Mazda’s international motorsport debut

With a Mazda Cosmo making a staring appearance on the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show stand we take a look at how this ground-breaking sports car led Mazda’s first foray to European racing with an entry in the 1968 Marathon de la Route.

To test the endurance and reliability of the rotary engine Mazda entered two Cosmo Sports in the gruelling Marathon de la Route – a mind-boggling 84-hour race around the fearsome 28km Nurburgring. While one car crashed out of the race, the surviving Cosmo finished fourth, beaten only by a pair of Porsche 911s and a Lancia Fulvia – considered at the time to be two of the finest sports cars in Europe. Mazda, the rotary engine and the stunning Cosmo had made their mark.