Like the Mazda 323, Mazda B1600 and Toyota KE70, the ’80s Mazda 626 is a model that rose to iconic Kiwi rotary status. Thanks to its relatively cheap base price and the ease with which its engine could be swapped, hybrid 626 sedans became a regular on drag strips, burnout pads and late-night hot spots all over New Zealand. But what we have here is something completely left of field, something we never thought we would see. A track-spec 626 built specifically to drift, and powered not by a rotary, but a late-model 626 2.0-litre engine with a turbo hanging off the side.
The new edition of New Zealand Performance Car Magazine has hits shelves across the country. The first thing you will notice is the double cover, sitting inside on page one is the new look dropping in two issues time, so we thought we best ease you all into it so you know what to look for come issue 214 in August. Gracing this months cover is Hamish MacDonald’s super clean A31 Cefiro. Arguably the best Cefiro in New Zealand, it was a brisk 4am start for the team to catch the rising morning light in Cambridge.
Photography: Richard Pardon – Goodwood.com
As car enthusiasts, Goodwood Festival of Speed is on many of our bucket lists. The festival, focusing on a hill climb through the Earl of March’s driveway showcases some of the greatest cars spanning over many years. With the likes of Ayrton Senna’s original Formula 1 cars, to prototype BMWs, the festival contains some motoring greats. With great privilege our own ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett was invited to participate by his sponsor Red Bull. As the first drifter to ever lay down tread on the driveway, it’s great to see Mike recognized on such a prestigious level.
Following his recent success at Cody’s D1NZ Naltional Drifting Championship Round 6 at Mount Smart, Daynom Templeman has sent his 2JZ powered FD RX7 across to Japan, home of drifting. The car will feature at the Motor Games festival at Fuji Speedway with Japan playing host to Formula Drift Asia round 2.
Gymkhana extraordinaire Ken Block has just dropped the latest Hoonigan video showcasing their Hoonigan racing headquarters, with a MTV cribs style video. The facility is something pretty special, built within a large warehouse using shipping containers to create a multi level environment. A definite must watch!
To the untrained eye, Nascar seems like nothing more than a bunch of rednecks running flat out around a track consisting of two left turns and two straights, in front of a grandstand packed full of gun toting, beer-swigging southerners. And while this is pretty close to the truth, with millions of diehard fans glued to every 10-car pile-up, the win on Sunday sell on Monday philosophy means manufacturers like Toyota, Chevy, Ford and Dodge (until it pulled out) don’t mess around when it comes to throwing money into car and engine development to gain an edge. And the sheer scale of Nascar has created its own parts market for those outside the sport scooping up spare engines, second-hand parts and complete cars at hard-to-argue-with bargain prices. All you have to do is look at a race series like the local Central Muscle Cars, with most of the front-runners utilizing Nascar components, to see the effect this has on the ability to trophy-snatch in your local series.