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Posted this on the mazda3forums, figured I might as well copy paste it here. Why are there two Mazda 3 forums that get about equal traffic?

Had the chance to take the SkyActiv 3 out for a spin at Buttonwillow. Here are my notes:

1. Car had a Mazdaspeed 3 rear anti-roll bar. Other than that it was completely stock, including stock brake pads and stock 16" grand touring all season tires. Car is also an automatic.

2. I ran a total of 4 timed laps. The first was warm up, the second was a 2:32.4 and I was blocked at the end of the lap by a S2000, the third was a complete waste since the S2000 wouldn't give me a point by, and the fourth was my best at 2:31.55. (I was running in a pretty low run group for fun.)

3. By the 4th lap the stock brakes were cooked and the pedal was getting long.

4. None of my laps were anywhere close to optimal. The lines I usually use were not the best for the 3 as the 3 just does not have any corner exit whatsoever. That's not surprising since the car is 155 hp and FF. This is also my commuter so I was being careful not to risk anything. I left multiple seconds on the table that should be easily attainable.

5. The transmission has a delay on upshift, so it's best to ask for a higher gear about 500 rpm shy of redline. Downshifts were nice and fast and rev-matched.

6. With the speed 3 bar, the car is nicely balanced. The car will rotate with trail braking. The suspension soaks up bumps nicely. More low speed damping would be nice as the car can be a little snappy during transitions such as through Cotton Corners.

7. Going forward the 3 might see a couple more trackdays in the dead of winter when the temperature is low enough that I don't want to take the Lotus. I plan to fit some 3s brakes and appropriate fluid to try to cure the fade. Since this is a commuter, track pads are out. However, I have a feeling a mild sport pad like the HPS might be enough to survive. I also have a set of NC wheels that will be shod with some ultra high performance all seasons so that should improve grip.

8. Overall, the car was surprisingly fun to drive. It was like playing with a puppy.
 

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Sounds like you had fun. Any chance of getting some videos next time? Did you see any any new 2014 MZ3s?
 

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Sounds like you had fun. Any chance of getting some videos next time? Did you see any any new 2014 MZ3s?
Not sure when the next time will be, but I'll try to get some video. I have some telemetry, let me see if I can upload it...

There were no 2014 Mazda 3s. In fact, Mazda 3s in general are extremely uncommon at track days. I was at the track as support and ended up getting a session since my friend was taking off for the day. I'm sure some people did a double take when they saw a stock Mazda 3 lining up with the S2000s, 911s, Civic Si and Type R clones, M3s, and the one brand new XKR-S.
 
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