Video: 700-HP RX-7 Makes Stellar Start, Crashes

There are many ways to skin a cat. Bruce Banks set out in the Super Saloons a few years ago with a four-cylinder turbo, and then feeling the pangs of a rotary engine, moved onto a normally-aspirated 20B.

With a few ponies shy of 400, the package was no slouch, but unfortunately, the V8 competition and open rules in Super Saloons motivated Banks to strap a turbocharger onto his Smurf-blue Mazda. Outputting 700 horsepower – quite violently, it should be added – made this car a serious threat on track. Not only is its straight-line speed awe-inspiring, but its matched with wonderful balance and precise cornering.

http://www.sportssedans.com.au/uploads/images/News/SS1_4049.JPG

It might get a little warm in the cabin.

While that combination might make rotary fans salivate, the engine placement will give them an aneurysm. There’s plenty of ways to try and keep the weight mounted as centrally as possible, but sticking the mill in the actual cabin is one not taken by many drivers, especially with rotary engines which run a bit hotter than the typical piston motor. Throw a watermelon-sized turbocharger on, and one must be well-acclimated to hot environments to handle it, even with a homemade shroud sitting over it. That’s one advantage the Aussie drivers have, it seems.

On long distance races, the interior becomes a sweat lodge.

On long distance races, the interior becomes a sweat lodge.

However, perhaps the heat got the better of Banks in this particular romp. After making a screaming start and surging ahead with that violent, relentless power, Banks is out-braked, somehow, by a 300ZX. It’s a daring maneuver, and the 300ZX has to carry their brakes deep into the corner because of the speed and the line, and they trip; spinning around and leaving Banks nowhere to go.

Perhaps a bit of target fixation came into play here, but it’s one of those incidents that happen to skilled drivers like Banks, and a disappointing day for him – you can hear the dismay in his voice.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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