Last year, the brave drivers at One Lap Heroes added a new steed to the stable. An FD3S RX-7 fits in well with its lineup of quick Mazdas, but this one is a bit different than its Miatas in a few ways. Rather than take a bone-stock car and go through the list of brakes, tires, and coilovers, they picked this car up already modified. The aforementioned go-fast goodies had not been added, but the chassis was already stiffened with a full cage. Plus, the engine made over 400 horsepower with a Greddy TD06 turbo, so it wasn’t exactly slow.
An Excess of Power
Frustrated by the predictable cooling issues with the modified 13B-REW, Kostas eventually replaced the Greddy turbo with a BorgWarner S300SX-E and fitted a slew of cooling mods while he was at it. The new snail is more responsive and provides more torque lower in the rev range, which easily spins the 225-section rear tires. Nevertheless, we see that the car, though under-tired, still sticks quite well.
Watch as Kostas grabs an armful of opposite-lock out of Les Fagnes (2:06). He bravely keeps his foot planted, and despite the car looking like he’s running for points in Formula D, it still accelerates nicely off the corner. That ballsy display forces you to wonder what it’ll be capable of once it’s fitted with better shocks and tires.
That grip, response, and perhaps a little adrenaline-based encouragement, are needed if one hopes to hang with a well-driven Audi R8 at a fast track such as Spa-Francorchamps. Though a few-hundred-pounds lighter than the Audi, the RX-7 does not have a 5.2-liter V10 sending 602 horsepower through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. In a straight line, it’s the mid-engined supercar which has the obvious advantage. Its four-wheel-drive traction helps it launch off the slower corners where the RX-7 can’t quite put the power down.
Drifting Past its Limitations
That mild setback only seems to goad Kostas to push harder. His heroic powerslides out of Le Combes (1:10), then locking the brakes into Bruxelles (1:20), it’s obvious he’s not leaving anything on the table. That bravery and a little assistance from a slower Porsche 993 put him right under the bumper of the Audi after Double Gauche.
Getting past the big-ticket rival only encourages him to keep pushing on. His driving becomes a little tidier without the yellow hare on the horizon, but he’s still throwing in jabs of opposite-lock; even using the pendulum effect to rotate through the chicane (2:50). Maybe the red mist hasn’t completely dissipated.