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2017 Mazda 3 GT hatch
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took the 3 out last weekend for my first ever autocross to Summit Point Motorway in WV (~1.5 hours outside of DC).

While Saturday was a rainy mess, the Mazda's stability control really helps you avoid trouble. It got squirrelly a few times, but didn't spin out once even driving at speeds I'd never attempt on public roads during rainy weather.

On day 2, it was nice and dry, albeit chilly, and I was surprised how neutral the handling was on the Mazda3. Whereas most front drivers are all understeer, the 3 was neutral and would oversteer a bit before the stability control kicked in, letting you have fun while keeping things safe. I definitely can see the car would have lots of potential with a suspension tune, but not sure I'd want to pay with a firmer ride day-to-day.

Also, check out how nice it looked on the track!
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Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tire

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I took the 3 out last weekend for my first ever autocross to Summit Point Motorway in WV (~1.5 hours outside of DC).

While Saturday was a rainy mess, the Mazda's stability control really helps you avoid trouble. It got squirrelly a few times, but didn't spin out once even driving at speeds I'd never attempt on public roads during rainy weather.

On day 2, it was nice and dry, albeit chilly, and I was surprised how neutral the handling was on the Mazda3. Whereas most front drivers are all understeer, the 3 was neutral and would oversteer a bit before the stability control kicked in, letting you have fun while keeping things safe. I definitely can see the car would have lots of potential with a suspension tune, but not sure I'd want to pay with a firmer ride day-to-day.

Also, check out how nice it looked on the track!
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Glad u had fun. I think that'd more be called a Driver Ed kind of event rather than an autocross (which typically is held on a parking lot and uses cones) but I suppose running an autocross on a road course, well, is an autoslalom too, albeit at considerably higher speeds, higher gears.

Good fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Glad u had fun. I think that'd more be called a Driver Ed kind of event rather than an autocross (which typically is held on a parking lot and uses cones) but I suppose running an autocross on a road course, well, is an autoslalom too, albeit at considerably higher speeds, higher gears.

Good fun.
Yeah definitely got up to higher speeds...I think hit 70 mph on the straight...the Tesla in the competition hit 90 mph on that same straight. Feel a bit spoiled that my first time was on a proper raceway.

We were on the smallest of the three tracks, the Jefferson Circuit, which had a scary blind curve as you drove up an incline. The biggest track at that motorway, the Shenandoah circuit, is supposed to be pretty challenging...the Porsche Club of America rented that one the same weekend.
 

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2012 Mazda 3 GX MT5 non sky
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looks like a cool autocross
Almost track like
 
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Summit Point! I used to go there several times each season back in the day, starting in the mid-80s (as a spectator, no on track time for me, lol). I was quite disappointed when IMSA stopped going there. It was\is a great place to watch races with plenty of roaming access. I haven't been for years but have lots of good memories from there. I just checked their schedule for this year and saw this is Jefferson 500 vintage weekend. I wish I had known earlier. :( But it's supposed to be pretty wet and sloppy again this weekend.

Was your Mazda full on stock with the original OEM tires? How did your brakes hold up? :)
 

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Nothing better than track time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Was your Mazda full on stock with the original OEM tires? How did your brakes hold up? :)
Yeah totally stock minus those crappy Dunlops that came with it...I actually replaced them with Pirelli P7 Cinturato Plus 2's, which are touring tires, for less road noise and smoother ride. In retrospect, I'd maybe try to Conti DWS06, but for a touring tire, the Pirelli's def. held their own.

The track was really cool and I'm kind of addicted now!
 
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