Mazda celebrates racing heritage at Goodwood

Mazda celebrates racing heritage at Goodwood

Mazda-HISTORY_SECTION_sizedMazda will celebrate its motorsport heritage as the central feature marque at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

At Goodwood the Japanese company will feature a line up of rotary powered competition cars, including the 1991 Le Mans winning 787B. Making its first appearance at Goodwood since 2011, the ‘Charge’ liveried Le Mans winner heads an ear-splitting line up of Mazda race cars that are sure to resonate with the Goodwood crowds, with the sound of their rotary engines.

Joining the Le Mans winner on the hill will be Mazda 787 chassis number 002 – it retired from the 1990 Le Mans before following home the winning 787B with a 8th place finish in 1991. Now owned and maintained by Mazda USA, the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed sees this Mazda 787 once again run alongside the winning ‘Charge’ liveried 787B, as two of Mazda’s 1991 Le Mans team cars take to the famous Goodwood Hill Climb together.

In the hands of their private owners, two Mazda 767Bs, and a Mazda 757 will also take to the hill, while Kent Abrahamsson’s Chevron B16-Mazda is an example of the car used by Belgian entrant Team Levi’s International for Mazda’s first Le Mans entry in 1970.

These Mazda Le Mans cars will be joined by some of the star cars of Mazda’s racing efforts in North American sportscar racing.

Leading the way is the flame-spitting 1992 RX-792P, which was built for Mazda’s attack on the prototype ranks of American IMSA racing. Powered by the same engine as the 787B, rule changes outlawed this type of car before it had the chance to show its true potential, yet the RX-792P goes down in history as the last Mazda factory supported prototype to use the Le Mans winning R26B four-rotor engine.

The other Mazda star car from the US is the 1991 IMSA GTO RX-7. A car that, on its way to taking the driver’s and manufacturer’s IMSA GTO title in 1991, contributed to the RX-7’s unbeaten record of 100 class victories in just 12 years of IMSA competition. Powered by the same 13J four-rotor engine as the 767B Group C prototype, this racer’s steel space-frame chassis is glad in composite panels and this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed sees it run in the UK for the first time.

Now owned and raced by British enthusiast Kevin Doyle, a far less modified RX-7 taking a starring role at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is the 1981 Spa 24 Hours winning RX-7, which in the hands of Pierre Dieudonne and Tom Walkinshaw gave Mazda its first major outright 24 Hour victory. With seven starts for Mazda at Le Mans, and victory in the Spa 24 Hours, Dieudonne will be reunited with his Spa winning RX-7 at Goodwood and will take to the hill in the 787B Le Mans winner.

Newer forms of motorsport will be highlighted by ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett and his RX-7 taking part in Goodwood’s new ‘Catch my Drift’ category, while across the whole weekend sports car fans can take a look at the all-new Mazda MX-5 as it takes centre stage on Mazda’s stand.

The 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place from the 26th -28th June.

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