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LeMans Class Winning Mazda 757::

Following failed LeMans attempts with the 737 C2 and in C1 with the March 84G dual-rotor turbo combination, Mazda decided to entrust Nigel Stroud with the design of a new chassis to IMSA specifications. The advantage of this category was to make it possible for the Japanese manufacturer to compete both in the world prototype championships and in IMSA with only the most minor of modifications.

The monocoque was constructed of honeycomb aluminium and carbon fibre with a carbon fibre body under which housed the very newest three-rotor powerplant. The five speed transmission was of Porsche origin and was lightly modified by Mazdaspeed.

For 1986, the program of the 757 was somewhat limited though it did compete in three different world championships. Running in the IMSA class, the car finished its first race sixteenth overall at Silverstone, piloted by Kennedy and Terada. At the 1986 24 hours of LeMans neither of the Mazda prototypes made it to the halfway point, both giving up due to transmission difficulties. Later that year, the two 757s competed at the 1000 km of Fuji, where they finish thirteenth and fifteenth.

In the JSPC, the two 757s campaigned by Mazdaspeed moved regularly between the fifth and sixth places. At the last race of the championship, Katayama and Terada obtained their best result of the season, finishing fourth.

In 1987, two 757s (nearly identical to the 1986 version) made their return in the Sarthe. Though the team of Terada, Yorino and Katayama withdrew after only 4 hours the team of Kennedy, Galvin and Dieudonné completed the race in a wonderful seventh place, the best result yet for Mazda at LeMans.

For 1988, Mazdaspeed decided to focus its efforts on a move to the larger displacement 767 while assigning responsibility for campaigning the 757 to Team Shizumatsu Racing. In yet another bit of racing irony, the 757 number 203 (chassis number 104) managed to outlast the 767 and all other competitors in the IMSA class to bring Mazda its first ever class victory in the 24 Hours of LeMans.

In 1991, the lessons learned with the 757 program produced the ultimate result for Mazda with an overall win at the 24 hours of LeMans with the 787B - still Japan's only victory at the 24 hour classic.


Engine: 3 rotor Mazda displacing 654cc per rotor
Displacement: 1962 cc
Horsepower: approximately 480 @ 8,500 rpm
Gearbox: Porsche 5 speed synchro maodified by Mazdaspeed
Steering: rack and pinion

double wishbone, pushrod operated coilspring/dampner unit
Rear: double wishbone, pushrod operated coilspring/dampner unit
Wheels: magnesium alloy; front 16 in. x 11.5in., Rear 16 in. x 14.5 in.
Dimensions: length 4550 mm, width: 1980 mm, height: 1010 mm, wheelbase: 2580 mm
Weight: 795 kgs (with ballast per regulations)


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