The Story Behind the Bergenholtz Racing/Nitto Tire 2009 Mazda RX8 Formula D Pro Drift Car
By Ron Bergenholtz with Mike Kojima
Bergenholtz Racing has always been a fan of Drifting since the very beginnings of its introduction at Irwindale. We have always enjoyed the entertainment value as well as had the utmost respect for the skill of the Joons (Ron’s nickname for driver Joon Maeng). We knew we wanted to get involved, and in a big way. In 2007 we were first able to enter pro drifting with our long-time sponsor Apex Integration USA.
|In typical rotary fashion the Bergenholtz car is known for its fan pleasing flame belching and cannon like bursts of noise from the exhaust. The Jugdes might not like this but the crowd always seems to.|
We were able to engineer a great program right from the start using their Mazda RX7 as well as enlisting the professional services of 2004 D1 Champion Ryuji Miki. We learned so much in 2007 and 2008 about drifting from both an event perspective as well as a car engineering perspective. We knew sooner or later we would have to build our own Bergenholtz Racing Drift car. We knew we wanted to build something that would feature out of the box innovation in construction as well as visual/audio impact. We wanted to build something crazy that nobody in the drift community has ever seen.
|Bergeholtz racing is a tight knit, hard working team. Ron can often be found under the car late into the night at both the track and the team’s Santa Ana California headquarters.|
We learned a large amount from our experiences with the Apexi Mazda RX7 and knew improvements could be made on a performance level as well as service level for the mechanics. All Bergenholtz racecars we have built in the past have had the best parts available and we would not stop here with our own Mazda RX8.
|I guess from the text Ron calls driver Joon Maneg “Joons”. For some reason I never knew this even though Joon is one of my friends and I often hang out with the Bergenholtzes. Joon is seriously one of the nicest most sincere guys I know and I have the pleasure to call him my friend.|
Every step of the process required a lot of engineering and we wanted to make sure we produced a drift car that was perfect in every way possible. If we took time to think through every meticulous part on the car, we would never have to redo the car. It was a nightmare. I was facing time constraints and at the same time making sure we did a good job. I did not want to keep redoing the car. The saying goes: “There always time to do the job twice but never enough time to do it right the first time.”
|The Bergenholtz Racing RX-8 smoking the Nitto NT05s at The Wall New Jersey.|