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Mazda returning to Le Mans...

Old 12-05-06, 02:44 PM
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Mazda returning to Le Mans...

That's right... further details to come. From what I understand it will be a rotary effort. Keep an eye on the website below it should be up in the next week.

http://www.returntolemans.com
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Old 12-05-06, 04:21 PM
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It's mu understanding they are fielding a new engine in the ALMS next year as well. Same car?
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Old 12-05-06, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
It's mu understanding they are fielding a new engine in the ALMS next year as well. Same car?
I think it's suppose to be more than just a new engine. I heard it may be a complete new car (chassis and all). It would be nice if they could at least compete with Intersport Racing...

I'm more interested to see what happens with the GT1 balancing and who actually signs up for next year. Corvette has made some pretty bold statements about the Astons sandbagging.
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Old 12-05-06, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
It's mu understanding they are fielding a new engine in the ALMS next year as well. Same car?

It was thought they'd go 4-rotor mid year last year and it never happened. If they are to compete with the Porsches they need to step up BIG TIME.
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Old 12-05-06, 04:54 PM
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Doesnt seem like this is a factory effort. Is this an independent team that just happens to use a rotary??
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Old 12-05-06, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rx-7Addict
Doesnt seem like this is a factory effort. Is this an independent team that just happens to use a rotary??
It's a collaboration similar to Penske and Porsche.
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Old 12-05-06, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
It's mu understanding they are fielding a new engine in the ALMS next year as well. Same car?
I was told by one source that they decided to use a turbo 4-cylinder made by a different company and re-badged as a Mazda motor. The same source said they were also considering using a rotary engine, but the requested hp/fuel economy improvements over last year's motor were unrealistic. I'm not sure how current that information is though . . .
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Old 12-05-06, 07:06 PM
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I think that the team to beat is the Compuware Vettes again...Theyve won pretty consistantly, for the past couple years.

If mazda came back in, I would love to see them use a 4 rotor again, that would be awesome.

Looking forward to more info.
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Old 12-05-06, 09:10 PM
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theyve been back on the scene for a while... i even have pictures of their trailer and all their stuff... its a 4 rotor renesis.
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Old 12-05-06, 10:07 PM
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they should dominate.. i thought the rotary got banned though?
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Old 12-05-06, 10:17 PM
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no, the le mans series allows, gasoline, diesel and wankel. weird i know since wankels use gasoline, but i guess thats how they classify engines.
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Old 12-05-06, 10:51 PM
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diesels are still going to dominate just like they did last year
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Old 12-05-06, 11:05 PM
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yea, you are right. in this case, the audi r's. i cant remember if its the r8 or r10. whatever it is, theyre making a similar version as a production car. in nfs carbon it was called the audi le mans proto or something.
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Old 12-06-06, 12:32 AM
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LOL!! In order for them to return to Le Mans first they would have to beat the porsches @ sebring .....not likely considering this year they were lucky not to be lapped by the GT-2's
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Old 12-06-06, 07:59 AM
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all LeMans engines have to breath through a restrictor, and they give different engines different size restrictors. The diesels were allowed to use a much larger restrictor than anyone else - that makes it easier to win. The rotaries are very sensitive to intake restrictors, and that is one of the reasons they have been non-competitive for the last decade (the other reason is lower rotary fuel economy requires more pit stops.) A difference of just one mm intake restrictor size makes a noticeable performance difference in this very competitive race. Besides juking around with assigning different intake restrictors to give some models an edge, the rules makers also allow some models to have bigger fuel cells than other models.
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Old 12-06-06, 09:01 AM
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I believe the diesels this year are required to run with smaller fuel cells as well to take away some of the mileage advantage?

I'd love to see a rotary really competing again but other than the fuel economy vs power issues the other huge one is that you can't use a rotary engine as a structural part of the chassis; the engine is not stiff enough. This dooms a rotary powered sports racer chassis to be heavier, less stiff or both.
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Old 12-06-06, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Rotary Noob
I think that the team to beat is the Compuware Vettes again...Theyve won pretty consistantly, for the past couple years.
By the end of this last season (once the Aston tire problems were sorted out), the Astons were actually putting a whipping on the Vettes. The Vettes were only still competitive because of the Aston's reliability (or lack there of). It will be interesting to see what happens next season. The Vettes have said they may not complete in ALMS next season and move over into the standard LeMans series instead (because of the amount of restrictions they had last season).

Of course, the Aston's want more restrictions on the Vettes to allow them to come back. I have a feeling there may not be a GT1 division next season for ALMS.
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Old 12-06-06, 08:51 PM
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Apparently the Corvette team's been bitching about Aston Martin sandbagging in order to get the rules more in their favor.

I'm pretty sure the rotary was banned at LeMans after 1991, but they make their own rules, the ALMS is run by a different group. Maybe they're still not allowed to race at LeMan itself, but they're certainly allowed in the ALMS.

I know the engine was basically a 20B PP at first, unless they were allowed to change I'd think it's still the 3 rotor. I've also heard the rumours of a piston engine in there.

Penske is a top notch team, Porsche is a top notch manufacturer, together they nip at the heels of the slower P1 cars. That's a tough combination to beat.
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Old 12-06-06, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Black91n/a
Apparently the Corvette team's been bitching about Aston Martin sandbagging in order to get the rules more in their favor.
The Vette team already had an intake restriction and then they were weight penalized last year. Vette did a "fake radio call" during a race to say they were good to the end on fuel (knowing they had to stop) to see what Aston would do; the Astons started gaining over 2 seconds a lap after the call. Several races Astons never completed qualifying (no mechanical problems, they just brought the cars in), as if they were trying not to show their true speed.

If you watched the races, the Astons were much faster. Had they not suffered problems with their tires (fixed later in last season) and mechanical problems, they would have handed the Vettes their ***** in every race.
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Old 12-06-06, 11:40 PM
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Yeah, It'll be intresting to see what happens with the Astons this year. I remebr watchign one of the races and the freakin Vette's front brake disc blew up towards the end of the race its wa an awsome scene. Then again in that race both vettes looked like they were down for the coutn and they came back to take 2nd and 3ed I think?
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Old 12-07-06, 12:03 AM
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Here's to hoping modern technology, SUFFICIENT EDUCATION and sane rules make this competetive and fun.

I just hope another rules-drama is avoided.
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Old 12-07-06, 01:40 AM
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I enjoyed watching the ALMS race in Portland this year despite the heat and humidity (something like 100 degrees and 100%). The vette brakes were the only ones you could see glowing in the evening. Around there the vette and DBR9 seemed fairly evenly matched. One huge disappointment was that Mazda was missing because they were still recovering from crash damage.

It was funny watching them race on TV when the commentators were talking about the vette being the handler and the AM being the straight line speed car. Totally backwards to how most people perceive European and American cars (to be fair they're mostly right).
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Old 12-07-06, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Nihilanthic
Here's to hoping modern technology, SUFFICIENT EDUCATION and sane rules make this competetive and fun.

I just hope another rules-drama is avoided.
I doubt that will happen. They have all but ruined the GT1 division since there are only 2 teams in it now; and it doubtful both teams will be back next season. Its too bad they handicapped the Saleen so badly a few seasons back as thats one of my favorite cars to watch.

IMO, if they stop with their "on-the-fly" competition adjustments, they may attract more teams from the LeMans series to compete as well.
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Old 12-07-06, 09:01 AM
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So which class is Mazda planning on competing in next year?
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Old 12-07-06, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by speedturn
So which class is Mazda planning on competing in next year?
Staying in P2, as far as I know. I never heard them mention switching classes.
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