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Road Atlanta Key Part of Mazda Competition Heritage

One of the most successful manufacturers at Road Atlanta is Mazda. The Mazda RX-7 was a dominant force in IMSA sports car racing, winning numerous races and championships. But the Mazda success story began in the 1970s with the rotary powered Mazda RX-2 and RX-3 models.

Pat Bedard of Car & Driver magazine prepared a Mazda RX-2 project car for the IMSA sedan series, and its immediate success including a win at Road Atlanta in 1973 brought rules that penalized the rotary engine. Walt Bohren purchased the car and campaigned the RX-2 successfully, winning at Road Atlanta in 1976. Atlanta-based racer Jim Downing and South Carolinian Roger Mandeville were also pioneers of the Mazda rotary, winning numerous races in the 1970s.

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Manufacturer Spotlight: Porsche Heritage at Road Atlanta

Dozens of manufacturers have competed at Road Atlanta over the past four decades, but one stands out as a major force in every era. Porsche began its winning ways at Road Atlanta in 1973 and has never looked back.

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The WSC era at Road Atlanta and the Ferrari 333SP

Following the demise of the IMSA Camel GT series in 1993, the new World Sports Car (WSC) concept began the following year.  The WSC formula emphasized open cockpit prototypes, unlike the out-going GTP cars. Gone were the days of the Porsche 962, Toyota Eagle, Nissan ZXT GTP, Jaguar prototypes and others.

Some former GTP cars were being “converted” to WSC specs, but the big news was Ferrari constructing a purpose-built WSC entry, known as the Ferrari 333SP. Built in conjunction with Dallara, it would be the first Ferrari sports racer in many years competing for an overall victory. 

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Featured Articles

  • Porsche Shocks The Field With Petit Le Mans Overall Victory +

    Road Atlanta Pilet Earns Driver Title, Clinches GTLM Manufacturer Title From winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall in a prototype Read More
  • Earl Bamber Wins Petit Le Mans GTLM Pole At Road Atlanta +

    Road Atlanta To say today’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) qualifying session was unusual would be an understatement. The 15-minute session for Saturday’s Read More
  • Negri Leads Opening Practice For Petit Le Mans in No. 60 Honda Prototype +

    Road Atlanta Competitors Brave Challenging Conditions At Road Atlanta It was a good news, bad news scenario for Michael Shank Racing in Read More
  • Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell to Serve as Grand Marshal at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda +

    Road Atlanta Road Atlanta announced today that the newly-crowned Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell from Warner Robins, Ga., will serve as the Read More
  • Chip Ganassi Racing Adds Dixon to Petit Le Mans Lineup +

    REIGNING INDYCAR CHAMPION JOINS SCOTT PRUETT AND JOEY HAND IN THE NO. 01 FORD ECOBOOST RILEY FOR PETIT LE MANS Read More
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