With all of the talk of doom and gloom for the next rotary I wanted to share the experience I had with the help of Mazda during Sevenstock 17 on Nov 22nd. I hate to say it but while I was at Sevenstock helping out with the Diesel Mazda 6 I experienced the awesome side benefit of being next to three 4 rotor cars in the same garage.
The recent message given from Mazda about the rotary engine being important but not in the cards for a current car has been a heart breaker for the rotor heads out there, myself included as I daily drive an 87 Turbo FC. I can definitely say that from the top down the rotary engine is important to Mazda despite it not being considered for a new car right now. Take a look at this 787 which Robert Davis (senior vice president U.S. operations aka he runs the show in US) personally drives.
There is a genuine love for the rotary with him, I watched him wipe down the car after going out onto the track for one session. In conversations, the restoration of other rotary race cars was brought up many times and when Robert isn’t driving the 787 above he rolls in an Rx8 in NASA PT racing, when time affords it.
See the first car in the line below? It is one of the Rx-792P IMSA GTP prototypes.
I watched Weldon Munsey (Manager of Dealer Affairs) hop out after just one session with a big smile on his face. You could tell he just loves driving that car.
This next car is one of my favorite Rotary race cars (as I had the opportunity to see it raced at Portland Intl Raceway in the early 90s). The 4 rotor GTO kept the basic shape of the FC rx7 (which included the stock roof panel, windshield, and tail lights) and the rest of the car was pure business with a 4 rotor engine.
Not a big surprise another Mazda executive drives it, Jeremy Barnes (Director of public relations). I am sure the re-occurring theme is not lost here, these guys love rotaries and if the opportunity presents they will be pulling to get another car released for all us rotards out there. In the meantime enjoy the video below from Sevenstock 17 with a few drive byes of the 787 and the 792p wide open on the throttle at Autoclub Speedway.
– Derrick Ambrose from CorkSport
Derrick started working with cars when he was in high school. A friend had a GLC which they tweaked a bit which then became a 323 then into RX-7s and it was all Mazda down hill from there. His current projects are a 1968 Mustang, The 1988 323 GTX (never ending project), 1986 Honda Shadow Motorcycle and a 1968 Silverline Rambler 16′boat. For motorsports activities he has previously participated in drag racing the CorkSport Protege Drag car and Rally Cross with the 323 GTX. Currently he is driving the CorkSport Mazda 2 B-Spec race car.
If you attend any events CorkSport is at Derrick will be the guy you will talk to at most of them, so stop by and say hello!