Mazda North American Operations Day-Two Wrap Up

MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 18, 2012 – Mazda North American Operations is participating in the 2012 running of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, held annually at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in the hills near the picturesque seaside town of Monterey.  As a company with a near-unrivalled heritage of motorsport success, as well as the only Asian car company to ever win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Mazda is participating in this year’s event with three significant vehicles from its heritage collection, a 1990 Mazda 787 Group C, a 1991 Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTO and a 1992 Mazda RX-792P IMSA GTP.

After two sessions of combined practice and qualifying, where the fastest lap time determines in which order the cars will start for the first race on Sunday morning, the grids are set for Mazda’s racecars, as well as for all starters in the 16 races that will take place over the weekend.
Vehicle details:

- 1990 Mazda 787 (driver: Robert Davis):  This car is chassis number 787-002, built for the 1990 running of the Le Mans 24 hour race.  Davis started the session well, continuing to get comfortable in the car.  An experienced club racer, Davis has been getting up to speed slowly, learning to “trust” the ground-effects technology on the Group C car.  Unfortunately, Davis and another racecar had a disagreement about who had the right-of-way to a particular piece of track, and he spent a good portion of the session sitting by the side of the track, as impact left damage to the right front corner of the nose.  Because of the nature of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, lap times are not issued until the end of the weekend, but Davis turned his fastest lap of the weekend in the session, and will start in tenth place.

- 1991 Mazda RX-7 (driver: Jeremy Barnes):  This car is chassis number GTO-001, built to compete in the IMSA GTO championship.  Barnes has been working around a mid-speed understeer in the car all weekend, and it doesn’t seem to be going away, despite some chassis adjustments to attempt to curb it.  That said, after being moved from Group 6A to Group 6B, with the newer GTP and Group C cars, Barnes best qualifying lap will see him start Sunday morning’s race in fifth place.

- 1992 Mazda RX-792P (driver: Weldon Munsey): This car is chassis number GTP-001, built to compete in the IMSA GTP championship.  Munsey is really comfortable in the car, now competing in his fourth Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, as proven by his lap times, quick enough to keep him on the pole for race one on Sunday.  Munsey’s RX-792P is thoroughly sorted, and bolting on fresh tires for the qualifying session was the ticket to success for him.

All three cars are on track for their first race at 10:40 am on Sunday, with the finishing results from that race determining the starting order for the 3:10 pm Rolex race.  Live in-car video can be seen at www.MazdaUSA.com/motorsports.  Results of the races, plus pit notes, will be available at the close of the session.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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