Having made a well-received debut outing last month at Daytona International Speedway, the Mazda Heritage Collection will return to action with Historic Sportscar Racing this weekend at Sebring International Raceway. A pair of entries from the collection will take part in sprint races leading up to the Sebring Classic 12 Hour.
Mazda’s history at Sebring dates back to 1972, when a Mazda R100 was entered in the famous 12-hour race. Mazda enjoyed a run of taking at least one class victory in the 12 Hours for nine straight years between 1980 and 1989. Most recently, Mazda DPis added to that winning tradition with a big win and third-place result in 2020, following that up with a runner-up run in 2021.
The Mazda Heritage Collection’s lineup mirrors the one it brought to Daytona earlier in the month; a 1989 Mazda 767B and a 1991 Mazda RX-7 GTO. Both cars are operated and maintained by Flis Performance in Daytona Beach, Fla.
“From one legendary circuit to the next, this has been a phenomenal opening chapter for the Mazda Heritage Collection,” said Mazda Motorsports Senior Manager Jonathan Applegate. “The response we had at Daytona was outstanding, and this event is another chance for race fans to see the cars they never got to see in their prime or have never seen because they’re too young. I look forward to hearing both cars at full song on the Ullman Straight and seeing the reactions on people’s faces.”
Mazda driver Tom Long is back behind the wheel, but this time he will drive the magnificent 767B around the legendary circuit situated on a former WWII training airfield.
“This thing is phenomenal,” Carbonell said. “It pulls through the rev range in every gear, to the top. You’re out of gear before the braking zone in 17 almost out before the brake zone in Turn 1. I can’t get enough of this thing and can’t wait to drive this thing for the rest of the week.”
The Mazda RX-7 GTO is entered in Sprint Group 5B, while the 767B can be found in Sprint Group 6. A full schedule can be found here.