Mazdaspeed is Mazda
is a Japanese automotive manufacturer based in Fuchū, Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.In 2007, Mazda produced almost 1.3 million vehicles for global sales...

's in-house race and street car tuning arm. It began in 1968 as "Mazda Sports Corner", a tuning and racing operation run by Takayoshi Ohashi, who also ran Mazda's Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 distributor. They competed in numerous events at home and abroad, and they were also competitive at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since near the town of Le Mans, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, race teams have to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining...

 races in the early 1980s with the 717
Mazda 717
The Mazda 717C was a prototype racing car built for Mazdaspeed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans under the Group C Junior formula. It was the first sportscar built by Mazda since the ending of their running in GT with the RX-7 in 1982. It used a 2-rotor 13B Wankel engine, similar to the production...

, 727
Mazda 727
The Mazda 727C was a prototype racing car built for Mazdaspeed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Group C2 class. It replaced the 717C in 1984 as an evolution of the Mooncraft-built design, and used the same 2-rotor 13B Wankel engine as the previous model....

, and 737
Mazda 737
The Mazda 737C was a prototype racing car built for Mazdaspeed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans under the Group C2 formula. It was the final evolution of the initial Mooncraft built design dating back to the 717C. It again used a 2-rotor 13B Wankel engine....

 before Mazda brought the group to Hiroshima in 1990. In 1991, Mazdaspeed's 787B
Mazda 787B
The Mazda 787 and its derivative 787B were Group C sports prototype racing cars built by Mazda for use in the World Sportscar Championship, All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1990 to 1991...

 won at Le Mans, a feat no other Japanese team has managed.

After the FIA effectively outlawed the Wankel engine
Wankel engine
The Wankel engine is a type of internal combustion engine using an eccentric rotary design to convert pressure into a rotating motion instead of using reciprocating pistons. Its four-stroke cycle takes place in a space between the inside of an oval-like epitrochoid-shaped housing and a rotor that...

 the next year, the Mazdaspeed team raced one more year at Le Mans
Le Mans
Le Mans is a city in France, located on the Sarthe River. Traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is now the capital of the Sarthe department and the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans. Le Mans is a part of the Pays de la Loire region.Its inhabitants are called Manceaux...

 in a Piston
A piston is a component of reciprocating engines, reciprocating pumps, gas compressors and pneumatic cylinders, among other similar mechanisms. It is the moving component that is contained by a cylinder and is made gas-tight by piston rings. In an engine, its purpose is to transfer force from...

 powered car which came forth, then turned away from professional racing and focused instead on enabling third-party competition of Mazda vehicles. Mazda assumed control of Mazdaspeed in 1999 as a tuning and performance parts operation within the company. In 2003, Mazda debuted its first consumer offered Mazdaspeed vehicle, the 2003 Mazdaspeed Protegé. It was only released to the North American market as an upgrade to the Protegé MP3 and it offered more power — from the MP3's 140 bhp to 170 bhp — by using a T25 Callaway-Garrett turbocharger and an intercooler. It is also worth noting that a 2003.5 model year was produced with a new range of colours and a new, more stylish exterior. Some modifications included new front air dam and a new spoiler. A year after, in 2004, another Mazdaspeed model was offered, the Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata; it too was released only in the North American market. It featured an IHI single-scroll turbocharger producing 8.5 psi (0.586054369905 bar) of boost to further increase power, from 142 bhp to 178 bhp and torque from 125 lbft to 166 lbft. Mazda soon realized that these high performance models could be successful outside of North America and would make the next vehicles available worldwide.

In 2006 the Mazdaspeed6 was released globally; it featured the most powerful piston engine ever produced by Mazda at 274 bhp and all-wheel drive. A 2007 Mazdaspeed6 model joined a new vehicle, the Mazdaspeed3
The 2010 Mazdaspeed3 retains the MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine. Pictures and comprehensive details were revealed to the public at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show and its North American Debut was at the New York Auto Show in April 2009. The MZR 2.3 liter engine remains, however new ECU tweaks will provide...

 — which, with 264 bhp and 280 lbft of torque, was the most powerful vehicle in its class.. Mazda is currently working on its latest offering the second generation 2010 Mazdaspeed3 which is slated for Fall 2009 in North America. The newly styled Mazdaspeed3 carries forward the MZR 2.3L DISI turbocharged engine again with 263 bhp at 5500 rpm and 280 lbft of torque at 3000 rpm with refreshed interior, sheet metal, and body kit.

Race branding

Mazda brands a selection of several racing series as the Mazdaspeed driver development ladder. This program, which began in 2005, is run under the aegis of Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development. It presents season winners in a given series with an automatic ride in the next series on the ladder. For example, a champion driver in the Skip Barber
Skip Barber
John "Skip" Barber III is a retired racecar driver who is most famous for his Skip Barber Racing Schools.- Driving career :...

BFGoodrich is an American brand of tires. Separated from the Goodrich company and now owned by Michelin.Some Michelin competition tyres are now branded BFGoodrich to increase brand awareness....

 National presented by Mazda will be offered a race seat in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, SUVs, race cars, airplanes, farm equipment and heavy earth-mover machinery....

. Finally, a champion in Star Mazda is offered a ride in the Cooper Tires presents the Atlantic Championship powered by Mazda, the highest level of the Mazdaspeed ladder.

External links

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