1990 Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTO
Pete Halsmer's four-rotor IMSA GTO Championship RX-7.

1990 Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTO

1990 Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTO

In 1989, Mazda began testing a four-rotor rotary engined RX-7 GTO racing car. It had a weight-to-power ratio of less than 2kg/PS, which was outstanding performance. At the 1990 season opener (the Daytona 24 Hours) with the 1989 GTO champion Pete Halsmer as lead driver, Mazda took on the likes of the Mercury Cougar XR7 and the Nissan 300ZX and secured pole position straight off the bat. The RX-7 just missed out on victory, finishing the race with an impressive second to cement an auspicious start to the season.

In 1990, following a superb debut race, the GTO class RX-7s took second place again in the following round in Miami, and third place in the Sebring 12-hours. The RX-7 remained one step away from victory with yet another second at the fourth round in Long Beach. Finally, at the raceway in Topeka, Kansas, the long-sought after first victory was secured, and Mazda followed it up with another win in the sixth race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

At the 11th race in San Antonio, Texas, Pete Halsmer started from the outside lane of the front row. After a fierce battle with a Mercury Cougar, he claimed the RX-7’s 100th IMSA victory. It was an unprecedented feat accomplished in just 12 years of IMSA competition that had started at the 1979 Daytona 24-hour race.

Story by Mazda Motor Sports Library

In Detail

tags rx7
submitted by admin
type Racing Car
built at Japan
body stylist Lee Dykstra
production 2
engine 13J Rotary 4
position Front
ignition Electronic Fuel Injection
displacement 2616 cc / 159.64 in³
power 447.4 kw / 600 bhp @ 8500 rpm
specific output 229.36 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 588.24 bhp per tonne
torque 528.8 nm / 390 ft lbs @ 7000 rpm
body / frame Carbon Composite Panels over Steel Spaceframe
driven wheels RWD
f suspension Wishbones w/Inboard Spring/Dampers
r suspension Wishbones w/Spring/Dampers
curb weight 1020 kg / 2249 lbs
wheelbase 2431 mm / 95.7 in
front track 1626 mm / 64.0 in
rear track 1581 mm / 62.2 in
length 4315 mm / 169.9 in
width 2007 mm / 79.0 in
transmission Hewland 5-Speed Manual