Rotary Revival 2018

Rotary Revival 2018

The rotary engine has always been a huge part of the Mazda brand and image. Nowadays, people are familiar with their ‘Zoom-Zoom’ campaign and the fact that Mazda strives to infuse its ‘jinba ittai’ horse and rider philosophy into every new model created, resulting in cars that are always enjoyable to drive– especially in terms of handling! But at this event it was all about the ‘brap-brap-brap’, i.e. the iconic sound, buttery smooth power delivery and experimental nature of the rotary engine and the many different Mazda models that carried it. Even a few engine-swapped cars showed up, including a rail-type dragster, driven by Dale Mayers.

 The rotary engine and the manufacturer’s widespread success with it as a production engine and as a racing platform, across various genres from Le Mans to dragstrips and road circuits around the world has solidified its position as a valuable part of the company’s heritage. As a result, local Mazda dealers, the Southern Sales Group of Companies, partnered as the event’s main sponsor. Participant turnout was excellent with over 40 owners confirming their attendance prior to the event, and over 70 vehicles showing up on display at the Wallerfield International Raceway on November 11th, 2018.

Enthusiasts were treated to loads of ear-gasmic eye-candy in the form of well-kept RE models such as the RX-2, all three generations of the RX-7 and of course the latest RX-8s. Iconic machines such as Arden Lalla’s brilliantly restored Mazda RX-2 reminded us of what it must have been like to see this model as a brand new vehicle. Conversely, Marsden Gordon’s Rocket Bunny 3rd generation Mazda RX-7, originally built by Street Concepts in Arima, represents the pinnacle of what a modern day enthusiast would like to achieve in terms of paint, body kit, performance, in-car custom audio and wheel fitment. While we have elected to mention these two ends of the spectrum, everything in between was enormously appreciated at this event, which didn’t feature prizes and trophies but a unanimous respect for all things rotary.

 The camaraderie made its way to the racetrack itself in the form of four scheduled parade laps and the experience was simply glorious. The cars were parked in orderly fashion on the starting grid, then all the owners and a few select passengers enjoyed the cruising laps around the track, much to the delight of photographers and videographers on site. Everyone enjoyed the sound the sheer number of rotaries revving, ripping and idling around the circuit. In fact, thanks to this event, a new record has been set for the most rotary-engined cars on this track at once! With the massive success of this first-time event, I’m pretty sure that number will be surpassed next year. Maybe by then, our Zorce 2nd-generation RX-7 will be able to participate– potential sponsors take note!

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