Making America Brap Again: A 26B Turbo FD3S
Rejoice & Regret

Going into this racing season, I had no idea just how all-consuming it would be to follow a drift team at each Formula D event.

Previously, I had visions of taking some photos, going for a stroll around the paddock, and using the spare time to hunt down other cars. As it has happened so far, spare time has been in short supply. I’ve no regrets, nor is it a complaint, as I’m absolutely loving the journey this year has taken me on so far.

Early last Saturday morning, I arrived at Road Atlanta, in Atlanta, Georgia a couple of hours before the team to try and take in as much of the local car culture as possible. There will be a separate and dedicated post to the cars I found, but this one needs to be seen before I even think of doing anything else.

2017 Mazda RX7 FD3S 26B Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2
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I had seen it the day before, rolling quietly through the paddock at a distance. It immediately struck me as a clean, aggressive FD3S Mazda RX-7, and one which I should seek out at some stage over the weekend. I just hadn’t expected it to be one of the best FD3S that I have ever seen in person, when I eventually found it parked beside Kyle Mohan’s pit. The huge crowd that seemed to constantly surround it was indicative of the attention that it deserved.

2017 Mazda RX7 FD3S 26B Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-11

Known as Formula 7, this RX-7 is the perfect blend of street and track with power and looks in absolute spades.

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At the heart of the build is a Pulse Performance Race Engineering (PPRE) 26B 4-rotor with a big single twin-scroll turbocharger. Twin screamer pipes from the external wastegates poke through the bonnet and ensure that there’s plenty of bite to the iconic rotary bark. With the Haltech engine management system module and accompanying digital display, the interior is a stripped and caged affair while still maintaining the car as street legal. Well, when I say street legal, I’ve seen videos of it on the street since, so I’m just assuming that part.

2017 Mazda RX7 FD3S 26B Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-13

Sat on Work Meister S1s with fat Nitto tyres, it’s a purposeful looking car.

2017 Mazda RX7 FD3S 26B Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-12

It’s also a car that I only wish I could have spent a full day with, shooting around the amazing Road Atlanta circuit. But it wasn’t to be. Dragging myself away from the Mazda, I figure it’s as much of an excuse that I’ll ever need to revisit Atlanta in the future.

This will be seen again on Speedhunters. I promise.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
2017 Mazda RX7 FD3S 26B Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-5
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2017 Mazda RX7 FD3S 26B Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-8
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2017 Mazda RX7 FD3S 26B Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-16
2017 Mazda RX7 FD3S 26B Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-1


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This gets a full four braps of approval.


I'm absolutely loving all of the Rotary love at the moment! This is also stunning....


Oh. Fuck. Yes.

It's simply...perfect.

Vivien Mercier

Wow USA amazes me on road legislation ! If a french policeman only checks the interior, he gets a heart attack !


So true...

Reece Russell

Be surprised what you can get away with in certain areas... Area I live in is Emission free thanks to all the farms which means I can legally run a catless downpipe as long as I dont have any check engine lights on..


I live in a similar area. No checks at all. Most things are legal as long as you have lights and seat belts. The southeast is really good for that.


Well then...bye bye CEL bulb!


Start a best car of the month poll again, this would win. Love it


1) LOVE this car.
2) LOVE these pics.

Amirul Makhtar

love everything about this fd. everything about this car is on point.


Favorite car I saw at both FD Orlando and Atlanta, and I don't even like RX-7s that much.


Possibly the sexiest FD I've ever seen, the colors and wheels and of course powerplant make this an amazing car. Kudos that the owner obviously drives it hard, and often!


Wow that's a seriously clean RX-7! Probably exactly how i would do mine if I ever have the money to fulfill my JDM fantasies... I'm very curious about that steering wheel and controls it has, the quick release hub looks like a Motorsports unit with pin connectors. I was always wondering when those would transfer to the tuning and aftermarket scene... is this a game changer?! Cant wait for your full feature Paddy!


RE: Steering Wheel Hub
The item pictured is a Silver NRG branded quick release
The pin connectors are for the horn button
Downside: Not a Game changer


Bummer, now that you mention it, it does look like an NRG... Oh well I can still wish.


That looks like a quick release designed to be cheap for the aftermarket, or low cost for trackdays? I've never seen a motorsport unit like that, and it's only got what appears to be 2 electrical contacts (probably just for a horn button, not useful in a race car) so there's not much going on there. It almost looks like someone machined a few parts to retrofit the electrical contacts into an aftermarket quick release unit.


Thanks for the info, sounds like you've seen some real racing hubs in your day. Now that i think of it, the ones i've seen have the connector on the wheel itself with a multipin coiled connector cable. Anyone want to help me start a kickstarter haha. How cool would it be to cycle maps and boost settings from your steering wheel!


Sucks how that thing will probably never be used for what it's intended and will always be just a show car. RX7s deserve more than that.


He drives it plenty, even drove it all the way to Orlando and to Atlanta for this event from Alabama.


follow him on instagram mazzei_formula, lots of street driving even though he only gets 6mpg. yes, 6 miles per gallon!


This car is street driven i promise you, it's much more than just a show car

Ryan Wreyford

Hey i know this car. Check out his build thread on RX7Club


That's an FD33, not an FD3S.



matt maffucci

what's up with the NITTO tire lettering on federal 595s?


Now THAT is a modified RX-7 done right. Definitely a breath of freash air from the countless LS-swapped RX-7s I've seen. I imagine this thing would have a pretty menacing presence at any track day or car meet it goes to.


intercoolers are overrated, apparently


Come on man, think before you comment. I'll give you a quick hint: It's large and red, sits on top of the engine, and says "Foure Rotor Integrated Intercooling" on it in white letters.

It's an air-to-water unit, packaged as part of the intake manifold. Not every intercooler is a front mounted air-to-air unit.


Interesting intercooler setup he's running there. Water to air right before the manifold? Wonder how it holds up against heat soaking.


As you rev higher, the more you want to step harder on the gas pedal because you'll get hooked onto that incredible sound makes your blood boiling hot like that fire-breathing 4 rotor engine.
Black Beauty? No, I'll call it the Black Widow(maker)!


thelo na me enimeronete geia afto to amaxi kai na mou stelnete fotografies


It's perfectly legal because we don't have safety or emissions inspections in AL. And it sounds absolutely insane.


Yup.. It does sound amazing!


best FD ive ever seen.

this is what dreams are made of

Brett Turnage

Oh my gentle Jebus!!!!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Beautiful. We need more Japanese tuners to start thinking outside the box a little with rotary tuning!

Matthew Everingham

This is ridiculous! One of the best I've ever seen! :O

Boris Diamond

Awesome article, I needed something expel the images of that stanced miata from my brain

Khyzyl Saleem

My favourite build.


So happy you got some good pictures of this car! I've been eagerly following it ever since i found the build thread a few months ago. It's amazing how well executed every part of it is. There is absolutely no compromise, which is something I hope I can say about a build of my own one day.


nice car, but horrid title for story

Saswito Setioaji

Is this car for sale?


My penis did a full discharge.



Read about this car in a few places, didn't realise the motor was built here in NZ!

Bradley Johnson

Got to ponder how good the standard brake setup is for the power that must create.