This is on-board footage from the 1991 Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTO race car as it laps Laguna Seca during this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Mazda won the 1991 season with this car. The GTO class of IMSA racing was for engines above 3 liters in tube frame cars that had production car silhouettes. Motivation for this car comes from a 26b 4-rotor engine that makes 600 hp at 8500 rpm and 390 ft-lbs of torque at 7000 rpm putting power down through a Hewland 5-speed transmission. You can see two of the three other 4-rotor cars that Mazda had at the event racing on track with this RX-7.
Some days I feel like I sift through an endless sea of crappy car stuff on the internet trying to find gems to post here on the blog. I worry about being able to tell the difference between just hitting a drought that day or if I’m just becoming jaded and hard to impress after being exposed to a massive volume of content. That’s why it was refreshing to come across this video from Sam Smith of Car and Driver today. He takes a 1967 Lotus Elan and Mazda’s MX-5 Super 20 Concept for a spin out at Laguna Seca for all of us to enjoy. Smith discusses why the Elan was a significant car when it was produced and which of its successful aspects inspired Mazda when they made the first MX-5 Miata. The discussion ends up touching on what the true definition of a “driver’s car” should be. I’m glad to see there are still automotive journalists who are not too rock star to appreciate lightweight sports cars with modest power. It’s still somewhat of a mystery to me why so many people love the Mazda MX-5 but cry bloody murder about how the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ don’t have enough power. That’s the difference between road racers and forum “tuners,” I guess. There goes the jaded part of me talking again. Enjoy the video:
Speed Ventures is a company that hosts track days for weekend warriors of all skill levels. A few years ago, one of the founders became fascinated by electric cars. That’s where the idea of REFUEL was born. The event is an electric vehicle only track day Laguna Seca. This year’s even takes place on Saturday, July 1st and will be the third time it’s been run. Check out the promotional video and EV lap record from last year’s REFUEL.
The Drive Channel released another video of what I call Motorsport Music. There’s no commentary, it’s just the natural sounds of racing. It starts in the morning with the teams and crews preparing for the start of the race and then goes to various parts along the track to watch the cars go by. There’s even a few shots of the famed Corkscrew. It makes for great background music while you work.
The American Le Mans Series released this video to promote the second round of the 2012 championship at Laguna Seca that took place this past weekend. They interview several of the drivers about Laguna Seca’s signature corner, the corkscrew. The left-right chicane drops 60 feet and is arguably the most difficult corner in all of road racing. It’s said to have been formed when the track was being built completely by accident. The story goes that the bulldozers were carving out the track when it came time for lunch. The bulldozer operator simply drove straight down the hill in the most direct path back to his lunch and the corkscrew was born.