Mazda Heritage Collection Wows the Crowd at HSR’s The Mitty

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Mazda Heritage Collection Wows the Crowd at HSR’s The Mitty

BRASELTON, Ga. (April 30, 2024) – The Mazda Heritage Collection’s 2024 tour kicked off last weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Both of its entries, the 1989 Mazda 767B and the 1991 Mazda RX-7 GTO, delighted the crowd both on and off the track. Mazda fans at Road Atlanta were blessed with extra track time for both cars as the feature race was ‘Cars of Japan.’

Before the 767B and the RX-7 GTO even took to the track, fans flocked to the Mazda Heritage Collection display at the mere sound of the cars warming up their rotary engines. Both cars were at their finest leading the ‘Cars of Japan’ exhibition race on Saturday. Drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Tom Long had some fun pulling the cars alongside each other to take the checkered flag together.

“Driving the 767 with all the Japan manufacturers, it was pretty epic starting on the front row,” Bomarito said. “The car is definitely a fan favorite. I had so many fans come up to me and say they’re at the event to see this car. It’s a privilege to drive the car and represent Mazda and their history in motorsport and to see the smile and joy on the fans’ faces.”

When it came to the class sprint races, Long came away with a winner’s trophy on Sunday.

“This is my first time at The Mitty at Road Atlanta,” Long said. “Being here with Mazda and their Heritage Collection and getting an opportunity to drive a piece of history in the RX-7 GTO… it’s a lot of fun. The nostalgia is really great. I have an appreciation for how fast those cars were and how raw they were with the grip and the power and the sound. It’s great to experience that with all the fanfare and excitement that these cars bring.”

It wasn’t just Mazda cars being celebrated; Atlanta-native Jim Downing, a celebrated Mazda designer and racer, was in attendance. Downing designed and raced the Mazda Kudzu, even taking it to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and winning the LMP2 category in 1996. To see the Mazda Heritage Collection at his home track was a great feeling for Downing.

“It’s great to see Mazda really stepping up to the plate and doing this,” Downing said. “These cars were just sitting in a basement in Irvine. We’ve restored a couple of these cars for them over the years, but the Flis brothers have been doing a super job. We’re all thrilled to see the cars out there.”

Fast laps and trophies are nice, but the real pride for Mazda Motorsports and its Heritage Collection comes from fan interactions at the race track.

“I am blown away by the fan response to our Heritage Collection at The Mitty,” Mazda Senior Manager, Motorsports Jonathan Applegate said. “We caused quite the commotion in the paddock every time we revved the engines of our two cars. I heard so many stories from fans about where they were when they saw these cars race for the first time and how the 767 or the RX-7 were their favorite race car of all time. Many of those fans brought their kids with them and you could see their eyes light up when they saw our cars. It’s a great feeling to know you’re not just indulging fan nostalgia, but also inspiring the next generation.”

The Mazda Heritage Collection will make its next appearance at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, August 14 – 17.