Ken Scheepers (pronounced Skippers) has been drag racing since only 2001. In 2003, he was just 8 points shy of the NHRA All Motor championship! His car, a 1985 Mazda RX-7, is powered by a Peripheral Ported 13b. With consistant low 10's, this car and driver show how powerful a non-turbo 1st gen can be. About half way through 2004, he will start campaigning a brand new RX-8.
Last month, we sent out a call for questions, and he has now answered them. Click through to read what he says!
Daemon Krag --
1. I read you are from SA. What is the drag racing scene like down there?
I left SA in 1985, I was not aware of anyone drag racing. Most
automobile racing was road racing. However, now it is catching on as
I receive email from there supporting me. Thanks to TV coverage.
2. It appears in the picture above that the rear hatch window has a flap type
of door built into it? What's this all about, and what's it do?
hatch is the “window” that allows access and permits me to fill
my gas tank that is located in the back.
3.Will your drag RX-8 be a MSPRE, or the exact oppisite: a perif-port?
For now, the plan is to use the current motor which is P-Port, intake and exhaust. I do plan to test the new motor with P-Port intake and side exhaust when I have time and finances.
4. Whatever the decision, why did you decide one over the other?
The Current motor configuration makes great horsepower and torque.
5. When you move to the RX8 platform, will you be transferring the RX7 PP
engine into the new car or using a new engine?
Yes, and that will also include the transmission.
6. With injected PP 13b's making up to around the 350hp mark these days (that
sound right?), what does your current engine make?
Around that mark or a little higher.
7. Would a renesis base provide any scope for improvements in power for a race engine?
I am not sure yet. We will have to wait and see. There is a lot less overlap than the P-Port motor so we are not sure what it will do.
8. Why would you move to a much heavier car when weight is so much an issue with N/A cars? Or are you planning to use forced induction?
goal is to have it at the minimum weight of 2050 lbs including the
driver. It will be close.
Is it possible to use the renesis as a parts bin for a 13b PP block?
use the lighter rotors)
we are trying the rotors, shaft and counter weights currently in a
10. When are you going to stick a turbo on your car?
Not any time soon. The NHRA rules do not permit power adders.
11. Are the rotary drawbacks like poor gas mileage and low speed torque
We certainly are not concerned with gas mileage in drag racing. I use about ¾ gallon in each ¼ mile pass.
low torque is a disadvantage. We just operate the engine in a very
close power band that utilizes all the power and torque plus RPM.
12. How often do you change/rebuild engines, tranny's, and rear ends?
Engines: they are checked and freshened up after each event if necessary.
Transmission: when needed.
Rear-End: They last ½ a season. The ring and pinion is replaced.
13. How much horsepower do you think you will be able to get out of the RENESIS without turbocharging it?
sure. See above.
Ben Tresire --
14. How different is racing the RX-8 from the RX-7?
have not made the change yet. However, my expectations are that it
will be more stable and aerodynamic which should make it a little
faster. I hope.