Last weekend during the Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, Mazda racer Tristan Nunez climbed aboard a manic high-rev monster from the company’s past to do battle with the other drivers, but also with the car. He’d managed to wrestle the mid-engine rotary racer to the pole position, but on the first lap of the short race the car started to exhibit serious oversteer and Nunez lost out on the lead in short order. Thanks to the video from Racer.com below, we can see the battle from inside the cockpit.
Possibly the most beautiful racing car in history, the Mazda RX-792P was a four-rotor 2.6-liter screamer built for IMSA racing in 1992. It was marginally successful, as Mazda’s two chassis served up two podiums throughout the 1992 season, and far more DNFs.
While the car wasn’t successful in taking the win in this vintage race event with an incredible modern racer at the wheel, it proved a bit closer to the win than it might have been in-period. One thing is clear from the over-the-shoulder view, that Tristan is working quite hard at the wheel to keep the car from looping itself at certain points on the track. Certainly the Turn 5 complex, a long bowled left hander that heads uphill on the exit, is a tricky one. The transition from the bottom of the Corkscrew through Rainey Curve is also a tricky one for Nunez and his Mazda.
It’s definitely worth watching the full 20-minute session, though. The racing isn’t exactly compelling once he loses the point, but there’s plenty of incredible rotary sound to keep your attention.