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Mazda RX-3 Hits 201 MPH at the Drag Strip, Sets Radial Rotary Speed Record

Drag racing might not be as big in Australia as it is in the United States, but the folks Down Under run some pretty cool events and build some of the hottest dragsters out there. And it's the place to be if you like the high-pitch screams of rotary engines.
rotary-powered Mazda RX-3 dragster 1 photo
Rotary-powered dragsters are actually quite common in Australia. The country's proximity to Japan saw many Wankel-powered Mazdas travel South. Some of these 1970s cars were eventually converted into drag racers, having their rotary engines upgraded to deliver hundreds and even thousands of horsepower. Not only they're an impressive sight, but they're also fast enough to take on V8-powered dragsters.

The footage you're about to see below is not about winning a quarter-mile race. It's about setting new benchmarks. Specifically, this fine-looking RX-3 just became the first rotary-powered dragster on radials to hit a trap speed of 200 mph (322 kph).

Andrew Zed set the record at Sydney Dragway during testing for the 2021 Sydney Jamboree. Following several runs in the low 7s at trap speeds of over 190 mph (306 kph), Zed hit that sweet 200-mph mark before heading into the qualifying session.

The RX-3 prepped by PAC Performance crossed the finish line to stop the clock at 7.03 seconds and 201.16 mph (323.73 kph). The trap speed makes it the first rotary-powered car on radials to squeeze past the 200-mph mark. Andrew was also gunning for his first run in the sixes, but he narrowly missed that one. For now.

As impressive as this Mazda RX-3 is, it's not the quickest of its kind out there. Back in April 2021, a similar rotary-powered coupe ran the quarter-mile in 6.63 seconds at 210 mph (338 kph), a world record for the nameplate. But Zed's radial benchmark is just as impressive, especially given that his blue RX-3 sees plenty of cruise time as a road-legal car between drag racing events.

Check out the first video for the radial record and the second one for the world's fastest rotary-powered Mazda RX-3.

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