Ever since Pettit Racing UK was set up, we have been using a UK based RX8 (in fact a couple) as development cars both for RHD testing of products (e.g Pettit Supercharger, which required a few tweaks for RHD fitment, which is sadly no longer in production as it was awesome!) and also for new product development, for example the awesome Pettit Racing modular exhaust system.
You can see more about the other UK demo car here:
The car was brand new when purchased, and it lead to the creation of Pettit Racing UK, as I was searching for power upgrades for my new car, but couldn't find anything in the UK, nor any rotary specialists that I would have been happy leaving my RX8 with.
It was lightening yellow, with Chrome wheels (the first ones in the UK!)
As mentioned initially the power was my aim, as I loved the looks and ride and interior.
Pettit Racing came across as the only company I found who were dealing with the RX8 as a standalone different car, not just an RX7+1. A trip across the Atlantic soon got things started!
The first two modifications were simple but fantastic.
The Pettit Racing supercharger system was installed for an immediate transformation. Wow!
The plan was to show that the car could stay stock aside from a lump of lovely power. And it worked very well! To complement it and the stealth install, an HKS Camp 2 system was installed. It too can no longer be purchased! argh! It plugged straight into the SatNav screen onboard with a little Pettit Racing trickery...
Great figures as you can see. At max 7.8 psi boost it was pushing 329 g/s air flow! (around 300 + hp!)
Not mention playing Buju Banton on the 8's great stereo....
Once it was shown that the Pettit charger was all you NEEDED, it was time to see what we WANTED...
A BBK kit was developed, (again currently unavailable, but something we hope to remedy shortly!) and Pettit Trak Pro suspension was fitted - COILOVERS and Front Anti Roll Bar . While the car was supercharged that was all that was required, but when we removed the supercharger in order to get the car ready for competitive sprinting, we added an Eibach Rear Roll Bar. Handling and braking were now also supercharged!
As you can see from the pic, new wheels were also added to give the rear some more traction with all that power. OZ Racing Ultraleggeras in a staggered fitment of 18" x 8" up front and 18" x 9" rears, shod with Yokohama Advan Sports (245 + 265). Again when de-charged, we swapped the wheels out as all that tyre at the back was just adding weight when the traction bonus was no longer needed. We now run Yokohama Advan NEOVA semis, in 225/45/18 all round as per stock.
We stayed with OZ of course but showcased their more affordable Sparco Range, in Bronze, then in Black as part of our redevelopment project alongside BANZAI magazine.
ALL these wheels added a must. LIGHTNESS! Rotational weight is super important for RX8 performance tuning and the wheels are a great chance to enhance this.
The Exhaust system was fully developed by now, and we are VERY proud that we have created what we regard to be the best looking, best sounding and most flexible and best performing system out there...
The engine also went through a rebuild after a seemingly simple development program centred on fuelling caused no end of grief. First a dying OEM pump caused a problem when on trak at Castle Combe (at Japfest!) then the NEW pump was faulty and immediately caused an issue the first time back on track at Blyton Park. Garrr!
Still the chance was taken to add a Pettit built engine, and also throw some more heat-shielding into the engine bay, as well as removing excess weight and relocating the battery to the rear. Further steps were taken to perfect cooling by adding a new Pro Alloy radiator. (Pic shows Pro Alloy on left, koyo middle and OEM right). The engine cooling was further aided by adding a Greddy Oil Pan, something we recommend for any track bound 8
Pettit Racing regard Protek as a MUST for all rotaries, new and old race or street.
As the car was used for a lot of track work both for fun and in competition it was time for some more track focussed upgrades. It came 3rd in a Redline magazine Sprint shootout against a host of UK tuner cars, and was only beaten by the 2 Fensport Racecars! that were there, the 600hp+ Celiica time attack car, and the Corolla Sprint Championship car...both on full slicks, stripped and caged. The Pettit demo RX8 was in full road trim, on road tyres, with AC, stereo and everything else!. The Corolla beat it by 0.1 secs, and the Celica by0.4. It also won the Rotorstock Sprint championship and came in 3rd the following year, defending the title!
Track work had proven the OEM leather seats were sadly lacking in grip, and a Drift Mugello carbon Kevlar one was put in instead. Not a full race seat as we wanted to keep road and holiday fun and flexibility, as it is slideable and reclineable, for other drivers to use.
As you can see with those side bolsters, no more sliding around! Fantastic.... and it also added more lightness...Win win!
The car is still ongoing in its development and we hope to be competing a fair bit in MSA Sprints next season in 2016, so stay tuned for more updates..... You can read more in Banzai Magazine too...