MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development recently added a new chapter to its storied racing history as Ed Bergenholtz's PRO-FWD MAZDA6 dragster officially became the first import-nameplate front-wheel drive vehicle to tackle the quarter-mile in less than eight seconds.
With a time of 7.934 seconds at nearly 184 miles per hour, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development and Bergenholtz now are members of an elite group of high-octane, high-speed performers.
Bergenholtz's record-setting run occurred on Oct. 23 at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Sport Compact World Finals at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif. The seven-second barrier has been the brass ring for many front-wheel drive competitors in years past, and prior to Bergenholtz's blistering run, the only teams to grasp it have been multi-million dollar factory programs from domestic nameplate manufacturers.
"MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development's commitment to competition shines through once again - this time on the drag strip," said Steve Sanders, manager, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development. "We share a common passion and dedication with Bergenholtz Racing, and we knew that reaching the seven-second mark was not a question of if, but when."
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development and Bergenholtz have catapulted import drag racing to a new level with their historic feat, further establishing their performance pedigree in drag racing and earning the respect of competitors and race fans alike.
While domestic-backed competitors have spent millions of dollars and numerous years transforming existing engines into 1200-horsepower beasts, the MAZDASPEED engineers worked closely with Bergenholtz Racing to unleash the capabilities of Mazda's 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder powerplant in under two years. This cautious, empirical attitude allowed for unique solutions to problems such as clutch-grab at launch and traction control, which gave Bergenholtz unique advantages over his competition.