- Category: History
- 03 Jun
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.