Mazda’s four-wheel drive sports prototypes of the late 1980s and early 1990s are legends, thanks in large part to their unusual sound. Perhaps the least known of this group is the RX-792P, of which only three were built for IMSA GTP racing in 1992, before Mazda canceled the four-wheeler program because the engine could no longer race in Europe.
But the RX-792P is nonetheless a glorious thing. Mazda in North America still has one, and earlier this month put it up for a historic race in Long Beach. Road and track Participant Marshall Prouet was there and managed to capture the video, and perhaps more importantly, the car’s audio. The noise is, as always, flickering.
In about three minutes the driver Tom Long really gets it, and the sound plus the landscapes of Long Beach rushing by, makes you goosebumps. The next time the car warmed up completely, and he buzzed for a few seconds with the speed limiter in the fifth. You will want to play it over and over again.
The The first racing engine with four Mazda rotors was the 13Jwhich debuted in 1988 767. It evolved into a stronger, more powerful but more efficient R26B, which debuted in 1990 787. 787B in 1991 received a unique intake system with variable length and produced 690 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. Unfortunately, the FIA banned rotary engines for the 1992 season, leaving America the only place to run the R26B.
That’s what Mazda did in 1992. As expected, the RX-792P, which had little in common with the 787B, had a number of teething problems in its first year, and during the 1992 season it managed to occupy only two podiums. Mazda North America planned to compete in car racing in 1993, but due to the fact that Mazda Japan completely canceled the four-wheeler program, it did not have an engine.
Luckily, we have a historic race, and the RX-792P can race today.
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