Back To Mazda Race Series
Star Mazda Championship Pro Formula Mazda Technology

Renesis Rotary Engine:

The heart of the Pro Formula Mazda is the same that you'll find in any Mazda RX-8 - the international award winning Mazda Renesis rotary engine. Already a two-time recipient of the International Engine of the Year Award, the Renesis (Rotary Engine Genesis - or rebirth of the rotary engine) has been celebrated by new and old rotary fans alike since it debuted with the RX-8 in 2003. Like the generations of rotary engines developed by Mazda before it, the Renesis rotary performs the usually complex 4-step process of intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust by simply turning a triangular-shaped rotor in a cocoon-shaped combustion chamber. The reduction in engine parts to complete the combustion process as compared to traditional piston engines means that the Renesis can be 60-percent smaller than a comparably powerful V6 and even 40 percent smaller than a four-cylinder.

The simplicity in design also means that the Renesis can freely and smoothly rev up to 9,000 rpm - traditionally the realm of two-cycle motorcycle and exotic race car engines. Despite its heritage with previous Mazda rotary engines, the Renesis represents significant breakthroughs for the rotary design. The Renesis twin-rotor features a new side intake and exhaust port design, instead of the traditional peripheral ports in previous Mazda rotary engines. The new design means 30-percent more intake area and double the exhaust area. Together with a three-stage intake system and an electronic (fly-by-wire) throttle, the Renesis delivers an unparalleled 238 hp from a normally aspirated 1.3 L engine. These same characteristics make the Mazda RX-8 a great sports car, but also make the Pro Formula Mazda a terrific race car.

Sequential Shift Transaxle:

The Pro Formula Mazda's Hewland-sourced six-speed sequential shift transaxle is a state-of-the-art racing transaxle. The lightweight unit is encased in a thin-walled aluminum case that contributes to a feathery unit weight of only 90 pounds. The unit is produced in Hewland's main factory, alongside the units the firm makes for Champ Car and World Rally competition, among others. Sequential shifting means quicker shifts than traditional H-pattern shifting and less possibility for the driver to commit shifting errors. In addition, no-lift shifting means that the driver doesn't have to even lift his foot off the throttle for his shifts - letting the Renesis continue to hum without missing a beat.

Monocoque Chassis:

Every modern open wheel racecar is built around a composite monocoque (French for single shell) design. That is the monocoque structure serves singularly as the driver cockpit/safety cell and main structural component. Obviously with two equally important roles, the strength of the monocoque design is of utmost importance. The Pro Formula Mazda uses a carbon fiber composite developed by Elan Motorsports Technology, the biggest racecar manufacturer in the world, in motorsports competition at the highest levels. Hundreds of carbon fiber components are bonded together with very strong adhesives in a careful and exact process. Construction of these "tubs" to FIA (Federation Internationale d'Automobile, premier international motorsports sanctioning body) standards means that the hand-constructed shell will protect drivers to a prescribed safety level. The finished monocoque chassis is then fitted with suspension, engine, transmission, and bodywork parts for completion of the Pro Formula Mazda.

Inboard Suspension:

Modern open wheel racecar design such as the Pro Formula Mazda calls for what is known as an inboard suspension design. Basically, the suspension dampening units are mounted horizontally on the monocoque chassis and operated by a mechanical pushrod which translates vertical motion from the wheels into a horizontal action on the shocks. This is unlike your average road car, where your shocks or struts are positioned adjacent to each wheel. The main reason for an inboard suspension design aerodynamics - with the shocks tucked under the bodywork, the thin suspension arms will generate little wind resistance. The Pro Formula Mazda's inboard suspension consists of two-way adjustable shocks with external reservoirs that are neatly tucked onto the front nose and rear transaxle (which is a stressed component) of the car.

MoTeC encrypted ECU:

The MoTeC Electronic Control Unit allows Star Race Cars to precisely tune the Mazda Renesis rotary engine's fuel, air, and timing requirements to series specifications. The encryption of the unit ensures that the factory settings cannot be tampered with. In addition, the electronic brain also provides traction control, pit speed limiting, rev limiting, and fuel trim functions - all from a cockpit interface. The traction control, which can provide an electronic safety net or help maximize traction in low grip situations, is also defeatable for driver preferences. Pit speed limiting and rev limiting help avoid surpassing series mandated pit lane speed limits and over revving prescribed engine speeds.

4-Piston Brakes:

In a racecar that can reach most legal speed limits in about 2.9 seconds, its just as important to bring the action to a stop quickly. The Pro Formula Mazda's Alcon H-type alloy calipers feature a four-piston design that ensures positive and fade-free clamping for a competition environment. The beefy calipers bite into 278 mm x 18 mm floating steel rotors that are vented to shed heat build-up quickly. The entire system is cockpit adjustable for front/rear bias for real-time tailoring to driver or track conditions.

Forged Aluminum Wheels:

The Pro Formula Mazda's BBS wheels (8x13 front, 10x13 rear) are made of a lightweight, but strong forged aluminum material. Forging is a process where slightly heated metals (in this case aluminum) are mechanically pressed with severe force into their desired shapes - resulting in a stronger construction than traditional casting techniques. The use of forged aluminum presents a weight advantage over traditional alloys and steels while avoiding the expense of exotic materials like magnesium.

Back to Cars & Technology