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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

  • ICYMI: IMSA Announcements +

    IMSA made a series of announcements at Road America last weekend that will shape the immediate future of the TUDOR Read More
  • 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 Read More
  • 2014 Petit Le Mans Date Announced +

    IMSA Announces 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Schedule 12-Event Inaugural Season Will Showcase New Series At Premium Venue Attractive Lineup Read More
  • 50th Anniversary Of The United States Road Racing Championship To Be Celebrated At The Atlanta Historic Races +

    A tribute to the original SCCA Pro Road Racing Series of 1963 thru 1968. The USRRC Seniors Tour feature races Read More
  • Pruett, Rojas Win Visual Studio Ultimate Grand Prix Of Atlanta +

    BRASELTON, Ga. (April 20, 2013) – Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas put their experience to work Saturday, scoring a dominant victory Read More
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