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  Mazda 757
 

  Article Image gallery (22) 104 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Japan
Produced from:1986 - 1987
Numbers built:4
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 22, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionRunning a sports prototype that had been designed and built entirely in Japan had not yielded the success Mazda had hoped for. Instead, the Japanese manufacturer turned to British specialist Nigel Stroud ahead of the 1986 season. Stroud was tasked to design and a construct a new Group C / GTP racer for the latest three-rotor Mazda rotary engine.

Stroud laid down a conventional aluminium monocoque with in-board suspension front and rear to keep the ground effect tunnels as free of obstructions as possible. The new Mazda 13G rotary engine was mounted amidships in steel subframe, which also supported the five-speed gearbox and the rear suspension. The new 757 was clothed in a slippery body, crafted entirely in carbon-fibre composites.

The first Mazda 757 debuted at the Suzuka 500 km in April of 1986, where an all-Japanese crew finished 6th overall. Two cars were then entered at Silverstone, where one finished the 1000 km 13th overall and first in the GTP class. At the Le Mans test, it was the fastest GTP car but during the race both machines entered retired with gearbox failures. Later in the year, a further GTP class win was scored in the Fuji 1000 km.

Further refined, the Mazda 757s were used again in 1987. With the reliability issues now addressed, the three-rotor engined machine placed seventh overall and first in the IMSA class at Le Mans. Supporting the new four-rotor 767, a 757 was once again fielded at Le Mans, where it scored another IMSA class win. In the hands of privateers, Mazda 757s were raced in Japan well into the 1990 season.

With back-to-back class wins at Le Mans, the Mazda 757 was highly successful in its own right. It was also the first of the Nigel Stroud Mazdas, which would ultimately win the race outright in 1991.

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  Article Image gallery (22) 104 Specifications