For 1986 the Lucky Strike sponsored Mazdaspeed team employed Nigel Stroud to design a new challenger for Le Mans which was to compete in the IMSA GTP class with a new 3 rotor type 13G Wankel rotary engine rated at 1962 cc / 119 cui.
Three 757 chassis were built #001 was given it’s debut at Suzuka in April 1986 where Yoshimi Katayama, Youjirou Terada and Takashi Yorino finished 6th from 12th on the grid.
Chassis #002 and today’s featured #003 got their first runs in the Kouros 1000 Kms at Silverstone where Yoshimi Katayama and Youjirou Terada finished 13th overall and first in GTP with chassis #002.
David Kennedy and Takashi Yorino, seen battling with the #90 URD driven by David Mercer, Jens Winther above, came home 19th one spot behind and on the same lap as the #90 URD, both cars being 38 laps behind the winners Jaguar driven by Derek Warwick and Eddie Cheever.
Mazdaspeed took all three of it’s 757’s to Le Mans in 1986, but only used two of them in the race.
Both cars, #003 carrying the #120 race number driven by David Kennedy, Mark Galvin and Pierre Dieudonné and #002 carrying the #121 race number driven by Takashi Yorino, Youjirou Terada and Yoshimi Katayama were bought back to the pits at the end of the race after their gearboxes failed after completing 137 laps and 59 laps respectively.
The 757’s continued to be campaigned in Japan through 1986 where Yoshimi Katayama and Youjirou Terada scored a season high 4th in the 500 km race at Fuji in November.
Following a 1987 season high 4th place finish at the May Fuji 1000 kms for Takashi Yorino and David Kennedy Mazdaspeed returned to Le Mans with three cars one of which, #002, was retained as a spare.
#003 was renumbered possibly with a new chassis #103 and driven by the same David, Mark and Pierre trio as in 1986, but now carrying the #202 race number as seen below.
After starting 28th they finished the race in 7th place overall, first in IMSA, while the new sister chassis #104 carrying the #201 race number driven by the ’86 all Japanese trio of Yoshimi, Youjirou, and Takashi, retired with engine failure after completing just 34 laps.
On it’s return to Japan chassis #003/103 was acquired by Shizumatsu Racing who ran it in Japan during the 1988 and 1989 seasons for Syuuji Fujii, Terumitsu Fujieda, Tetsuji Shiratori, Kaoru Iida and Seisaku Suzuki whose best results were two sixth places during the 1989 season.
Pleasure Racing became the entrant of the car for it’s final season with the drivers Syuuji and Tetsuji being joined by Keiichi Mizutani for one event at Suzuka in September where they finished 14th from 18th on the grid.
Syuuji and Tetsuji rounded out today’s featured cars known career at Fuji in October 1990 with an 8th place finish from 18th on the grid, equaling the 1990 season high finish at the same track in July, from 16th on the grid, when Seisaku was also sharing the driving.
Thanks for joining me on this “Three Rotor Wankel” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looling at a short tailed Alpine. Don’t forget to come back now !