3. Mazda's first genuine two-seat racing car, the 717C, wins Group C Junior
The 717C was the first Mazda car specifically designed for racing. It sported the 13B rotary engine with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injectors and easily qualified for the 1983 Le Mans 24 hour race.
Soon after the start, one car burst its right rear tire midway along the 300 km/h Mulsanne straight. The burst tire damaged the rear cowling and led to a one-hour pitstop. After suffering two tire punctures, the second car gradually began to work its way up through the field. The two Mazdas found themselves racing together soon after midday, and crossed the finish line together. The lead car took twelfth position overall, winning the Group C Junior class in its inaugural year. The other Mazda finished second in its class. 717C car number 60 also recorded the best fuel economy throughout the race (3.2km/L) and the hardworking team earned the trophy for Best Mechanic.