DOGA KOYUNCU ARGUABLY BUILT THE ULTIMATE RX7 RACE CAR

15.11.2018

When it comes to partnerships, we try to keep track of most of them. But as every country and dealer is independent, we sometimes come across some great local partnerships. A bright red Motul coloured Mazda RX7 popped up on our social media. It belongs to Doga Koyuncu, a rally engineer from Cyprus who’s arguably built the ultimate RX7 race car.

 

DOGA KOYUNCU ARGUABLY BUILT THE ULTIMATE RX7 RACE CAR

Doga, tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your story?

I’m a rally mechanic and engineer from Cyprus, where I have my own workshop. I build and prepare rally cars to compete in rallies all over the globe. I used to travel the world myself as a rally engineer and mechanic for a team competing in the World Rally Championship. I also race and rally myself. I’ve done various rallies in Mitsubishi Evo’s and so on, and I compete in the hill-climb championship with my Mazda RX7.

 

Doga, tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your story?

So, the RX7 - we want to know all about it.

It’s my project car. I’ve owned it for almost ten years now. When I got it in 2009, I started tinkering with it, and it was my every day car. Cyprus is so small, you could actually drive a race car to work. So, I did. After a while, I started doing some competitions in the car. I started out with some track days and time attack competitions. But after a while, I got bored with racing on the track and started doing hill-climbing and became champion in the rear-wheel drive category. After the season, I wanted to rebuild the rotary engine in the car, but rotary engines are extremely expensive to maintain… I decided to perform an entire engine swap to an American V8. The infamous Corvette LS engine provided the perfect solution. At first, I didn’t like the sound of the V8, and I missed the screaming rotary engine. But later that year, I became overall hill-climb champion, leaving all the AWD cars like the Lancer Evo’s behind me in a rear-wheel driven car. So eventually, I got over the different engine noise.

 

So, the RX7 - we want to know all about it.

Why did you pick hill-climbing?

Cyprus doesn’t have many tracks, but we do have a lot of beautiful mountain roads. So naturally, rally and hill-climbing are popular in our country. What I really love about hill-climbing is how easy it is to get involved. You can literally show up with almost any car. The field is really diverse. The other thing I love about it is that it really sets the driver apart, and not the car. In time attack or track racing, if you have a great car and you drive a pretty clean line, you can actually win. In hill-climbing, it’s all about the driver, because you don’t have much time to practice, and you have to get it right from the get-go.

 

Why did you pick hill-climbing?

The RX7 looks like the perfect drift car, is that something you would consider pursuing?

It’s funny that you say that, because drifting might be the most popular form of motorsport in Cyprus. We have a few teams competing in the King of Europe championship. I guess the torquey V8 might make it an ideal candidate, yes, and it seems like a lot of fun. But it’s a judged sport, and personally, I’m too competitive for that. I mean, in hill-climbing, the first four cars to finish are all within a second of each other. That means, we’re fighting over tenths of seconds and I love that. When you lose time, you can also tell where you lost it. In drifting, on one run, you might get 80 points and on the second run an 84, without really being able to say why. I couldn’t live with that.
 

The RX7 looks like the perfect drift car, is that something you would consider pursuing?

We don’t think there are two logos that work better together on one car than KitKat and Motul…

(laughs) I love the way it looks too. In its original version, the car actually used to be black. I was still developing it, so I thought it would make sense to give it a camouflaged prototype wrap. In the last season, I came to talk with a childhood friend who’s the local Motul importer. We have put the Motul logo on the car together. The KitKat logo comes from one of the biggest customers of my shop, who’s a rally driver and also imports Nestlé products. He wanted to support me, so that’s how I’ve ended up with a Motul/KitKat RX7.

 

We don’t think there are two logos that work better together on one car than KitKat and Motul…

What makes Motul just a cut above the rest for you?

I’ve been working with Motul forever, and especially in a hot country like this, it works really well.  Motul is just always able to cope with the high engine temperatures, especially because it cools down really fast afterwards. We did a comparison on track, and you could actually measure the difference. I use all kinds of technology on my car - traction control, a data logger, you name it, but I don’t have an oil cooler… I don’t need it.

 

What makes Motul just a cut above the rest for you?
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