Damond Motorsports sets the Stock Turbo Mazdaspeed 1/4 Mile Record
Matt and I have had a long history with the Mazdaspeed 6. We first met to install a diff mount on my original Speed6, and us working on cars together is what eventually turned into today’s Damond Motorsports. So when some friends who drag raced their Mazdaspeed 3s got vocal about how heavy and slow the MS6 is at a strip (I’m looking at you Nator AL), I decided to prove them wrong. Keyboard math about it being a heavy pig wasn’t going to slow us down.
Enter Drag Car
The 6th MS6 between us. A rusty, red, 150k mile car shipped from Ohio. She was delivered New Years eve 2016 with a broken transmission, and a motor held in with nothing but a PMM. We swapped the transmission, and then she sat till August, when we realized we were running out of time for the year.
Power Isn’t Everything
Until now, with racing was on road courses, and autocross. We had the occasional drag day but certainly weren’t experienced enough to go out and run a 9 second car. I talked to Will at PD tuning and got some good insight, but knew we’d have a lot to figure out on our own. What we did know was that more power wasn’t necessarily the best way to go faster, so we stuck that mentality here and decided to start with a stock turbo car.
First Things First
The car already had a few mods including a rear diff mount, and our OCC kit. We swapped the turbo it had for a k04 (yes, we downsized the turbo), then addressed the things that could break first by putting in a DSS driver rear axle, Speed Solutions transfer case caps, and an old Turbine Tech (now White Widow) front diff mount. The exhaust was cut under the rear seats for some weight reduction. A 3.5” intake, quick E40 tune on Versatune, and our ST intake manifold kit (with no intercooler) were added to really let the turbo work. Then we hit the strip. Even with the garbage clutch the car came with and with it breaking up at the top end, she turned a 12.9 @ 102. We swapped the clutch for ACT 6 puck and went back out. She turned mid 1.6s 60’s, and got down to 12.6 at near full weight with stock tires.
We went to Focus Fest on Sep 2nd. The track prep was poor, and it was hot; the front wheel drive cars had no chance. We managed to get the quickest boosted car trophy, but it cost the car a couple exhaust valves. MegaSpool with Versatune is great for launching and maintaining boost during WOT shifts, but we pushed the car too far. No intercooler, and hot lapping the car with more and more boost at launch with ignition retard cost us.
Dialing Her in
When we got back, we got the motor swapped with the stock spare we had. This motor is out of my first MS6, which I unfortunately hydroplaned in a few years ago. I have a soft sport for this motor, and I knew I was too impatient, and inexperienced to tune the car for what we were trying to do. It was time to call someone that had been there, so I called Justin at FreekTune. The car got dyno tuned, still with no intercooler, and made 287whp/350 ft-lbs on a Mustang Dyno. The power curve looked great after Justin worked his magic, and we wanted to see what she would do. We went to the strip right after and Ran a 12.4 @ 110 off the trailer. That’s as quick as she would run with stock tires on stock wheels. That’s as far as power was going to get us with this turbo.
Where We Shine
End of September we started focusing on traction, suspension, and taking full advantage of the power curve this turbo had with the ST manifold on it. We had easy access to 245 Nitto555s on FD wheels, we were set for traction. The brakes got swapped to regular Mazda 6 brakes to fit the wheels. The regular Mazda 6 brakes bolt right on, look stock, and give you all the room you need. The 60’ times immediately dropped to low 1.6, but the suspension was keeping us from dropping ETs below 12.4. We made a couple changes to shock setup, and spring rates and sizes. The first adjustments netted us the quickest stock turbo 60’ with a 1.609, and a 12.24 @ 110 mph. This was a huge step since the car still had the whole front interior aside from the passenger seat.
More suspension changes were made based on what we’d learned. We put a TR6 sized intercooler on it to help motor longevity, and took out some weight. The car didn’t make any more power when we went back to the same dyno, but it shortened cool-down time between rusn. The next time we went to the strip, on the Damond Drag Day, we snapped the driver front axle right at the transmission on an early pass. It had a “stock” replacement axle, but it was obvious that the design was inferior to OEM. We put an OEM axle in, and haven’t had problems since then.
We then took a little more weight out (thanks to Dave at Kozmic for the carbon trunk) and started optimizing the shift points. She ran a 12.063 pass @ 112. If I remember right, I think I lifted on this pass.
From here on out it’s all a blur. Every weekend might have been the last weekend out because of weather, so things happened too quick to really keep up with. Times to 60’ soon dropped to 1.5s with more suspension work, and ETs dropped to 11.9 real quick. We made the quickest k04 Mazdaspeed pass. The ‘heavy pig’ made it; the stock turbo The Mazdaspeed record is now an MS6. The goal for the year was accomplished…but the strip wasn’t closed for the year.
What Driver Mod Is Worth
I kept seeing “driver mod” every time we posted something, so we decided to test that. Matt and another friend drove the car the next weekend out. They consistently turned low 12s with me setting up the car pass after pass, getting down to 12.0 at best. Matt even managed to put up a quicker 60’ than I ever had at 1.566s. The car almost launched itself. I was able to get the car set up how I liked with them making passes, and me not worrying about driving. I got back in the car after it was dialed in, and made a 11.7 pass, with the car starving of fuel on the top end. I guess that means I’m worth .3s.
Unfortunately, I was so determined not to miss a shift that pass I broke the shifter cable going into 4th. We couldn’t get any more shift passes with a rigged shifter cable. That’s all we would get this year. The car is likely an 11.5 car as it sat that day, but we ran out of time this year. That leaves room for that ET to get beat, but we’re moving onto bigger things. The stock block BT record has been an MS6 for years, so I’m going to skip that…for now.
Fast is Hard; Lessons Learned
The goal now is quickest Mazdaspeed, period. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve already gotten a hint at what’s coming for this car. Of course, there’s more power involved from a really big turbo, but we’ve demonstrated that power isn’t everything. Setting up all the parts of the car properly can gain you as much time as any moderate increase in power can. We’re going to add a lot of power to this car relatively easily, but getting the different systems of the car right, and making the car durable so you can go fast, that’s the hard part. We learned a lot this year to help us keep doing that going forward, and we have a lot of work to do this off-season.
Stay tuned for more updates on what might be the first MS6 in the 9s, and possibly the quickest Mazdaspeed or stock chassis Duratec around. Let us know what you think, or if you want to know more, comment here, post on FB or the forums, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org