Mazda’s rich motorsport heritage will be celebrated with a trio of incredible cars on the Hillclimb in June. Learn more about this tradition of success below:
Rotary from the start
From its very first forays into the world of motorsport Mazda defied convention in competition with its development of the rotary engine. The first steps into the world of international racing came in 1968 when Mazda entered two Cosmo Sports in the gruelling Marathon de la Route – a mind-boggling 84-hour race around the fearsome 28km Nurburgring. With a fourth place finish – beaten only by a pair of Porsche 911s and a Lancia Fulvia – Mazda’s little-known sports car had made its mark against two of the finest sports cars of the era.
RX-7 success across the globe
Launched in 1978, the Mazda RX-7 achieved competition success across the globe in a myriad of different championships and specifications. Highlights included back-to-back BTCC titles in 1980 and 1981, plus in North America, no-less than 100 IMSA Championship race wins across 12 seasons of competition. Overall victory in the 1981 Spa 24 Hours put the RX-7 on the map in Europe and the winning car will be starring on the hill at Goodwood this year, alongside the unmistakable roar of a 1991 4-rotor 600bhp space frame RX-7 GTO (pictured right) from the United States.
Le Mans 24 Hours: Winning the world’s most famous race
From humble beginnings with a Mazda powered Chevron in 1970, Mazda’s two decade association with the Le Mans 24 Hour race culminated with overall victory in the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours – making Mazda the first and so far only Japanese manufacturer to win the world’s most famous race. And with five class victories in the 24 Hours prior to overall honours, Mazda will be celebrating its long association with Le Mans by bringing several rotary powered sports prototype racers to Goodwood. Joining the 1991 Le Mans 787B (pictured left) on the hill this year will be a 1989 767B and a 1990 787, plus the last rotary powered Mazda factory sports prototype – the 1992 IMSA RX-792P that raced in North America.