Video: RX-7 vs. Torana – A Battle of Precision and Power

As far as spectacular dogfights go, this might be one of the best. Set at the iconic Mt. Panorama circuit, these two track tools face off with a very obvious display of their own respective talents. The muscular, V8-powered Holden Torana has its say whenever the track straightens out, and leaves the nimble-but-anemic RX-7 trailing in its brutish wake.

Even though they’re short on power, these RX-7s remain favorites thanks to their near-perfect weight distribution.

Though the sharp-edged Mazda, thanks to its weight, has the advantage through the tighter sections and is far better on the brakes, the challenging, varied Mt. Panorama circuit offers plenty of opportunities to screw up. The Torana is the first to demonstrate the difficulty of running here, as a massive tank slapper at the top of the hill brings his pursuer back into contention.

Maintaining momentum better, the Mazda nips by at the last moment on the brakes. Kudos to the Mazda’s driver, who shows some incredible determination and composure in getting by the flailing Holden; outbraking on the inside of The Esses takes some bravery and skill.

Holden’s Torana has been a staple of Aussie motorsport for decades; acting as a major force in touring car racing in the seventies and eighties.

As if to prove my point wrong, the RX-7 driver loses the back end just as soon as he assumes the lead, and his potential gains through the tighter downhill section go out the window. Predictably, the RX-7 stands no chance on the straightaway following this technical section, and the Torana blazes by with authority. However, that doesn’t spell the end for this duel. In fact, the last, and final overtaking attempt takes place at the fastest, most daunting corner on the circuit, which, when taken properly, is intimidating. When taken on the inside line at triple-digit speeds, its mortifying.

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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