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Sibling Rivalry

Two quick Mazdas from the same family.

By Brian White

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Is this the ultimate case of sibling rivalry? Two brothers, two rotary Mazdas, two seconds apart over the quarter mile! The slowest car runs a low 12 second pass - so I guess you can work out the other one.

Andrew and Chris Tarrant from Grafton on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales own this pair of bullet-quick rice burners. Over the last couple of years the boys have been swapping places for the title of fastest RX in the family. Currently the record is held by Andrew in his '74 Series 2 RX3 sedan - running a 10.8 last October at Willowbank Raceway in Queensland.

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To his credit Andrew has done most of the work on the car himself. Under the hood of the Ford Dynamic White coloured RX3 hides a stock standard 13B Turbo motor out of a Series 4 RX7 running a MicroTech MTX8 ECU fuel injection system. I can hear you thinking that the turbo then must be a TO3? Guess again - it's also the standard Series 4 high flow model. Impressed? The 3-inch exhaust system and manifold were custom made and complimented by a Maz-Fix Turbo muffler. After many attempts at getting power from off-the-shelf products, Andrew found that following the custom route was the most efficient way to go. He designed and had custom made the intercooler plumbing and blow-off valve as well as the airbox - then took it all a step further by cutting down the intercooler straight from a large truck!

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Maz-Fix in Queensland supplied the lightened flywheel and heavy-duty clutch and again the gearbox is straight out of a Series 4 RX7. Now anyone who has owned a quick rotary knows that Mazda was not all that good at keeping the rear ends of its cars intact under so much horsepower. The answer in this case was to rip the 4.1 LSD differential and uni joints out of a Toyota Hilux and stitch them onto a 3-inch tailshaft. This option alone was pleasing enough to the drag racing crowd as the car lifts its front wheels on hard takeoffs!

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I've been in a lot of fast cars that can make your hair stand on end from sheer speed and I've been in a lot that make your hair fall out with fear when you realise that they never spent any money on brakes! The latter has never being a problem in Andrew's case - his RX3 is sporting 295mm cross-drilled discs with Series Four 4-spot alloy callipers on the front and the Hilux brakes on the rear.

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These are neatly hidden behind a set of Simmons F15 rims measuring 15x7 on the front and 15x8 on the back end. There's a lot of nice little suspension touches such as the adjustable brake proportioning valve and twin swaybars with castor blocks. In fact every single steering and suspension part has been either overhauled or replaced completely.

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"I drove the car up to Nerang to Chip Torque's dyno," Andrew commented, "running at 15psi the damn thing is pushing out 273hp at the rear wheels.......I'm pretty happy with that. I've spent over $30,000 on the car it's left my wallet a little light!" Even so - it's a small price to pay to be in the coveted 10 second bracket.

As I mentioned above, Andrew has a younger brother, Chris, who also was born with a severe case of Rotor-itis. Chris owns a pearl painted 1971 Series 1 RX2 sedan, with a Series 2 grille and headlights. He also has a standard non-ported Series 4 RX7 13B turbo under the hood with a big TO4 turbocharger and the same MicroTech MTX8 injection system.

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It makes an interesting comparison between the RX2/3 series as Chris's car has an identical cut-down truck intercooler, custom blow off valve, lightened flywheel and heavy duty clutch, custom manifold, wastegate and 3-inch exhaust and muffler to his big brother. The difference between the two cars lies mainly in the suspension, diff, and brakes which are pretty much slightly better than as it was when it left the showroom. I guess it shows where a little better weight and handling is concerned it can make all the difference also in speed.

At the Queensland Jamboree in '99 the RX2 ran 12.40 at 119.7 mph on street slicks. Cranked up to 15psi it actually produces two more horsepower at 275HP at the rear wheels. Both cars run on Premium Unleaded petrol.

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Despite the current state of affairs between the two siblings, it looks as though Chris may have the ultimate revenge. Andrew has decided to leave his RX3 as it is, while Chris is preparing for purchase of a triple rotor 20B. He has already bought the custom number plates (which resided on the RX2 the day of the photoshoot) but is still debating over whether to install it in his current ride, or sell the RX2 and drop the 20B in a new project.

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Heaven help you if you ever end up in between these boys at a traffic light race!

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