Ian Cowley has returned for the 74th Members’ Meeting with his seminal 1981 two-rotor RX7. In a sea of loping V8s and gruff four cylinders, the RX7 is alone on the grid in representing the rotary breed, and it makes its presence known. A visceral ‘brap brap trap’ of the thing trundling through the paddocks post-Gerry Marshal Trophy, cuts through all background noise, whilst the fumes puffing at near on 700 degrees from the trumpet of an exhaust only supplements your intoxication. This thing is utter theatre to behold, and isn’t that what Members’ Meeting is all about?
Built to British Touring Car spec, the car eludes full FIA Group 1 homologation due to its usage of a single IDA carburettor as opposed to the on-spec Nikki four-barrel unit. As Ian swoons over his car, outlining the spec’ and preparation, it becomes abundantly clear this is a long-standing love story. Coming into his ownership in 1993, racing in ‘95 and popping the motor in 2000, the colourful life of this RX7 has gained a new chapter with the return of Members’ Meeting and Ian is delighted to be here. As it stands at #74MM, this 1.2 equivalent 12A engined car is running 185bhp at the wheels but sporting a light weight, it’s an upstart champion of power to weight.
The car has proven lively, too, with both Ian and Patrick relishing in its wayward on-limit character. He gushes following its lively stint in Gerry Marshal Trophy practice: ‘She is a bit of a handful to drive, she is very lively at the tail and I was doing a bit of grass cutting today, a lot of gripping going on in my nether regions… whereas Patrick loves hanging it out there.’ The Mazda obviously presents a unique challenge to the Ian and Patrick, with its rev-essential power band and a brake set up wanting for a bit more power, but they’re clearly both loving it.
It’s always good to see such uniquely brilliant driving and racing machines showing face, and this RX7 is just such a valued character all of its own. Not to mention the fantastic relationship Ian has with his car. We can’t wait to see them return.
See the 74th Members’ Meeting in full with our live stream here on Goodwood Road and Racing