A couple of Mazda GT-3 racers and two legendary rotary engine builders at the Runoffs: (l to r) Rob Warkocki, Daryl Drummond, Jeff Dernehl and Rick Engman.

Spirit of Mazda: Daryl Drummond

Longtime rotary engine builder has continued to push the envelope while helping Mazda racers

Anyone who races with Mazda rotary power has likely heard of Daryl Drummond. He is a legend, having built some of the most formidable Mazda powerplants that provide power and reliability to racers. From the first Formula Mazdas to the three-rotor RX-8s that won numerous IMSA GT races, Drummond has built it all and provided the power to numerous SCCA National Championships.

“He’s always been on the cutting edge of pushing technology forward with any of the development work he does,” says Rob Warkocki, who attributes his two SCCA GT-3 Runoffs wins to Drummond’s engines. “He’s primarily been with the club racing thing since the beginning of his career, supporting club racers for years and years and always from the aspect of performance advantage and pushing the ball forward. He’s never been idle.”

Warkocki says that whenever he talks to Drummond on the phone, he makes sure he has a pen and paper ready because he never knows when Drummond will utter a real gem of knowledge. One he especially remembers is Drummond noting that if someone is smart enough to ask the right question, he’ll answer it. “He has nothing to hide. He’s not going to tell you how it’s done, but if you do your due diligence and are smart enough to ask the question, he’ll answer it,” Warkocki says, which points out another attribute of Drummond, that he’s happy to help people out.

“Daryl has always been very selfless in the aspect of helping fellow racers. It’s what he does for a living, but at the same time he probably helps as many people for nothing as he does charge people. That’s how he and I developed our relationship over the years. Any of the success I have had in racing, there have been a lot of key players, but what has happened under the hood of my racecar was due to Daryl’s influence and help.”

Warkocki also expresses admiration for Drummond because even though he already had two grown daughters from his first marriage, he adopted two orphan boys from Russia with his second wife. “To embark out of the goodness of his heart to help kids from another country was a great thing,” he says.

For Continuous Kaizen – continuing to improve with wisdom and ingenuity – and Tomoiku – learning and teaching each other for mutual growth and success – Daryl Drummond is the Spirit of Mazda winner for December.