Looking from the outside, racing really doesn’t make much sense. You spend a bunch of money to win some trophies, which are nowhere near as valuable as the money spent on the racing to get it. This leaves most people asking “why?”

I’m here to explain why the people at CorkSport spend the time and energy to go racing.

First, we get access to world-class drivers. I’m not saying I’m not a decent driver, but I’m always learning, just like the best drivers out there. The best example we have is recently hiring pro driver Kenton Koch to do development work on our 2016 Miata suspension.

If you haven’t heard his name, you should by now. He’s a Mazda development driver and he’s won the Skip Barber Series Championship, Skip Barber Mazdaspeed Series Championship, Battery Tender MX-5 Cup Championship, and this last year, the IMSA Prototype Lights Champtionship. This year at the Rolex 24hour in Daytona, Kenton was part of a JDC-Miller PC team that won their class and the first race in the Patron Endurance Championship. This was also the first time he’d raced this car against other competitors. So you can say Kenton is good.

Kenton Koch Daytona Win

The second thing about racing is you’ll break and wear out parts. If you’re not wearing out parts, you’re not pushing the car hard enough and you’re officially a Sunday driver. Brakes, tires, suspension, and motor components are exposed to the worst conditions while racing. A recent example was when I raced at Daytona for the SCCA runoffs. We raced our 2015 Mazda 3 2.5 with all of our parts for an entire week. Every lap we hit a top speed of 139mph, hammering the brake to make corner 1. The intake and exhaust got a massive workout dealing with the full throttle driving for extended periods of time on the embankment of the oval. The CorkSport springs and swaybar were pounded over the curbs on the infield and the bus stop. The end result of the race weekend was zero problems with our parts, even in a worst-case environment.


The third reason is just as compelling to me as the first two reasons: you learn. When I head to the track, I make sure I have a goal in mind of what I want to accomplish ahead of time. For this upcoming year, CorkSport is an associate sponsor of Hale Motorsports Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car effort with two MX-5 TC classed cars and a very familiar Mazda 2 TC B-Spec, which CorkSport built and raced. I’ve signed on to be a crew chief for the car driven by Joey Jordan, who piloted the CorkSport Mazda 2 last year to four straight 1st place finishes at the end of the Pirelli World Challenge season. We also have a future star in the making. Henry Morse will be driving the Mazda 2 for this season as well, which makes for a busy schedule.

My goal for the season is to develop the skills to operate at the highest level needed by a crew chief in strategy, drive prep, team communications, and operations. Each one of these items is essential inside a team to be effective and win a championship.

Now that you know, what do you think? Do you understand why we race? Feel free to post your comments here on the blog and I’ll make sure I reply back personally.

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.


Introducing the new CorkSport leather parking brake handle for 2nd generation Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazda 3! This isn’t just another plastic handle with some pattern on it, or maybe some carbon fiber sticker. This is what Mazda should have done from the beginning.

The CorkSport handle was CAD designed to fit just like OEM and features two set screws to lock it in place. Nobody wants to lose their parking brake handle while doing mad front wheel burnouts, right?

I didn’t think so.

Mazdaspeed 3 E-brake handle

The CorkSport handle is cast from aluminum, then sprayed with a high gloss silver coating, and finally it’s hand wrapped and stitched with the same premium leather you’ve come to love with the CorkSport leather shift knob.

Speaking of shift knobs; now’s your chance to put together the ultimate interior package for your Speed with the parking brake handle, leather shift knob, carpet floor mats, and of course the performance steering wheel which is coming soon. It’ll be like driving a whole new car. You might even get that new car smell!

Now stop doing front wheel burnouts and order this baby now before they’re gone!




Dear Car Guy,

It’s been some time, and I’m hoping this finds you well and happy. I’ve been thinking more about the topic of “Car Girls,” and I realized a Car Guy would be so lucky to find himself with a Car Girl. A true match between a couple of pretty awesome people (in my book, being a car person makes you awesome in the first place).

Car guy sees car girl

Dating a Car Girl has a ton of perks. Not only does she understand your obsession and passion for cars, she SHARES IT. Yes, it’s likely the two of you in a long relationship will have spent more on parts and beer for install meets than on actual dates, but isn’t that the point?! To share your hobby with someone who gets it and supports it!

Car girls buy you parts

Nothing sexier than a car girl

Also, I’ve never met a Car Girl who wasn’t willing to still be herself and be the feminine side of your duo. I think you’re getting the best of all worlds: track buddy, install help, partner in crime, and love of your life, all in one!

Car couple

You’re not the first Car Guy she’s known, so your weird quirks and silly antics are unlikely to faze her. She’ll either friend zone the sh** out of you, or you’re in it for the win. The fact that there’s a bit of immaturity as a pre-requisite for being a true Car Guy, means she’s happy to play along and get excited too.

Car guy toys

And to all the Car Girls out there, there’s definitely something to be said for your dating pool as well. I’ll just scratch the surface for now…

Guys who know nothing about cars and could never understand your passion…

It's NOT just a car Car girl reactions

Guys that barely know anything, but think they know a lot…

Those darn non-car people

Non car guys

Car Guys that are real Car Guys, aren’t even the big find.

A true car girl

For a Car Girl, the true unicorn is a Car Guy who knows about cars, but also respects her desire to deal with her own car things.

Car people relationship

Looking for the ultimate car guy

Girls that love cars

Until next time! Good luck dating and stay safe (please), stay fast, and stay happy my friends!

No, not all of this should be applied in your dating life….

Kim Russell-01

Should you repair or retire your car after a crash? Luke from CorkSport tells us when it's worth it to repair.

Image via www.nbcdfw.com

Imagine driving down the freeway at cruising speed and someone decides to change lanes too fast, causing an accident. This is one of the worst things that could happen on the way to work, school, or a friend’s house. I’ve seen this happen to many of my friends, and the most important thing is that everyone was able to walk away without being hurt.

Once the dust has settled, you have an imperfect “race car” to take care of. You have to decide if you want to fix the car, or trash it and move onto the next project. As long as the car isn’t totaled, my vote would be to repair it and keep your baby.

What’s the next step now that you’ve decided to repair your vehicle?

You have two options to get your baby back up and running:

1. Order OEM Mazda parts to replace what you currently have.

2. See what parts need to be repaired, and buy upgraded ones.

Take the time to fully think about where you want to go with the car. Are you looking to keep the car stock, do you want to explore new power levels to achieve certain times at the track, or do you want a super fun daily driver? These are some things you should consider when deciding what direction to go with the car.

Let’s assume you took some front-end damage, which includes your top mount intercooler and intake. When searching for repairs, you’re going to notice that a stock top mount intercooler from a Mazda dealership is going to cost you somewhere around $580 for a brand new one, according to parts specialist at Bountiful Mazda, Cody Allington. That price doesn’t include labor to have it installed.

On the other hand, our top mount intercooler will cost you $399.99, not including the shroud or shipping. When you break that down, you’re saving around $180 going with an upgraded part. You’ll get an upgraded top mount intercooler with added cooling and flow benefits, AND you’ll be able to pay someone to install it, all for the cost of what an OEM top mount intercooler would cost. You’ll also get added horsepower and torque from upgrading your top mount intercooler, which will make the butt dyno very happy.

A CorkSport top mount intercooler installed.

Upgraded top mount intercooler installed with shroud.

An OEM intake including the short ram and turbo inlet pipe is going to cost you around $345, not including labor. That’s not a cheap part for what you’re getting. That’s $345 just to replace what you have and move on with life.

MS3 power series intake delivers more horsepower and torque.

3.5″ Mazdaspeed 3 Power Series Intake System

However, if you have decent power goals for your Mazdaspeed, you can pick up our 3.5” intake for less than that OEM intake. Our 3.5” intake will cost you $329.99. You’ll still be saving money and if you think about what you’re getting with it, it should be a no-brainer. You’ll get much better flow from the intake, which increases horsepower and torque.

This graph shows the difference between the OEM MAF and the 3.5” MAF. There’s a huge difference. You’ll definitely notice the increase in power and sound if you decided to upgrade to this intake.

3.5" Mazdaspeed 3 Power Series Intake System MAF Flow Data

3.5″ Mazdaspeed 3 Power Series Intake System MAF Flow Data

Most people look at getting into a wreck as the worst thing that could happen to them. However, I look at it as an opportunity to capitalize on a mistake and make your car better than it’s ever been.

Typically, the insurance company will give you the quote and write a check. If this happens, make sure to tell them you’re doing your own research on parts and picking a shop of your choice so you have the option of buying the upgraded parts.

If you played it off right, you can tell all of your Speed friends that you got your car fixed (without the mention of upgraded parts), and put a whooping on them! You could turn your car into ultimate sleeper status.

Just remember to entertain all ideas before pulling the trigger, and if you play your cards right, you can turn your wrecked baby into a modified monster!

Luke McCarvel-01


Daytona International Raceway Track Map

Most people think Nascar when they hear about Daytona International Speedway. To road course guys like me, it’s the site of a 24-hour race, which we wait for every year in January. This past year, I participated in the SCCA Majors to qualify to run two different classes at the Runoffs, which were hosted at the Daytona Intl. Speedway.

My normal racetrack chariot is a 2011 Mazda 2 B-Spec, which I’ve raced for the past 4 years.


Derrick’s 2011 Mazda 2 B-Spec from Daytona coming out of turn 3.

I’ve been quietly building a 2015 Mazda 3 Sedan with a 2.5 engine to run in the SCCA T-4 class starting late in the season this year with the purpose of running it at Daytona. We picked up the car from getting the cage installed and had nine days to get all of the parts installed, get it dyno tuned for 98 octane, and load it up into a trailer to go to Daytona via Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. There’s nothing like taking a completely unsorted car to a national championship race on the other side of the country, just for fun.

At the Pirelli World Challenge race weekend at Mazda Raceway, the CorkSport Mazda 2 was piloted by Joey Jordan and swept the three races for a perfect weekend. In between the Mazda 2 getting serviced, we worked on the Mazda 3, getting the sound deadener removed, seat mounted, and safety gear installed. We also changed the springs installed on the car to CorkSport’s 2014+ Mazda 3 springs to make the ride height lower. At Daytona, you want less aero drag because of the low profile, so having the car as low as you can get it helps the speed on the oval section.

After the last race was finished up at Pirelli, we loaded up both Mazdas and headed to Daytona, which is a 44-hour drive across the country.

We arrived at Daytona on Friday to do some final setup on the Mazda 2 and finish the prep work on the Mazda 3 before our test day on Saturday.


I’ve raced at Autoclub speedway in Fontana California before, so I was familiar with a banked track but not quite as familiar with that long of a time on the track.

In the Mazda 2, I found myself looking around at the scenery a lot during the Saturday test day. The infield was fun to find the limits on the car and mastering the bus stop with a quick hit of the brake then back on the gas was a big challenge for me.

In the Mazda 3 on Sunday, I got a reminder of what a new car can be like while getting everything dialed in. I had massive understeer with the car and had to modulate the throttle constantly to get the car to turn. On the straight sections, the car was fast and I could hang with most of the cars out there if I got enough of a run out of the corners. To give you an idea of how much faster the Mazda 3 was at the time trap, the fastest draft time I got with the Mazda 2 was 119mph. In the Mazda 3, it was 139mph. This was before you head into a turn and slow down in the shortest possible space before busting a quick left into the infield. If you get it wrong, the guys behind you made up time on you. If you get it right, you can get more of a lead.

Another huge problem I had with the Mazda 3 was I couldn’t see anything out of the left side of the car. The window size is pretty small, the window net didn’t help, and the massive left mirror did its best to keep me from seeing the apex or the other cars.

I qualified for the championship race 15th out of 22 cars, which isn’t great, but it’s not the back of the field. I was four seconds off the pace of the pole sitting Honda Civic, which gives you an idea of how well sorted that car was in comparison to the Mazda 3 in its first weekend at the track.


Honestly, the T-4 started off pretty crappy for me. I got jumped on the start and was forced to the outside of turn 1 where I couldn’t judge the car next to me going through the corner, so I lost a spot. Two laps later, I got to watch Scotty White in his Mustang get turned into by a RSX right in front of me going into the bus stop, which made for some great front row entertainment. Toss in a few dive bombs by a Camaro and it made for a good time. I spent the rest of the race trying to be as nice to my front left tire in the infield as I could.


In the end, I finished in 15th, which is the exact spot I started the race in! For this upcoming season, we’ll work on the suspension setup to improve the car’s cornering speeds to be more competitive and work on the driver setup.

I have to give a big thanks to CorkSport for the parts installed on the Mazda 3, which worked flawlessly, Joey Jordan Motorsports for the spotting and chassis setup at the track, Joe at Dynotronics for the 98 octane Skyactiv Tune in a super short period of time, Monarch Inspections for letting us steal your worker bee to drive the truck across the country, 47 Moto for the wrench help, Mazdaspeed Motorsports for being the best vehicle manufacturer that supports club racing, and my wife and kids for putting up with me running off to chase my dreams.

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.


We live and breathe Mazda.

But you already knew this about us. We work our 9-5 serving Mazdas and then on the weekends, we hit the track with our very own Mazda.

What exactly goes into our Derrick-driven Mazda3 race car? CorkSport.

Check out our performance in action infographic and see what goes into the CS race car. Don’t worry: if you have an older Mazda, we still have you covered.

What goes into our CorkSport race car?

Rear motor mount

Get improved handling and road feel while maintaining a comfortable ride. Our rear motor mount reduces your engine’s movement which enhances the power transfer from engine to tire, therefore improving throttle response, gear shifting, and driver feedback.

Short ram intake

Instant increase in HP and torque by reducing intake restrictions and bringing more air into the intake chamber.

Cat back exhaust

Gain more horsepower and torque by creating a free-flowing system without restrictions. You’ll get smooth flow, increased power, and a faster spool up.

Lowering springs

Give your car the performance appearance and edge you have been looking for. You’ll get a quicker turning response, crisper road feel, and a firmer spring rate, all while maintaining excellent ride quality.

Camber plates

Get adjustability to dial in performance and handling. Our front camber plates provide up to -3 degrees of camber.

Rear sway bar

Remove the tendency to overpower the front tires under hard cornering. Our rear sway bar increases the spring rate on side of the suspension which is compressed most and its adjustability allows you to fine tune the handling.

Now get some drive time in and hit the track.




2015 was a good year here at CorkSport. We released a whopping 26 new products! With the New Year upon us, it’s not too late to snag some of our favorite new parts we released. Here are our top five picks for upgrades you still need in 2016.

Mazdaspeed 3 Adjustable Short Shifter 


Improve your driving experience with the CorkSport double-adjustable short shifter for the 2007-2009 MS3. You can personalize the throw distance and shift knob height just how you want it. Not only is your shift time faster with our shifter, it’s more precise and controlled. Got a newer MS3? Don’t worry, there’s a short shifter for you too.

Mazdaspeed 3 Front Mount Interiorcooler Kit


Cool down your boost air temperatures without compromise with our front mount intercooler kit with either the small or large intercooler. Featuring all new piping for better fitment and performance, our FMIC comes standard with the high flow small core or the optional big core with crash bar. Our FMIC Kit features a new variable diameter piping that reduces boost lag and improves throttle response.

3.5 Bar MAP Sensor


Introducing the first Plug-N-Play 3.5 Bar MAP sensor designed for the MZR DISI. The MAP sensor provides instantaneous manifold pressure information to the engine’s ECU. The custom injection molded body features the OEM style connection for a quick and clean installation; no adapter wiring harness needed! And we made it even easier for you by putting the necessary calibration scalars directly onto the MAP sensor, making tuning calibration a breeze.

MX-5 Miata Axle Back Exhaust

Great sound, great looks, and great quality. It’s that simple when it comes to the MX-5 axle back exhaust. We’ve tested multiple designs to provide you with an exhaust that delivers top performance without the annoying drone so typically found in aftermarket exhaust systems. Our exhaust is manufactured from T304 stainless steel, CNC mandrel bent, and TIG welded for a perfect fit and long lasting durability. Only the best for your new Miata.

Mazdaspeed 3 & 6 Drop-in Turbo Upgrade


You know we’re all about that boost life. Experience a serious boost in performance with our drop-in Mazdaspeed turbocharger. It easily bolts in and replaces your undersized OEM turbo with no mechanical modifications. Yes, you read that correct. No mechanical mods. Our turbocharger comes with all the necessities you need for increased power performance so there’s no need to buy additional parts.

What’s on your mod list for 2016?




Tis the season for another CorkSport Sweepstakes — and what does every good little Mazda Guy and Mazda Girl want? Why, a new shift knob, of course!

Corksport Holiday Giveaway 2015

To celebrate the end of a great year, and the holidays before then, we’re giving away one of our shift knobs: lucky winner’s choice. You could pick our adjustable weight shift knob or our custom-stitched leather knob: Either works with any Mazda you drive!

Was a new Mazda shift knob on your wish list this year? If Santa doesn’t come through, we might, though it’s up to random chance. To enter, go to the CorkSport Facebook page, fill out a quick form, and you’re in the drawing! Hurry, though. The sweepstakes ends at midnight pacific time, Sunday, January 3rd.

Happy New Year, and Merry CorkSport Sweepstakes!


Introducing, the newly updated CorkSport ECU Relocation Battery Box designed for the 2007-2013 Mazdaspeed 3. Protect your ECU, retain your OEM size battery, and provide clearance for up to a 3.5” intake!

Mazdaspeed 3 Battery Box

Exploring new manufacturing processes allowed us more flexibility in the design of the updated CorkSport ECU Relocation Battery Box. The new box features a 3-part design vs the old box and lid design. The additional component is designed with you, the customer, in mind.

The OEM battery box has a removal front panel to allow easy access and removal of the battery. The previous CorkSport ECU Relocation Battery Box did not have this feature and many of you made it very clear that that was an issue. We listened! Check it out below:

Mazdaspeed 3 Relocation Battery Box

Just like OEM, the front panel is now removable! This drastically improves the access to the battery and the ECU. If you have ever had to change the battery in your Speed then you know the significance of the removable front panel. Here it is in action:

Mazdaspeed 3 CorkSport Battery Box Installed

The new manufacturing process improved more than just design, but also the construction and material used. The CorkSport ECU Relocation Battery Box is now made from black ABS that is durable and looks nearly OEM.

Avoid the hassle of an undersized battery and the rat’s nest that goes along with relocating the ECU with the CorkSport ECU Relocation Battery Box. Want to learn more? Check out the product page and order yours today!

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.


Freshen up your ride with the new CorkSport Carpet Floor Mats designed for the 2010-2013 Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazda 3. With OEM fitment and show car quality, these floor mats are sure to add that extra level of detail to your Mazda.

Mazda 3 Floor Mats 1

The CorkSport Carpet Floor Mats use high quality carpeting with sealed edges for a durable fit and finish. Unlike auto parts store floor mats, the CorkSport floor mats retain the OEM metal eyelets to keep the mat under your feet instead of under your pedals. Let’s not have another unstoppable Prius incident. (Never thought I would write “unstoppable” and “Prius” in the same sentence…)

Mazdaspeed 3 Floor Mats

The CorkSport Carpet Floor Mats include both the front and rear for a complete package, all for $119.99. Order yours today at CorkSport.com!

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.