SARD Racing - A Hybrid History

SARD Racing is a well-recognized name in the world of Toyota/Lexus racing and parts tuning, and rightfully so. SARD haslong been a participant in motor racing, and has been a Toyota backed team for over 3 decades. SARD Racing’s efforts and long-standing partnership with Toyota has allowed them to help each other in a number of ways, most notably in the development of the world’s first racing hybrid system.

The Toyota Hybrid Le Mans racing project has enjoyed a number of victories in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), with their first hybrid entry in 2012. At the time, the TS030 Hybrid was the first gasoline-hybrid racecar to compete in the WEC, yet this wasn’t Toyota’s first experimentation with hybrid racing technology. In 2006, SARD Racing was able to enter into the Tokachi 24-hour endurance race with a Lexus GS450h with Toyota’s support. The Lexus GS450h had a combined output of 341 bhp, the same as the standard roadgoing car, however the hybrid system was fitted with a capacitor as racing conditions require rapid recharging and discharging which the standard nickel-metal hydride battery would not be able to provide. The car able to finish the race in 17th out of 33rd place without any problems.

Image Source - Toyota

Following the success of the GS450h, SARD and Toyota used the precious data taken from the 2006 Tokachi race to develop a fully purpose-built racing hybrid system for the 2007 season. The racecar used for this race started out in life as a GT500 Specification MK4 Toyota Supra which was equipped with a naturally aspirated 480PS 4.5L V8, however the hybrid system added a 150kw motor/generator unit (MGU) across the rear axle and two 10kW in each front wheel, effectively making the car all-wheel drive. Although the power available to the front wheels was miniscule, its main advantage was being able to recover energy at more locations. Instead of a heavy hybrid battery like the one used in the GS450h, only the fast-acting capacitor was used for storing and supplying electrical power, allowing the Supra to weigh in at just 1,080 kg. 

Image source - Toyota

The hybrid Supra, dubbed the HV-R ran a trouble free 616 laps (1,944 miles) in the 24 hours, placing first place overall and 19 laps ahead of the second-place finisher. In addition, the hybrid system allowed for the Supra HV-R to achieve 10% better fuel economy over the GS450h while having more power; the 10kW MGUs on each wheel reduced the front brake wear by less than half of what was initially expected. The Supra HV-R became the first hybrid racecar to win a race and laid down the framework for Toyota’s future hybrid programs.

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Autoexe Product Reviews (Mazda CX-5)

A collection of Autoexe parts reviews for the Mazda CX-5. This will be continuously updated and is listed from newest to oldest review. For Japanese reviews, they have been translated to English. 

Name: San-Chan
Location: Nagano prefecture, Japan
Vehicle: Mazda CX-5 (KF)
Date: 10/06/2021
Parts used: Strut Tower Bar, Lower Arm Bar, Floor Cross Bar

I previously had a KE Mazda CX-5, after switching to the KF model, I bought the Autoexe strut tower bar and floor cross bar. The lower arm bar I was able to re-use from my KE. When coupled with G-vector control, the tightness of the car's body has increased, and cornering has become very comfortable.

Name: Mr. Sun
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Vehicle: Mazda CX-5 (KF)
Date: 10/06/2021
Parts used: Sports Damper, Low Down Spring

Half a year after taking delivery of my car, I decided to install new suspension components. Since my previous car had sports suspension, I was aiming to tighten up the fluffly ride quality of the CX-5. There is noticeable ruggedness when driving on rough roads, which makes me wonder if going to a smaller size from 19" wheels will make the ride gentler. In addition, the feeling of acceleration has increased compared to the factory suspension. I suspect that this is due to the fact that the rear tension is increased when accelerating. 

I am totally satisfied with the suspension. It was installed by a Mazda dealer so that the safety equipment of the car would be adjusted at the same time. In the future, I want to experience the handling differences on the highway.

Name: Toyama
Location: N/A
Vehicle: Mazda CX-5 (KF)
Date: 8/24/2021
Parts used: Shift Knob

This is my second review following my post regarding the muffler. I was always interested in the Autoexe shift knob so I decided to buy it. As expected, the fit is excellent., giving the car a whole new image with just a small change. If you are considering buying this product, I highly recommend it!

Name: Uri
Location: Niigata, Japan
Vehicle: Mazda CX-5 (KF)
Date: 7/19/2021
Parts used: Sports Side Visor

I purchased the Autoexe sports visor at the time of delivery as the price was the same as the OEM visor. I am satisified with the casual coolness of the visor. I don't know the functional difference from the OEM visor, however in the spring and autumn season I can drive the car with the windows open, making the best use of this product without turning on the air conditioner. 

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New & Incoming Items from Autoexe this month!

We're getting a large stocking order from Autoexe this month - see what we're getting before it arrives. All listed products will ship from our facility (No dropship). 

The AutoExe Adjustable Tie Rods allow lowered vehicles to adjust the angle of the tie rods, putting them back into their intended position, rather than at an angle. This reduces bump steer and other unwanted problems associated with off-angle tie rods. 


  • Installation takes 1 hour.  
  • Constructed from forged carbon steel
  • Fits KE Models only. See separate listing for KF model. 
Click here to check out the AutoExe Sports Tie Rods - Mazda CX-5 (KE)

Autoexe Front Strut Tower Bar (KE & KF)

To achieve better handling for the Mazda CX-5, AutoExe has manufactured a one-piece steel strut tower bar that has welded on brackets. Binding the right and left strut towers together will prevent chassis flexing and increase handling when going into corners. We have installed the KE compatible bar into one of our shop vehicles. 


  • Installation takes 30 mins 
  • Available for KE and KF 
  • Steel 1-piece structure 2-point type
View the strut tower for KE here. View the strut Tower for KF here. 

AutoExe Sports Side Visor

The Autoexe Sports Side Visor for the is one of the highest quality visors available on the market. The high performance design offers excellent wind deflection at speed as well as allowing you to vent the windows during rain. We have multiple sets of visors coming in for multiple vehicles - see what's available below:


  • 2 or 4-piece kit (depending on vehicle)
  • Smoked Finish
  • Deflects wind from the side of the car at high speeds
  • Allows you to vent the windows during rainy days
Our incoming shipment has visors for the following vehicles available. Click the vehicle to view the product listing:
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New Arrival - Autoexe Sports Induction Box

Autoexe's Sports Induction Box is a quick and easy way to increase airflow without having to resort to swapping out the rest of the intake assembly. The Autoexe sports induction box is an open type unit which uses a windowed front panel which clips on to the back of your factory airbox. Heat shield plates attach to the outside of the fiberglass frame to block engine heat. As this unit attaches to the factory airbox, you can use your factory air filter or any high-flow filter design for the stock airbox. The photographed unit is for the Mazda CX-5, however multiple applications are available for Mazda. View all sports induction boxes here. 

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Impul Window Visor Installation Guide (For Infiniti Q50)

Impul's Window Visors are some of the highest quality visors available on the market. Not only do they have superb fit and finish compared to lower priced competitors, but they offer extended features and styling to compliment your car.

Installation Instructions

1. Wash and clean the exterior of your car.

2. Remove all of the components from the box and inspect them for any damage or missing parts. You should have a pair of front and rear window visors, 8 window tabs, 8 tap-in bolts and a preparation wipe. We recommend having an additional pair of hands, painter’s tape, scissors and a flathead screwdriver (optional)

3. Remove each of the window tabs from the molded bracket. Make sure to trim the top of the tab to make the top completely flat with scissors.

4. Roll down all of the windows in the car.

5. Wipe down the exterior mounting surface where the visors will sit with soap and water, then once its dry wipe down again with the included primer wipe to make sure you have a clean surface to install the window visors. Wash your hands after handling the wipe.

6. You will see two holes on each visor. Align a window visor with the corresponding window frame, and take note of where the holes are.

7. There is a rubber seal with a narrow gap directly underneath the mounting surface. Gently pry the gap open with your fingernail or with a flathead screwdriver and insert the window tab into the gap. The hole for the tap-in bolt has a collar, this collar should be facing away from the window and towards the interior of the car. (Tip: Use electrical tape on the tip of your screwdriver to prevent any marring.)

8. Begin peeling a very small edge of the double-sided tape on one of the front window visors as shown in the instructions, then flip up the tape backing strip so it protrudes on the side. Make sure to do this for all sides on each strip.

9. Cut four or five strips of the painter’s tape and use it to hold the visor in place as you align it.
10. Check to see that the visor is aligned the way you want it to be. Once you’re happy with how it sits, grab the exposed backing strip you flipped up and slowly begin to peel the tape upwards, putting pressure on the areas of the visor you just peeled the backing from. 

11. Once the tape has been fully removed, put pressure on the visor where the adhesive is and hold for 15-20 seconds. Do this in sections until you’ve covered the whole visor.

12. Re-align the window tabs in the weather seal’s gap with the hole in the visor if needed, then place one of the tap-in bolts through it. Do this for both holes.

13. Get the rear visor for the side you put the front visor on and start to align it so you can put the window tabs in. When aligning the front of the rear visor with the backside of the front visor, make sure you put a 3mm gap to ensure adequate clearance so the rear visor does not rub against the front visor when the door is opened.

14. Place the window tabs in the rear seal’s gap like you did for the front visors.

15. Peel a small section of the backing strip from the double-sided tape and flip the backing strip so it sticks out when viewed from the front. Do this for all pieces of double-sided tape on this visor.

16. Align and secure the visor with 4-5 strips of painter’s tape.

17. Grab the exposed backing strip you flipped up and slowly begin to peel the tape upwards, putting pressure on the areas of the visor you just peeled the backing from.

18. Once the tape has been fully removed, put pressure on the visor where the adhesive is and hold for 15-20 seconds. Do this in sections until you’ve covered the whole visor.

19. Re-align the window tabs in the weather seal’s gap with the hole in the visor, then place one of the tap-in bolts through it. Do this for both holes.

20. Repeat instructions 6 through 19 for the other side.


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One (Hub) Ring to Rule Them All - The Truth About these Rings

Hub rings, along with the wheels they are coupled with are often subjects of “misleading information.” Although their function is simple and straightforward, there are many myths about them. Their function, the types of materials they are made from, and the story behind their creation has been subjected to a game of telephone which has lasted far too long. As a result, we feel that it is necessary to clear the air on this topic.

A hub ring, in its simplest form is a reducer bushing. When the wheel/tire is being mounted on the car, the hub ring helps non-hub centric wheels to be truer to the center of the hub by filling in any gaps. A common misconception is that there is constant stress being applied to the hub ring, which is in fact, false. As soon as the lug nuts/bolts are fitted and torqued down, all stresses on the hub ring are removed.

In the 1970s, a company named Western wheel was contracted in to make OEM wheels for GM’s Pontiac Firebird. General Motors asked for the wheels to be hubcentric with a tolerance of .400 for the mounting surface, an amount that is near impossible to see with the naked eye. Within a few months of the vehicle being available for sale, a handful of Firebirds were coming back to dealerships on flatbed trucks. Customers complained that they had gotten a flat tire and they were unable to remove the wheel off the hub; the culprit was galvanic corrosion.

                Galvanic corrosion is a phenomenon that occurs when two dissimilar metals (in this case, an aluminum alloy wheel and a steel wheel hub) come into contact whilst in the presence of an electrolyte. This can cause the location where these two metals meet to rust, making it very difficult to remove wheels if the corrosion is significant enough. In places where road salt is used, galvanic corrosion can happen very quickly with catastrophic results.

                In the early 80s, Chrysler partnered with the late Carroll Shelby to develop a limited-edition Dodge Dakota. Chrysler required the wheel hub to be created from a material that would be impervious to galvanic corrosion from aluminum wheels. Ron Pushea, a mechanical engineer and machinist specializing in vehicle componentry became involved in the Dakota project. Ron’s suggestion was to have the center bore of the wheel to be enlarged, with a sleeving to go over the wheel hub, acting as an O-ring to protect it from any corrosion. This polycarbonate sleeve became known as the hub ring.

Ron’s decision to use polycarbonate was an excellent one; polycarbonate exhibits high temperature and impact resistance, making it stronger than nylon/ABS plastic yet it is immune from Galvanic Corrosion compared to raw aluminum hub rings. In 1994, Ron developed a business called Prestige Wheel and continues to manufacture polycarbonate hub rings to this day.

From what has been presented above, we can deduce the benefits provided by polycarbonate hub rings when used in the correct applications. In the case where the wheels are nonhubcentric, it is always an option to use a hub ring when experiencing unwanted vibrations and to accurately center the wheel.  All hub rings available for sale on Footwork Autosport are manufactured using polycarbonate in the U.S.A.; we strive to bring you only the best parts available. WedsSport hubcentric center caps for the TC-105X have been anodized for resistance against galvanic corrosion. 

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Pivot Racing is now available at Footwork Autosport!

Pivot Racing is now available at Footwork Autosport! Founded in 1986, Pivot Co, LTD became an supplier for race cars, providing engine control devices and instruments to race teams before forming the consumer division of Pivot in 1992. Some technical innovations created by Pivot Racing include a water cooling spray for the intercooler and the world's lightest tachometer. 


The 3-Drive Control unit is designed to allow for full adjustability of throttle response going to the engine. As Pivot has been making throttle control and engine management devices for decades, they have thought of everything when designing their throttle controller. There are two separate variants of the 3-Drive, with each unit shares the same great features:
  • 17 step/ 4 mode adjustment for fully customizable throttle response
  • Does not need to be connected to OBD in order to work
  • Simplified wiring allows for easy install
  • Built in fail-safe which will return to "Normal" mode upon poor connection or trouble
The 3-DRIVE EVO is the standard unit; the 3-DRIVE Pro is the low-profile version which allows for easier mounting as the display and controller are two separate units; The 3-DRIVE EVO combines both the unit and controller into one unit. View the 3-DRIVE EVO by clicking here and view the 3-DRIVE PRO by clicking here.


The 3-Drive BLP is a throttle controller with an adjustable throttle blipping feature to provide active rev matching for manual transmissions. Both the throttle control and auto-blip can be adjusted (10 way adjustment for throttle). Much like the 3-Drive Pro, the controller and unit are two separate units for ease of mounting. 

*Every 3-DRIVE unit that exists will require the appropriate harnesses that are specific for your vehicle. The harnesses are sold separately and can be viewed here. 

Direct Drive Throttle Direct Controller (For 86/BR-Z/FR-S)

Pivot's Direct Drive for the 86/BR-Z/FR-S is specially designed for the FR-S/86 platform, with 10 specially tailored engine modes tailored for the engine. Unlike the 3-Drive units, this is mounted directly inside the engine bay and can be done so in minutes. The case is fully sealed and the circuit board is protected by a dual layer waterproof coating to ensure failure free operation even when exposed to high pressure water and condensation. The Direct Drive must be adjusted from the engine bay as it is engine mounted. This cannot be used with the 3-DRIVE or any other throttle controller.  

View the Pivot Direct Drive for FR-S/86/BR-Z by clicking here

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Blitz Racing Returns Home!

In 1993, a small shop in Torrance, CA known as Zen Motorsports began importing in Blitz Racing products prior to the establishment of Blitz Racing USA. Today, the former owner of Zen Motorsports is now the founder/owner of Footwork Autosport, and the brand returns to the home of its original importer, with our first products hitting our warehouse shelves today. 
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New Products In Stock from SARD Racing!

We just got a new shipment of SARD products that are in stock and ready to ship from our warehouse in Torrance, California! Here's a quick overview of what we have in stock:

The SARD 5000G Mag II Drain Plug is a direct replacement drain plug with an extremely strong neodymium magnet attached to the end. This magnet's strong power can catch any metal particles or shavings that can fall in your engine. This drain plug is application specific; if you need help determining the correct application, please call or email us. Click here to view all Mag II Plugs

86 Dipstick (Limited Edition)

The SARD 86 Limited edition dipstick is a full replacement dipstick designed for the Toyota 86/FR-S and BR-Z. Simply remove your factory dipstick and replace it with the SARD one - there are no handles to remove or change. Click here to view the 86 Dipstick

Dead Pedal For Lexus RC

The SARD Footrest for the RC-F uses a brushed 304 stainless steel body with Super duralumin (A7075) for the supporting piece. A beautiful top knurled piece provides a strong grip surface for the top of your shoe. There are two holes where the knurled piece can be fitted to accommodate two different shoe sizes. Click here to view the SARD Footrest

Breather Tank w/cap

The SARD Breather Tank is a universal fit part which is designed to use a SARD radiator cap as a relief to prevent the tank from rupturing under pressure. As this is a universal fit part, you will need to do your own adjustments for things such as cutting tubing and mounting. Click here to view all breather tanks

High Pressure Radiator Cap

The SARD high-pressure radiator cap allows you to raise the boiling point of the coolant in your radiator by increasing the relief pressure on the cap. Two different relief settings are available; this cap is application specific- if you are unsure about your fitment, please contact us. Click here to view all SARD radiator caps

Lower Hose Adapter Kit

SARD's lower hose adapter is designed to remove any bubbles that may occur in the cooling system.  The lower hose adapter kit fits Mazda, Mitsubishi and Honda Toyota (application specific). If you are unsure about which part you need, please contact us. Click here to view all lower hose adapter kits

Die Cut Decals

SARD Die cut decals are an excellent way to show your brand affinity. These high quality stickers can be affixed to your windows easily and come in a variety of sizes and colors. Click here to view the product listing.

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AutoExe Coilover Install For Mazda CX-5 (KE)

In today’s world of crossovers, the idea of a taught handling experience seems to have been lost in exchange for practicality and versatility. Although Mazda has entered into the crossover market with the CX line of vehicles, they haven’t forgotten their sports car heritage when designing it. Japanese tuning company Autoexe has taken notice of Mazda’s noble effort, and in a bid to capture the hearts of sports car enthusiasts with a crossover, they’ve developed a healthy line of parts for the CX-5. 

In this article, we’ll be installing a set of Autoexe coilovers for the KE CX-5. The CX-5 we’ll be using for this article is one of our customer’s vehicles, and has already been fitted with an array of other Autoexe parts such as the front strut tower bar, lower arm bars (front and rear) and the premium tail muffler. As the car is about to hit 60,000 miles, it served as a good time to replace the dampers from wear and tear to maintain optimal driving performance. 

Please note that this is not a full install guide, rather this is designed to show the features of this product. 

The Autoexe coilover kit includes front and rear dampers as well as the springs and a set of two spanner wrenches. This kit is designed to provide you with a comfortable ride while providing heightened agility over the factory suspension. These coilovers are height adjustable via the perch, however the compression and rebound is set from the factory. 

Before we started, we took a measurement of the front and rear ride height. On the front, we noted a height of 32” and 33” on the rear with the stock suspension. We opted for a mild drop on both axles; by default, autoexe’s coilover kit lowers the car by 15mm (0.59”) on both axles.

The CX-5’s suspension setup consists of a Macpherson strut in the front with a multi-link trailing arm setup in the rear. In order to replace worn components, our customer provided us with a bag of all-new OEM parts, which also saved us time from having to swap over parts from the old suspension. 

Once we jacked the car up and removed the wheels, we took a closer look at the stock suspension with approx. 60k miles on it: 

Both front and rear dampers are gas pressurized to prevent the shock oil from foaming, which can cause cavitation. At this mileage, damper performance has noticeably degraded, affecting ride and overall handling. 

Autoexe’s coilover kit for the CX-5 uses twin tube dampers for both axles, a smart choice for this car. By going to a twin tube setup compared to a monotube, the stroke length can be lengthened without physically extending the casing of the damper, as the outer (pressure) chamber surrounds the working (inner) chamber. By opting for a long stroke length, a comfortable ride can still be achieved, keeping true with the CX-5’s original intentions. Furthermore, if the damper casing is dented from some sort of impact, the piston can move freely as the pressure chamber will take the brunt of the hit as it hits on the outside. 

We used Motul Tech Grease 300 to ease installation on certain parts such as the bump stop. 

After compressing the spring over the factory top mount, we were able to get it back installed into the car:

Ideally, you’d want to opt for adjustable sway bar end links, as the angle of the sway bar has changed due to the lowered ride height of the car, adding pre-load to the bar. In addition, adjustment of tie rods to compensate for the new height is recommended to avoid bump steer. Adjustable end links and tie rods are both available for this car from Autoexe; we will hopefully be doing an install of both on this car in the near future. 

To save time and a headache, the upper bolts for the rear dampers are studs, eliminating the need to rip apart any liners in the trunk to access the top bolts; simply undo the nuts at the bottom of the studs. The bottom shock joint on our customer’s CX-5 was attached via a very long stud; you can either choose to remove the stud to get the damper off (not recommended) or to slide it off the stud by putting leverage on the suspension arms. 

We adjusted the height of the rear suspension by spinning the upper perch mount’s collars, in order to lower the rears more than the fronts. The upper and lower spring seats were changed for new ones, however the upper shock mount for the rear dampers was re-used.

After everything was properly torqued down, we checked the height on the new settings, which showed a new height of 31.5” in the front and 31” in the rear, as opposed to 32” and 33” on the rear. Doing a before and after test of the handling showed that the new suspension provided greater control compared to the worn out factory dampers, while the use of rubber factory mounts eliminates any noise problems associated with harder mounts. 

For more Mazda CX-5 and Auto-exe, bookmark our blog for more content! We will be installing the Autoexe tie rods and end links in a separate article when our parts arrive. 

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