Mazda 323 (BF/3) Profile

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Mazda 323 (BF/3) General Information

This was probably the most overrated car of early groupA. It was incredible how people misjudged when groupA became the top WRC category in 1987 after the groupB ban. But one can easily understand such misjudgement – to be honest had Rallye-info or www existed in 1987 I would have made a public fool of myself for the very same misjudgement. Well, in my defence at the start of 1987 I would not have put my money on the Mazda. But then I'd better not tell you I would have put it on Ford's combination of Sierra Cosworth & Sierra XR4x4 instead with the Mazda not far behind. Hmm, making it worse for myself? Still, I may have never trusted the Asians (mind you this was before I bought myself a Subaru), but that the Mazda was going to be that bad in 1987? Never!

Well, to explain the general public misjudgement: The Mazda was already launched at the start of 1986 and with the start of the groupA era it was the only compact hatchback combining 4x4 turbo and having a year’s competition under its belt already. In fact it was the only 4x4 turbo groupA car before 1987 full stop, except the Subaru Leone that already proved to be rubbish. Indeed during 1986 the Mazda along the non-turbo Audi Coupé Quattro seemed to be the cars to beat in groupA. A Volkswagen Golf driver (not Volkswagen themselves) won the groupA title in 1986, but everybody (except Volkswagen themselves) knew this was not on performance but on the fact that the Mazdas seemed to have reliability issues while the Audis only competed odd events in private hands. Once either Mazda or Audi was at the start line, Volkswagen was counting the gaps in minutes. And with the Audi works team deciding for a different, much bigger model for 1987, the Mazda should have been the pre-season favourite. The Mazda led groupA in Monte 86 and just before the new era started it took two groupA victories in the last two rallies 1986, RAC & Olympus. How ever the Mazda could still be that unreliable in 1987, after a whole year of competition, surprised even the biggest doubters of Asian car engineering.

Well, come 1987, even though we were going to miss groupB, the start of a new era with everybody having new cars was always going to be exciting and hard to predict. The big pre-season favourites were this Mazda 323 4WD Turbo and the Lancia Delta. The most talked about car at the time was however the Audi 200 T Quattro, why such a big car when the 90 Quattro and Coupé Quattro (however both without turbo) where available. A year later nobody would talk about the 200 any more. On the other end of the scale came the Renault R11 Turbo. Nobody seemed to talk about that at all at the start of 1987, being FWD and only a 1.4 turbo, yet this car shocked with 2nd place on the gravel Rally Portugal. The superb R11 Turbo performances with only 1400cc as well make the case of the Mazda 323 4WD Turbo hard to explain.

Nevertheless, for the first groupA season everybody expected a big fight between the Lancia Delta and this Mazda 323. It never happened like that. People forgot that the Mazda had only a 1.6 turbo compared to the Lancia's 2.0. But than the Mazda had a 16v cylinder head, which was at that point still missing on the Delta. Mazda actually claimed 250BHP, just as much as the first groupA Deltas and more even than Audi claimed for the 200 Quattro's 2.2 turbo. But this Mazda claimed figure seems a little too optimistic. Maybe one could have guessed the Mazda BHP figure was a bit optimistic since in 1986 it wasn’t really faster than the only 200BHP Audi Coupé Quattro. Still one can’t deny the Mazda proved a point or two in groupA 1986 and since the Mazda had a 16v head compared to the Lancia’s 8v, identical BHP figures didn’t seem completely unrealistic. Everybody agreed that the Mazda was of perfect size and its handling was a dream. Another plus for the Mazda should have been that it already competed for one year when the Lancia Delta was still brand new. Yet the Mazda could never really challenge the Lancia and power seemed to be very much the reason behind this.

Looking closer at the results, you find that Salonen won the 2nd event of the groupA only era, Sweden 1987. But this was very much the only result the car should score all year. It's reliability was a disgrace for a car that already had a year's competition under the belt and this contributed to Mazda not tackling all rounds as well. The most embarrassing moment was when Mazda actually entered the RAC (November 87, now nearly two years since its debut) and withdrew at the start line believing their transmission problems would make a start to the event even more embarrassing than publicly quitting the event. And the situation never seemed to improve.

As well management seemed a problem for Mazda, which we indicate in other parts of our database. And that not only on part of MRT/E. The 323 victory on round2 1987 could have contributed to public pre-season believe in the abilities of the Mazda. But instead this victory stood in the shadow of a homologation error, when FIA found out Mazda counted saloon versions to the hatchback’s homologation minimum number. This victory stood only after an extremely rare case of the FIA leaving such offense unpunished. Ford had just paid $100,000 and was disqualified from 4th on the previous event, only for a badge on a component being wrong in the homologation!

In the end the Mazda 323 actually won 3 WRC events altogether, adding Sweden 1989 and NZ 1989 to their Sweden 1987 glory. But Mazda as well eventually admitted power was a problem and was looking forward to a new version of the car with a bigger engine.
 

Mazda 323 (BF/3) Related Content


Mazda 323 (BF/3) Evolutions

 
 
Model & Evo. (Activity)
 
BHP@
RPM
Torque
(Nm)@
RPM
Length
Width
Height
Weight
(Kg/BPM
Ratio)
 
Trans.
(W'base)
Mazda 323 (BF/3) 4WD Turbo (86-90) 250/6500 300/4800 3990.1645.1385 1120 (4.5) 4x4 (2400)

Random Mazda 323 (BF/3) Photos

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Mazda 323 (BF/3) Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
5th. 1993 WRC Swedish Rally B. Johannsson A. Olsson #17 [UNKNOWN] 4:57:35
18th. 1991 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo M. Sillankorva M. Marangoni #26 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
8th. 1990 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo T. Salonen V. Silander #3 [UNKNOWN] 6:18:33
6th. 1990 WRC Rallye de Portugal H. Mikkola A. Hertz #8 [UNKNOWN] 6:48:21
2nd. 1990 WRC Rally New Zealand I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #1 [UNKNOWN] 6:49:57
5th. 1990 WRC Rally Australia (WA) I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #5 [UNKNOWN] 6:00:49
6th. 1990 WRC Rally Australia (WA) G. de Mevius A. Hertz #8 [UNKNOWN] 6:04:57
1st. 1989 WRC Swedish Rally I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #7 [UNKNOWN] 4:58:15
22nd. 1989 WRC Swedish Rally T. Salonen V. Silander #2 [UNKNOWN] 5:32:26
4th. 1989 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #7 [UNKNOWN] 7:25:41
1st. 1989 WRC Rally New Zealand I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #1 [UNKNOWN] 6:59:55
2nd. 1989 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Millen T. Sircombe #6 [UNKNOWN] 7:02:37
7th. 1989 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Wilson S. Lewis #2 [UNKNOWN] 7:23:13
11th. 1989 WRC Rally New Zealand N. Allport B. Haldane #17 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
2nd. 1989 WRC Rally of Finland T. Salonen V. Silander #4 [UNKNOWN] 4:43:44
5th. 1989 WRC Rally of Finland T. Edling K. Nilsson #19 [UNKNOWN] 4:50:01
5th. 1989 WRC Rally Australia (WA) R. Millen T. Sircombe #10 [UNKNOWN] 5:52:22
8th. 1989 WRC Rally Australia (WA) W. Bell D. Boddy #24 [UNKNOWN] 6:11:01
6th. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain T. Salonen V. Silander #4 [UNKNOWN] 6:28:19
7th. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Sundström J. Repo #23 [UNKNOWN] 6:30:56
8th. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #9 [UNKNOWN] 6:32:54
9th. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain H. Mikkola A. Hertz #6 [UNKNOWN] 6:35:52
5th. 1988 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo T. Salonen S. Harjanne #2 [UNKNOWN] 7:56:08
13th. 1988 WRC Swedish Rally T. Edling H. Andersson #10 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
4th. 1988 WRC Rallye de Portugal H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #2 [UNKNOWN] 6:54:45
8th. 1988 WRC USA Olympus Rally R. Millen . UNKNOWN #5 [UNKNOWN] 6:15:11
2nd. 1988 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Wilson S. Lewis #12 [UNKNOWN] 7:57:16
4th. 1988 WRC Rally of Finland T. Salonen S. Harjanne #2 [UNKNOWN] 4:45:50
2nd. 1988 WRC Rally of Great Britain T. Salonen V. Silander #4 [UNKNOWN] 7:19:43
4th. 1987 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #14 [UNKNOWN] 7:55:45
1st. 1987 WRC Swedish Rally T. Salonen S. Harjanne #3 [UNKNOWN] 4:11:00
4th. 1987 WRC Swedish Rally I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #9 [UNKNOWN] 4:13:01
4th. 1987 WRC USA Olympus Rally R. Millen J. Bellefleur #10 [UNKNOWN] 6:11:12
12th. 1987 WRC USA Olympus Rally J. Woodner T. Sircombe #12 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
4th. 1987 WRC Rally New Zealand T. Teesdale G. Horne #8 [UNKNOWN] 7:18:31
6th. 1987 WRC Rally of Finland T. Edling H. Andersson #22 [UNKNOWN] 5:23:47
10th. 1986 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Millen J. Bellefleur #12 [UNKNOWN] 6:40:03
10th. 1986 WRC Rally of Great Britain I. Carlsson J. Bohlin #7 [UNKNOWN] 6:00:33
7th. 1986 WRC USA Olympus Rally R. Millen J. Bellefleur #8 [UNKNOWN] 6:12:56
11th. 1986 WRC USA Olympus Rally N. Allport R. Freeth #9 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Mazda 323 (BF/3) Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1991 WRC Rally of Finland J. Latvala . UNKNOWN #32 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally Australia (WA) R. Millen T. Sircombe #11 [UNKNOWN] SS4 withdrawn
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sillankorva M. Marangoni #49 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Millen T. Sircombe #3 [UNKNOWN] SS24 turbo
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally New Zealand N. Allport B. Haldane #20 [UNKNOWN] SS27 crash
Ret. 1990 WRC Rallye de Portugal T. Salonen V. Silander #5 [UNKNOWN] SS2 engine
Ret. 1990 WRC Rallye de Portugal G. de Mevius L. Manset #10 [UNKNOWN] SS4 clutch
Ret. 1990 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo H. Mikkola A. Hertz #6 [UNKNOWN] SS18 propshaft
Ret. 1989 WRC Rally Australia (WA) I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #6 [UNKNOWN] SS3 head gasket
Ret. 1989 WRC Rally Australia (WA) R. Wilson S. Lewis #12 [UNKNOWN] SS22 suspension
Ret. 1989 WRC Rally of Finland H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #8 [UNKNOWN] SS6 transmission
Ret. 1989 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sillankorva . UNKNOWN #59 [UNKNOWN] SS26 ?
Ret. 1989 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sundström J. Repo #15 [UNKNOWN] SS32 transmission
Ret. 1989 WRC Acropolis Rally T. Salonen V. Silander #3 [UNKNOWN] SS0 withdrawn before start
Ret. 1989 WRC Acropolis Rally H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #9 [UNKNOWN] SS0 withdrawn before start
Ret. 1989 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo T. Salonen V. Silander #3 [UNKNOWN] SS5 brakes
Ret. 1989 WRC Swedish Rally M. Sundström J. Repo #8 [UNKNOWN] SS5 differential
Ret. 1989 WRC Swedish Rally T. Edling H. Andersson #9 [UNKNOWN] SS5 turbo
Ret. 1989 WRC Swedish Rally B. Danielsson A. Eklind #19 [UNKNOWN] SS6 turbo
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Great Britain H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #10 [UNKNOWN] SS47 crash
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Sundström J. Repo #19 [UNKNOWN] SS46 suspension
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sillankorva T. Hantunen #49 [UNKNOWN] SS13 ?
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Finland T. Edling H. Andersson #15 [UNKNOWN] SS5 crash
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sundström V. Silander #12 [UNKNOWN] SS13 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Finland H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #7 [UNKNOWN] SS17 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally New Zealand S. Stubbings S. Turvey #9 [UNKNOWN] SS16 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally New Zealand T. Teesdale G. Horne #4 [UNKNOWN] SS23 crash
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally New Zealand N. Allport B. Haldane #8 [UNKNOWN] SS30 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Acropolis Rally T. Salonen S. Harjanne #3 [UNKNOWN] SS10 gearbox
Ret. 1988 WRC Acropolis Rally H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #6 [UNKNOWN] SS14 gearbox
Ret. 1988 WRC Rallye de Portugal I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #12 [UNKNOWN] SS31 crash
Ret. 1988 WRC Swedish Rally T. Salonen S. Harjanne #1 [UNKNOWN] SS5 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Swedish Rally H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #5 [UNKNOWN] SS11 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Swedish Rally M. Sundström V. Silander #11 [UNKNOWN] SS12 crash
Ret. 1988 WRC Swedish Rally K. Grundel C. Boden #12 [UNKNOWN] SS16 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Swedish Rally W. Wiedner R. Zeltner #17 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #8 [UNKNOWN] SS5 crash
Ret. 1988 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo H. Mikkola C. Geistdörfer #4 [UNKNOWN] SS3 engine
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #10 [UNKNOWN] SS0 gearbox
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain T. Salonen S. Harjanne #1 [UNKNOWN] SS0 gearbox
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Sundström V. Silander #16 [UNKNOWN] SS14 crash
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Finland T. Salonen S. Harjanne #1 [UNKNOWN] SS17 engine
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Finland I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #9 [UNKNOWN] SS9 engine
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sundström V. Silander #7 [UNKNOWN] SS11 engine
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Finland H. Toivonen C. Wrede #21 [UNKNOWN] SS1 gearbox
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sillankorva T. Hantunen #43 [UNKNOWN] SS45 ?
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally Argentina I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #4 [UNKNOWN] SS8 gearbox
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally New Zealand N. Allport R. Freeth #3 [UNKNOWN] SS16 gearbox
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Wilson B. Haldane #6 [UNKNOWN] SS9 engine
Ret. 1987 WRC Rallye de Portugal T. Salonen S. Harjanne #2 [UNKNOWN] SS15 gearbox
Ret. 1987 WRC Rallye de Portugal I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #10 [UNKNOWN] SS19 gearbox
Ret. 1987 WRC Swedish Rally M. Sundström V. Silander #12 [UNKNOWN] SS7 crash
Ret. 1987 WRC Swedish Rally H. Toivonen C. Wrede #17 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1987 WRC Swedish Rally T. Edling A. Bonnevier #18 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1987 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo T. Salonen S. Harjanne #2 [UNKNOWN] SS5 engine
Ret. 1986 WRC Rally of Finland I. Carlsson J. Bohlin #6 [UNKNOWN] SS3 engine
Ret. 1986 WRC Swedish Rally I. Carlsson J. Bohlin #6 [UNKNOWN] SS15 electrics
Ret. 1986 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo A. Warmbold . "Biche" #16 [UNKNOWN] SS5 engine
Ret. 1986 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo I. Carlsson J. Bohlin #14 [UNKNOWN] SS20 gearbox