The Fueltopia Barrel Sprint is a form of motorsport that is still well within its infancy, some have judged it from afar, others waiting for the right time to join and then there are people who have jumped in, not only with both feet, but with one hell of a cannonball!
Jason Wong has been with the FBS from the start, like many he has become one of the seeded regulars and at the last round took his first, well deserved, podium posistion. His Mazda RX-7 couldn't be missed in it's Tango, face-slapping, colour scheme, but now the car has changed...
The loudness has be dialled back for a moody mix of matt grey goodness that has massively enhanced the cars asthetic features. It looks as if a storm is brewing and with Jason tasting the sweet nectar of success, the duo are looking to bring the ruckas to the track on May 20th.
We caught up with Jason for some backround on how this RX-7 came to be
Scrolling amongst the many eBay listings daily found me crossing paths with what would indeed be the making of a journey, a test of friendships and a triumph over obstacles, but most of all, the determination of a few good men and women and faith of a good few.
This journey began in Dorset, among the green trees and small cottage homes laid a Mazda Rx 7. Laid in her blistering orange glow and sleek styling she looked lost among the population of land rovers and tractors. My heart raced with excitement to see how well she drove, to confirm my suspicion of a great steal. I sat in her, cuddled by the design cockpit that was inspired by Mazda aircraft heritage from the early start of the company. There has always been a strange sensation that aroused from the smell of an old sports car.
The return journey took some 4 hours, but with some disappointing results. Hoping a goodnights rest would cure the suspicion of a dodgy car, I put my rest and assured myself it would probably be something little and small. Behold the next morning, we raised her up on to ramps with great difficulty to be introduced to a world a problems. The years of abuse were very well covered by a splash of cosmetic magic. As Rob and Justin from the garage began to take charge, the list of things that needed doing began, and the dollars in my savings began to drain. Everything from bearings to drop links to silicon hoses to gaskets needed doing. My faith took a shaking, but to those who knew me, I would never give up on anything, no matter how bad.
With the deadline of the next barrel sprint in mind, some 4 months later, I began to build in my mind a goal, I began to take the car to bits in my mind and rebuild her, and after some weeks of pondering. I made a thought into a process.
Armed with nothing more then a basic understanding of the rotary, and with the Help of Rob and Justine, we began the tiresome and frustrating job. Many around us laugh at our attempts, others helped. This was soon to be a true testament of who would stand behind this build and hold the faith.
First was ordering the parts, and for anyone out there who has an rx7, you know the difficulty, with the high cost of Dealer only parts, this looked gloom. Lucky for us a London supplier of rx7 came to our aid, armed with spares and his endless knowledge of the car. Omar from rxspares.co.uk quickly became my number one speed dial number. The race was on, parts flew in from Japan, couriers from all over the UK, and the local distributers at motor serve and Unipart channeled in all that was needed.
Nights never ended at the garage, the droopy eyes showing signs that tomorrow had to be another day. Four weeks and some 140 hours had passed and we still hadn’t made full headway on her. Moral was low, did I bite more then I could chew?
The teams now from three reduce to one, I couldn't blame them. The lights at the end of the tunnel seem more like a flicker of a candlewick on its last thread.
Not wanting to face defeat, I took a drive to the local cruise at the hockey stadium to cheer myself up. Standing there, I saw the many cars and projects around me, some of stunning builds. Returning home didn't help either as fuel topia began to post pictures of some sexy cars.
The next morning, something changed, I found some cosmic energy surging, that or the cans of monster had finally kicked in.” right lets do this “. The fbs barrel sprint was only 3 weeks away, it was time to put pedal to the metal. My diet of posh steak and chips at my daily job turned into midnight kebabs and McDonalds breakfast before crawling into bed, some four hours before my day job started.
Needless to say, we did it. We got the car to the start line and we drifted round the barrels. There was something still missing, was the fact that the car was running not enough to put a smile on my face, or was it that I didn't write the smug faces off the people who laughed at me from the beginning. It was the second.
As the saying goes, back to the drawing board it was. I wanted to show them, I wanted something I could stand next to that was testament to never giving up, I wanted to show those who mock my ideas that I could pull this off. And this grace came in the form of Richard and Diane and the team at Akeley bodyworks, Steve at Green light Autos, Rob and Justine with their valuable time and tools, Chris Tsang with his indebt knowledge, and of course Omar, Mr. Rx7 Himself.
Sitting in a barn, we are looked at the Rx7, this was shortly after round 1 of the fbs. We looked at each other, signed and hummed, tisk and scratch our heads, then as if god himself gave us will, we huddled together. The pictures like words tell the story of where we are, this is where it began, the rest is still unwritten.
A massive thank you to Richard and Diane Henderson and all the team at Akeley Bodyworks, this car is a true testimony of your dedication and hard work to bodywork and your projects. It is without doubt I wouldn't be here standing proud if it wasn't for you guys, everything from the wrapping, the graphics to the shirt printings to me winning, you guys gave me faith when it was nearly lost. Please check them out on face book for a more in depth build of the car.
Steve at Green light Autos, apart from being grumpy a lot, your workmanship got me to third place, and the trophy belongs to you.
To Omar at Rx spares…DUDE…. Ahamduallah.
Special thanks goes to Rob Henry and Justin Johnstone for helping me through the mechanics and long nights, the loan of tools. Thank you guys
To David at 4x4 Mud Devil recovery and Repairs- MR Disco and his trailer service
To Marc Little at Plunge Studios, Marc your pictures hide the hard journey it was, but shows the brilliance of you and your eye for great photos.
To Alex at Abgraphics- mate you have a lot of heart, thank you for being apart of this project too.
To Simon, Tom and Camilla at Percy’s BBQ delivery Milton Keynes, Thank you for the amazing grub, the extra work that paid for my wheels, and for all the support.
And last but not least, Everyone, Fuel Topia and the drivers at Fbs. your passion and moral support have been amazing. Let this remind us that together, anything is possible. Please come see the car at the Bhp show, and help support the event, come meet the people behind the project, but most of all, come see proof that no matter how hard it looks, when you have like minded people around you, anything’s possible.