“Sevenstock 19,” the World’s Largest RE Celebration
This event saw approximately 350 RE vehicles participate in the event. Only held once a year, this is by far the largest RE event in the US and rotary vehicles from all over the country gather here and dazzle with their sparkling, perfectly polished paintwork. Along with every generation of RX-7 and RX-8, there were also R100 Rotary Familia, Cosmo Sport, a 13B rotary mounted RE Track, RX-2 (Capella) rotaries, RX-3s (Savanna), RX-4s (Luce), RX-5s (Cosmo) and a Eunos Cosmo that Mazda USA had been keeping in storage. These classic cars made for a magnificent sight in the paddock. Alongside competition cars such as an IMSA GTU spec SA22C RX-7 race car, an FD3S RX-7 drift machine/drag racer, and a Formula Drift 4-rotor mounted ND MX-5, was the Racing Beat built FC3S, FD3S high speed beasts that managed to set high speed records at Bonneville Speedweek. On display next to them sat Sam Okamoto’s 13B MX-5 Miata that took on the challenge of Bonneville for the first time this year and managed to record a 151mph (243km/h). Okamoto related, “We intended this year’s salt flat runs to act as a shakedown but we had a lot of issues just getting it through vehicle inspection. Still, we managed to get the car out for our final day there and record a 151mph in the real deal. We were able to fully experience the solid handling of the MX-5 Miata and the unbridled potential of the 13B rotary (NA side port, Weber downdraft carburettor). Next year we will be aiming to break 200 mph, so we will be working hard to get the vehicle ready for that.
Mazda USA, who as always acted as a sponsor for this event, pulled out the now customary demonstration run by the usual suspects of 4-rotor machines. As with previous years the IMSA GTP spec Mazda RX-792P (driven by Mazda USA employee, Randy Miller) made an appearance and was joined by the Mazda 787B (driven by Mazda’s Robert Davis), the Mazda RX-7 GTO (driven by Mazda’s Jeremy Barnes), and the recently completely restored Mazda 767B that appeared at August’s reunion event (driven by Mazda’s Ken Saward). The roaring sound of these RE’s as the ran along the oval bank and infield reverberated around the complex circuit. The 767B crashed at Goodwood last year and thus was no longer sporting the chassis plate number No.001 but rather No.002. This was the machine that competed as the #203 in the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans and completed the race in overall 20th. It was shipped from Mazda headquarters to Mazda USA where restoration was carried out. Mazda USA design manager, Ken Saward, who drove the car this time, related, “Mazda builds great cars and it starts with their race cars. Driving the car is an amazing experience. I’ve just had an absolute blast and it’s just been an absolute honour to be able to drive it.” Along with these 4 legends, IMSA spec machines such as the MX-6 GTU(13B), Mazda RX-2 Sedan (12A) performed demo runs.
The MZRacing crew ran into drift star, Mad Mike at the venue for Sevenstock 19. Running on the heels of competing in South Africa and filming his newest project, Conquer the Cape, he turned up to have a little down time before competing in the final Formula Drift round at Irwindale. This rising star is always ready to sign autographs and take photos with his many fans. When he politely ran up to say hello to Mazda USA’s director, he was affectionately told, “You’re not that ‘mad’ at all.” Being a rabid RE fan himself, Mike looked like he was having a great time saying, “I’ve always wanted to come out to see Sevenstock and it’s been epic. Mazda have got the 787, 767B, RX-792P, a whole lot of their other motorsport heritage racing around the track, it is cool to see… all the rotary love. It’s been a great day.”
Photo by MZRacing