World Rally Championship team Mazda Rally Team Europe

Mazda Rally Team Europe

BE Belgium (Brussels)
In WRC since 1982 until 1991

Mazda Rally Team Europe team in the World Rally Championship

Mazda's history in the World Rally Championship was fleeting with few participations, but with great rarities, milestones and perhaps feats in world motorsport.

The Japanese automobile factory was founded in 1920 in the city of Hiroshima, over the years it became interested in racing, with its sporting debut being in 1968 in the historic 84 hours of Nürburgring competition, where Mazda took two models. Cosmo Sport 110S, the team's intention did not go beyond that of providing the brand with a presence in international competitions and at the same time, demonstrating to the world the viability of the rotary engine. However, to the surprise of everyone and everyone, Mazda achieved fourth place in that event.

In 1985, Achim Warmbold, a former German rally driver co-driven by Jean Todt during the 1973 and 1974 world championship seasons, created the Mazda Rally Team Europe with the aim of achieving success in the acclaimed Group B, creating a spectacular machine, the Mazda. RX-7, in its debut season, would achieve third place in the very tough Acropolis Rally in Greece driven by the Swedish driver Ingvar Carlsson.

But in 1989 the most unlikely and anecdotal part of this story occurred. The aforementioned Ingvar Carlsson, born April 2, 1947 in Nyköping, participated in just four races that season, achieving the incredible mark of two victories, something very rarely seen in history. Being the first in his native country in the Swedish Rally where he would take victory over Per Eklund who drove a Lancia Delta Integrale, the second victory in New Zealand where he would beat drivers like Malcolm Wilson who came in third position driving a Vauxhall Astra GT. and a young Colin Mcrae who would finish fifth aboard a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, evidencing a time of transition in the championship. Mazda finished the season in third position in the overall constructors' standings, having competed in "only" six tests, leaving in the statistics a successful passage through the discipline, perhaps little known and taking into account that today it would be unthinkable for a car with little development and a pilots of little talent achieve victories in rallies.