12 May 2018

To celebrate the 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa we asked Belgian motoring artist Clovis to draw us some of the most iconic cars that helped write the history of the Belgian endurance classic. 

The 1981 Mazda RX-7 of Tom Walkinshaw and Pierre Dieudonné is the third in our series. 

Between 1970 and 1980 the only car victorious in de Spa 24 Hours was either a BMW or a Ford Capri. 

Even though one of the Tom Walkinshaw Racing, 1.1 litre Wankel-engined Mazda RX-7 had managed to qualify on the front row, it was more than likely that such a scenario would be repeated during the 1981 edition. During the heavy rain the Mazdas fell back, and the Capris took the lead. But then the rain stopped and other cars closed the gap. First the BMWs, then the Mazdas as well. 

In what probably was one of the loudest touring cars that ever raced in Spa Tom Walkinshaw and Pierre Dieudonné increased the pressure on the leading BMW and 90 minutes from the end the Bavarian machine faltered. 

Walkinshaw and Dieudonné took the lead and the Mazda RX-7 became the first Japanese car to take the win in the Spa 24 Hours.