out their races; there’s some awesome action that goes down, and man it makes me want to buy and track my very own RX-8.