2013's Mazda Mega Gathering at Sepang Circuit was a tremendous success with numerous sponsors and participation of over 100 Mazda car owners coming from various part of Malaysia, Singapore and even Thailand. This year however, the organisers laid back for a bit from the hectic planning and instead, organised a small RX8 Mega Gathering on October 25th, a 2D1N trip to Port Dickson.
RX8 Club Malaysia invited me to join their expedition with fellow RX8 members to Eagle Ranch Resort, packed with fun activities like Go kart & Treasure Hunt. It was a rare opportunity to cover such event and therefore, I got my gears prepared for this exciting RX8-only event. Let's go!
Since there were RX8 members coming afar from South, the main organiser Mr Dan split the team into two - Central Team (KL + Northern Drivers) and Southern Team (Johor Bahru + Singapore Drivers) with each team having to gather at separate meet up point.
As for me, I was with the Central Team. By 9am, many RX8 owners arrived at Dengkil R&R on the ELITE highway ready to make the most awesome convoy of the day, to the final meet up point, grouping up with the Southern Team.
Before that, Mr Dan (Left) had to say a few important words to all. One, which is to always abide by the road safety, and two, overtaking is strictly not allowed during convoy.
The rotary owners prepped themselves before starting the 1 hour journey to Port Dickson.
Off we go to PD! The convoy of 10 RX8s was such a beautiful sight and often got the onlookers attention, until we entered the busy North-South Expressway. The terrible traffic congestion delayed our 1 hour journey and broke the 10-car convoy line.
I was fortunate to meet Mr Jacky from Ipoh who gladly offered me to be his passenger throughout the 2D1N event. He shared countless interesting stories, from how he decided to choose RX8 over other sports car, to his passion for driving fast, real fast!
Yes, Mr Jacky is quite the Macgyver type of driver. He DIY most of things himself like unlocking the 180km/h speed limiter (for some reason :D), installing a stiffer suspension and grippy tyres, and swapping the original Japan LCD panel to a working live rear view camera during car parking.
If you notice, there are two extra built-in switches on the center panel behind the gear knob. The left switch is a throttle controller - it gives the car a better acceleration response and easily achieved the car's top speed when switched on. The right switch is a time-controlled fan to cool down its hot rotary after the engine is turned off. Mr Jacky custom built things to make his driving sensation better.
After escaping the crawling traffic, we grouped up with Southern Team at Port Dickson Toll and continued the drive to our first lunch stop at PD Waterfront City.
Immediately, we arrived at Kim's Seafood Palace to find ample unoccupied parking space which nicely fit 23 unique Mazdas of the same model.
Plus another one which came later and sums up to a total of 24 Mazda RX8s in this important gathering event. :D
RX8 has been around with us for about 10 years since its first produced in 2003, as a replacement of the greatest Mazda sports car of all time, the RX7. Keeping the rotary tradition alive, the RX8 runs on a 1.3L 13B-MSP Renesis (NA) Wankel engine powering 250hp (highest model offered) to its rear wheels.
Although newer non-turbo RX8 might not be comparable with the powerful RX7 in terms of raw performance, the evolved 13B engine improves fuel consumption and reduces exhaust emission, thus earning various engine awards. This was a great achievement for Mazda.
Either the 1st gen or 2nd gen models, they both are popular among car enthusiasts around the world. With plenty of aftermarket parts and conversions to choose from, many RX8 owners sought to further enhance the aesthetic look and car performance in their own way.
RX8 is indeed a unique sports car, and a practical one you could ever find at such price range. Small lightweight engine with high output, an appropriate near 50:50 weight distribution ratio, rear-wheel drive, four-door (two suicide doors) and tons of Mazda tech make the RX8 a competitive coupe in the market.
After the tasty lunch, the committee members conveniently passed out the 'RX8 Mega Gathering 2014' hoodie to all attendees, specially sponsored by Ray Motorsports, Fuji Motorsport, Kensei Auto Trading and Performance & Flo Racing.
We ♥ RX8!
Go-Kart was up next, at Extreme Park PD. With over 30 people, the organiser split the big crowd into four groups for qualifying. The two fastest go-kart racers of each groups will make the final race and contend for the championship.
There were a number of fast drivers that post very quick lap times around the track (maybe I was just too slow T_T). Perhaps the skills were hone from driving RX8?
You no RX8, you no join! :D
Same ride but very much different in every ways.
We were arriving to our last destination, the Eagle Ranch Resort, an American mid-western themed hotel where all of us would be spending our night at.
After a long journey on the highway, it was time for the cars to cool off and for everyone to check in to their rooms, wash up and get ready for …
… the dinner! Eagle Ranch Resort knew RX8 Club members were coming and they prepared a surprise welcome banner for us.
While enjoying the BBQ buffet, majority of the them were discussing about cars. I realised that many members in the club are car maniacs and they love sharing experiences of upkeeping these rotary machines to keep the RX8 spirit up running for many years to come.
Breakfast the next morning started around 8am and there was still one more group activity to carry out - the Treasure Hunt Game! The game was simple, find the objects spread throughout the location and first to arrive with right answers, wins the game!
Gotta catch them all!
Congratulations to all Treasure Hunters!
After the hotel checkout, it was time to say goodbye to Eagle Ranch Resort and we drove 25km back to PD Waterfront for a quick lunch bite at McDonald's, before officially calling it the end of the event.
Everyone had loads of fun during this 2 day trip, spending quality time catching up with friends of similar passion. I too, made some new friends, learnt few new things about Mazda's rotary legacy and of course, the new gained experience of riding with the RX8 family. Suddenly, there was hike in the desire to own a legit sports car of my own! RX9, perhaps? :D
Please enjoy more pictures at FB page, and don't forget to give it a 'like'. :D