As we creep towards the end of Mazda month, I still have a couple of special features left to do. You have already seen some of the privately owned RX7 track cars in Japan earlier this month, but now it's time to look at the "top guns" of this. These are cars the cars that share more in common with works-backed racing machines than they do normal tuner cars. At the track, you'll see them with full pit crews, stacks of extra tires, air jacks, and other things you'd see at places like Le Mans, or Daytona. There are many RX7's out there capable of lapping Tsukuba Circuit in well under a minute, but there are three big ones that come mind. The Screen FD, the Pan Speed FD, and the most recent addition, the Revolution TA-2 FD.
I'll start with the Screen "GT35" FD since it's the most mild of the bunch, though "mild" isn't the proper term to describe any of these cars. Unlike some of the other shops with really fast RX7's, Screen works on other cars as well. You may have seen some their Nissan Silvia drag cars around.
The engine in the Screen car is bridgeported and fed by an HKS T04Z turbine. Power is 443ps, which is not mind blowing, but more than enough to get the job done when the car only weighs in at 1,050kg or 2,300 pounds.
The exterior has a mix of parts including a carbon hatch and carbon doors, but the most substantial is R-Magic full aero. Wheels are 17"x9.5 +15 Rays RE30's all around with the latest Advan A050 "S-tires". While on the subject of the R-Magic aero, I have to mention that I could have also added R-Magic's "Pink 4" FD to this story, but I chose Screen because we haven't really shown much of their work on Speedhunters yet. During last month's Revspeed Tsukuba Super Battle, the Screen FD placed 9th overall with a 59.237 lap.
Next up is the Pan Speed FD3S, which has been one of the top time attack RX7's in Japan for a while now. Like the Screen FD, the Pan Speed car doesn't make an insane amount of power (around 480ps), but it's body and chassis work help to make it one the fastest time attack cars in the world.
For the past several years Pan Speed has been constantly improving on this car, and with each phase it's become more and more like a full-blown race car. The current aero kit is the latest edition of Pan Speed's GT style wide-body, and you can be sure all those vents are 110% functional. As you would guess, much of this car's exterior (and interior) is carbon fiber. The 18"x10.5 CE28N's are wrapped with Dunlop DIrezza tires, which are an interesting break from the Advans used on most of time attack cars in Japan.
This shot I took at Fuji Speedway shows what the car looks like when it's at work. At the '08 Tsukuba Super Battle, the Pan Speed RX7 was third overall with a 56.751, although that was still a bit slower than its 55 second record from the previous year.
And now for the latest and the most ridiculous (in a good way) RX7 yet, the Revolution TA-2. This car was just completed during the later part of 2008, and already its become one of the most talked about "tuner cars" around, nearly winning the Tsukuba Super Battle in its first appearance. If the Pan Speed car is hard core, than I don't know what to call the TA-2. The car is almost literally a GT car redone for time attack, including a full dry carbon RE Amemiya GT300 body over a one-off tube chassis.
Hidden underneath all that is a T04Z-fed cross-ported 13B making around 550ps and hooked to a Hewland 6-speed sequential gearbox. Impressive stuff, but this one of cars that is about MUCH more than just the engine.
Giant Project Mu brakes behind a set of 18" Ray's RE30's. As you can see, the tires are the new Hankook Ventus TD in 265 and 295 widths. Hankook may not be an established name in Japan yet, but their tires have been appearing on lots of time attack cars here recently, including the TA-2 and cars from R-Magic and ATTKD. The rubber must be up to the test if they are being used on cars as serious as the TA-02.
Looking in the interior, you can't even tell what kind of car this started out as. The Hewland shift lever and dry carbon transmission tunnel dominate the cockpit. The cluster is a Motec unit that monitors and logs all of the car's vitals, and there's also a screen there which I'm assuming is used for monitoring lap times or for the driver to watch his favorite TV shows…
Closer view of the front fender on the dry carbon body. Of course the FD's original pop-up lights are long gone in favor these more aero-friendly fixed units.
The car looks absolutely sinister from the rear with its diffusers, canards, and lack of any color or lettering. The whole machine weighs in around a 950kg, or just under 2,100 lbs.
At the '08 Tsukuba Super Battle, the TA-2 was the second fastest entry of the day, finishing just behind the Cyber Evo. The car should be able to break get into the 54-second range, which would give it the record for fastest FR at Tsukuba.
As the car gets more track time, you can bet the Cyber Evo team and maybe even the HKS CT230R crew keeping a close eye on what happens.