Doing 7's Day the Right Way at the 7th Annual Mazda Tuning Festa [Gallery]
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mazda rotary engine, we brought you coverage of Rotary Owners' RE Expo from the base of Mount Fuji. Our next stop: the legendary Tsukuba Circuit for the 7th Annual Mazda Tuning Festa.
While the RE Expo had plenty of street cars, the Mazda Tuning Festa was much more about track-tuned Mazdas. The run groups were broken into three classes: tuning shop grip, street and drift — each allotted four 20-minute sessions. This gave the drivers plenty of seat time and would challenge their cars cooling systems as temperatures soared above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The first group to attack Tsukuba were the tuning shops' cars. On the track were rotary builds from legendary shops like RE Amemiya, Scoot Sports, Pan Speed and Auto Rescue Izu.
One of the huge advantages of the rotary engine is its small size, enabling it to be installed in just about anything. RE Amemiya brought both a Lotus Europa equipped with a 3-Rotor naturally aspirated engine along with the famous Chantez equipped with a 13B naturally aspirated engine.
It was hard to pick a favorite, but we were quite smitten by the Wonderland Mazda Autozam AZ-1. With its gull-wing doors and a rather soft-appearing suspension, we really enjoyed watching it go around the track and hang with the big boys.
The Mazda Tuning Festa is a great opportunity for owners to try their hand in driving Tsukuba Circuit. Mazdas ranging from street-legal, track-tuned FD3S RX7s to a family-friendly MPV were all given time on the track. The RX family was almost complete with SA22s, FCs, FD3s and RX-8s all represented. The silver FD3S with the RE Amemiya Super GReddy 3 body was definitely a fan favorite.
A day at Tsukuba would feel incomplete without drifting. Thankfully, RE Amemiya, Mad Face and Densokai brought several of their cars for the drift sessions, joined by Mr. Suzuki from team Sexy Knights and D1 Ladies League driver Ms. Sugawara. Most of the time, it was Ms. Sugawara leading the drift train with Mr. Suzuki always in close proximity.
Parking Lot Gold
You cannot attend an event like Mazda Tuning Festa without checking out the parking lot. We found plenty of head-turning of RX7s in the parking lot, from a bright pink FD to several classic RE Amemiya FCs.
For those in the area that were able to get out of work, Mazda Tuning Festa was a great way to spend 7's day! How did you celebrate?