Sneak Peek: Dave Lemon's Mazdatrix RX-8
By Justin Banner
Dave Lemon is no stranger to Road Racing, having competed in SCCA, NASA and even Time Attack Racing. While to older rotary heads, he may be better known for his E-Production RX-7 Convertible; newer fans may better recognize the blue monster you see before you now. While it doesn't see regular racing, when it is out there it's fast, very fast. It's also their primary test mule car. That's right, the parts you buy from Mazdatrix for your own RX-8 were more than likely tested on this car before being put on sale. While it started life as a street car, the life of the Mazdatrix RX-8 has always been a development car. This is the latest iteration of the car, today.
|Normally, I start with the engine, but I want to do things a little differently this time around and start with the suspension. The Mazdatrix RX-8 uses an Eibach RG2 system that is two-way adjustable and features remote reservoirs. It also features an adjustable ride height collar to dial in weight balance.
|The RX-8 uses upper and lower control arms in the front and the rear. Mazdatrix retains the OEM top hats and camber adjustments are achieved using the control arms, just as a proper sports car should. However, it also means that camber adjustments can't be made under the hood, which can be good or bad, depending on your point of view.
|In the rear, the external reservoirs are attached to the rear struts of the roll cage.
|The fronts, however, are attached at the radiator core support. The reservoirs handle rebound adjustment while bound is handled by the dampers themselves. This is also one of 2-3 kits that have been sold in the country. The front spring rate is 650 lbs and the rear spring rate is 375-450 lbs.
|Dave also utilizes Racing Beat RX-8 hollow swaybars in the front and the rear.
|Each end utilizes adjustable links, but the bar has no further adjustment. According to Racing Beat's website the front bar is 32mm in diameter with a .1875 inch wall thickness and the rear is 19mm in diameter with a .125 inch wall. Stock is 27mm x .174 inch front and 16mm x .097 inch rear. Further suspension components in the rear include Megan Racing upper, lower, and toe control arms. The settings are adjusted as track conditions require. They have held up to lots of road racing abuse, hitting FIA curbs and going off track doesn't seem to really bend them. Even Kyle Mohan uses the exact same parts on his RX-8 drift car. The bushings have been replaced by Drop Engineering Delrin parts as well.