Ian Cowley’s Mazda RX-7 didn’t so much rock the 72nd Members’ Meeting as shake it to its core. The rotary motor is so incredibly loud that you couldn’t fail to hear it every time it fired into life. Ian has owned this 1981 car since 1993, and started racing it in 1995 with the Classic Touring Car Car Club (formerly Classic Saloon Car Club). After the engine blew up in 2000 at Spa Francorchamps, it was retired into a chicken shed and forgotten about. This all changed when Ian heard about the Members’ Meeting last November. News of the event inspired him to get the car running again, and Saxon Motorsport got it ready for the event just in time.
Its first test was in yesterday’s qualifying session, so it was very much trial by fire. Because the car was entered into the two-driver Marshall Trophy, Ian was fortunate enough to be paired with former BTCC driver Patrick Watts. “He’s a great driver,” said Ian. “He did two laps in the car and was able to say exactly what needed changing. It transformed the car – my lap times in the race were 10 seconds quicker than they were in qualifying.” There is still some work to do, but Ian is delighted with the car’s performance today.
“It has been a brilliant event and everyone I have spoken to has enjoyed it. I hope for an invitation in 2015 and I’ll be spending this year getting all the trim details into the correct Group One specification.”