BMI Racing’s 610WHP Mazda RX-8 screams super exotic
Sport compact tuners BMI Racing today call the Los Angeles area home, but the company originally hails from Brisbane, Australia. Established in 2004 by owner-operators Adam and Sarah Burgess, their expertise with Haltech ECUs helped the upstart company make a quick reputation in its homeland before they took the leap of faith in January 2008 and moved the operation to the United States. 

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“We made the jump to pursue motorsports opportunities here in America - sport compact motorsports like drift, drag and time attack,” explains Sarah. “In Australia sport compact competition is more hobby based with no professional outlets; it’s very V8 based, too. For us, America is where it’s at.”

Adam had made numerous trips to America to tune Haltech-controlled cars and got to know the market well before setting up shop in Gardena, California.

The company’s latest creation is a true jaw-dropper that is primed for some next-level performance. The car is a 2009 Mazda RX-8, but the shock and awe are under the hood in the form of an exotic four-rotor powerplant.

Not to be confused with the three-rotor 20B rotary from the Mazda Cosmo, four rotors are rarified air indeed. The last one Mazda made, the R26B, won the 24 Hours Of Le Mans in 1991 and Mazda has never offered four rotors for public consumption.

Power hungry rotor heads that want that “big-block thrill” must step up and build their own four-rotor monster.

Adam did just that, joining a pair 13Bs at the hip by extending the dowel pins and through bolts to accommodate four housings. A one-inch aluminum plate was added in the sump area for extra rigidity.

The engine features a custom three-piece eccentric shaft that transfers the power to the drivetrain. Adam built the engine and gave the housings a peripheral porting and fitted the rotors with high-tech 2mm ceramic apex seals from NRS Seals.

The four-rotor inhales though a custom K&N infested airbox and exhales through a trick header that’s stepped from 1.75 inches to two inches before merging into a Burns Stainless Headers 4-into-1 collector and funneling into a 4.5-inch boom tube that exits at the passenger-side door.

A Haltech Platinum Sport 2000 ECU installed and wired by Sarah controls combustion. The fuel system features twin Bosch Motorsport fuel pumps feeding four 1200cc RC injectors while eight Chevy LS coils provide spark. This combination, tuned by Adam, battered the rollers to the tune of 610whp.

Adam says the biggest challenge in building the aftermarket four-rotor was the cooling system. He spent two weeks modifying the center housing to allow for better cooling.

The rotary relies on Davies Craig electric water pumps, a NASCAR radiator from Griffin and massive fans to control the coolant flow. Adam then monitored the temperature of the engine using five water temp senders located in various positions around the engine.

All that power is introduced to the pavement via an EMCO four-speed transmission fitted with a SPEC triple-plate Carbon/Carbon clutch, SPEC flywheel and a limited-slip rear differential provided by Tomei.

The high-strung Mazda is looking to make an impression in Formula DRIFT competition in 2010 with driver Charles Ng at the controls.

The RX-8 certainly looks the part with carbon-fiber hood, doors, trunk lid and roof from AIT Racing. An APR Performance GTC-500 rear wing provides tunable downforce in the rear, while an APR lip spoiler smoothes airflow up front. Adam cut, shaped and installed all Lexan windows in the RX-8 to enhance safety and further lighten the sleek coupe.

Inside, the car is ready for battle and any unfortunate impacts that may be in the cards. Adam fabricated the Mazda’s 10-point roll cage, installed a Momo steering wheel with Momo quick-release hub, and a Racepak IQ3 Dash with integrated datalogging system. He then trimmed the cockpit with carbon dash materials supplied by AIT Racing and dropped in a Momo Safari racing seat and Momo harness system.

Drifting puts a big emphasis on suspension. To this end, BMI is working with Eibach running the company’s shocks, springs and sway bars, along with the steering geometry magic that is needed to attain those crazy angles.

A good set of brakes can earn their salary in an instant by keeping the car off the wall when the drift goes awry. In the BMI RX-8, Disc Brakes Australia (DBA) rotors are squeezed by Brembo calipers and Pagid pads. The Mazda runs 14-inch DBA rotors up front and 13-inchers out back.

Look for this “big-block rotary” monster on the Formula D trail in 2010; the party starts April 8th in Long Beach, California.

BMI Racing’s 2009 Mazda RX-8
Naturally Aspirated Peripheral Port 4 Rotor
NRS 2 piece 2mm Ceramic Apex Seals
Mazda Dry Sump Front Cover
4 x 1200cc RC Injectors
Fuel rail supplied by RC Injectors
Slide Throttle
K&N Air Filters
Custom Carbon Fiber Air Box
Haltech Sport 2000
Racepak IQ3 Data Logging Dash
Griffin Radiator with oil heat exchanger
2 x Davies Craig Electric Water Pumps
2 x Davies Craig 16" Electric Fans
2 x Davies Craig 12" Electric Fans
Burns Stainless Headers, 4 into 1 Collector, Transition and boom tube
2 x Bosch Motorsport Fuel Pumps
Fragola Performance Systems - Fittings and hose for the Oiling System and Fuel System
Hose Techniques - Intake System, and cooling system
Pure Power Lubricants and Stainless Steel Filters
Odyssey Battery - Extreme Racing 30
SPEC triple plate carbon carbon clutch
SPEC Flywheel
Tilton Bell housing
Tilton Super Starter
4 Speed EMCO Transmission
ACPT Custom Carbon Fiber Drive Shaft
1.5 way Tomei Limited Slip Differential
Progress Auto front and rear sway bars
Fragola Performance System Brake Lines
Disc Brakes Australia brake rotors front and rear
Brembo Brake Calipers
Tilton 600 Series Pedal Assembly
Tilton remote adjustable brake bias

AIT Racing Carbon Fiber Hood
AIT Racing Carbon Fiber Doors
AIT Racing Carbon Fiber Trunk
AIT Racing Carbon Fiber Roof
AIT Racing Carbon Fiber interior panels
APR Performance GTC-500 Adjustable Rear Wing
APR Performance Rear Diffuser
APR Performance Front Splitter
3 x GoPro Motorsports Hero Wide Angle Camera

MOMO Steering wheel
MOMO WTCC Quick release hub
MOMO Safari Racing Seat
MOMO 6 point Safety Harness
Lexan Windows
8 Point Roll cage

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