By RACER Staff | November 8, 2023 11:45 AM ET
The Mazda Heritage Collection had an exceptional debut in the HSR Classic at Daytona presented by IMSA. Both cars entered had strong performances and mesmerized fans with screaming rotary sounds echoing across Daytona International Speedway.
The Mazda Heritage Collection brought a 1989 Mazda 767B-002 and a 1991 Mazda RX-7-001 GTO to participate in the sprint races held before the main event; the Classic 24 at Daytona.
Both cars ran flawlessly and were fast enough to battle for a class win, but with a goal to celebrate (and preserve) Mazda’s racing heritage rather than dominate on track, both cars started at the back of the grid in their respective races. Still, drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Tom Long delighted fans with their performances.
“It’s not the speed, sound or race victories that make a car legendary, it’s the feeling it evokes from those who witness it,” said Brad Audet, Chief Marketing Officer for Mazda North American Operations.
“Mazda and its rotary-powered race cars have built a special place in the hearts of race fans and we want to celebrate that. Some feel a sense of nostalgia when they see the 767B or the RX7 GTO, others are fascinated by the engineering and some just think they’re the best-sounding cars on track. You don’t need to be a motorsports historian to appreciate and marvel at the cars of the Mazda Heritage Collection.”
Bomarito was thrilled to have the opportunity to drive the 767B around Daytona, the first time that particular car has made an appearance at the famed Florida speedway.
“Wow, what an honor it was to drive one of Mazda’s Heritage Collection cars at Daytona,” Bomarito said. “An iconic race car at an iconic race track, equals a lot of fun! I’d like to thank Flis Performance for their hard work restoring and prepping the cars. They ran great and the fans loved seeing both the RX7 GTO and the 767B in action.”
The Mazda Heritage Collection is maintained by Flis Performance, which prepares and operates the four historic rotary-powered race cars owned by Mazda North America Operations. Todd Flis agreed that the fan excitement was palpable when it came to the Mazda Heritage Collection.
“The crowd enthusiasm was over the top,” Flis said. “We had more than 30 people attend a tech talk, walk through of the cars on Saturday afternoon. Every time one of the Mazdas would come around the track you could see everyone lift their cell phones over the fence to get a good shot.”
The next opportunity for fans to see the Mazda Heritage Collection and hear roaring rotary race engines at full song is at the HSR season finale at Sebring International Raceway, December 1 – 3.