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Mazda Track Legends Reunite at MRLS
Submitted by SuperUser on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 12:07pm

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) will host a historic reunion on October 6, at an equally historic racetrack, when legendary racecar drivers Yoshimi Katayama and John Morton are brought together for the first time in nearly 18 years at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS).

For Katayama, who became a Mazda factory driver in 1964, the U.S. Sports Car Invitational will serve as his return to the United States for the first time since 1979 when he piloted a first-generation Mazda RX-7 to capture the GTU Class title at the 24 Hours of Daytona. It was the RX-7's first racing victory in world class competition, just months after being introduced to the world market.

Katayama will team once again with Morton in Sunday's Historic GT Endurance Race. Katayama and Morton last saw one another in France in 1984 when the pair emerged victorious in the Group C 2 class of the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Mazda Lola T-616.
I'm not only thrilled to have this opportunity to see my old friend John Morton at Mazda Raceway, but equally excited about teaming with him behind the wheel of this historic GTU Mazda RX-7," said Katayama. "I just can't wait to drive the RX-7 after all these years."

The RX-7, which will carry Katayama and Morton at MRLS, is powered by a Peripheral Port 12A rotary engine producing 265 bhp at 8,500 rpm. It has been a dominating force in U.S. racing since it took to the track at Daytona in February 1979.

For the better part of the next decade, Mazda RX-7s continued to emerge victorious, clinching a sixth straight IMSA GTU championship in 1985-a feat no other manufacturer has ever accomplished. Mazda's dominance of GTU during 1987 was so overwhelming that RX-7s won 11 of the 17 races, and eight out of the top 10 finishers in the driver points standings were behind the wheel of RX-7s.

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subject:
mr
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I love it when a successful historic racer has been kept, restored and returned to the track. Fantastic!
Give 'em heaps, just dont break it!
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