Mazda 323 (BG/4) Profile

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Mazda 323 (BG/4) General Information

The original Mazda 323 4WD Turbo was tipped by many to be the favorit of early groupA alongside the Lancia Delta. This never turned reality. The Mazda had two major problems: 1) reliability and 2) it only had a 1.6 turbo whilst the opposition had mostly 2.0 turbos.

When in 1990 the Mazda 323 GT-X arrived, it should have dealt with these two problems. By now MRT (Achim Warmbold's Mazda Rally Team Europe) had 4 years WRC experience with the 323 under their belt. Yet, the new car debuted in Finland 1990, where 2 of the 3 cars retired with blown engines. Embarrassingly the old car was pushed into service once more for the fly away Rally Australia, where they finished 5th and 6th - with their "B-team" of drivers at that. Then the new car was taken again to the RAC, where again all 3 cars retired (though Salonen with a crash). Therefore the aim to improve reliability can be described as a failure, as simple as that.

For the too small engine, the new model 323 featured a completely different engine, now at least a 1.8 rather than 1.6 - even above, 1839cc. However in this the car as well could not convince. It was still near 200cc down on the opposition, who in turn have not been standing still in engine development either. The car's best result was the Rally Sweden 1991, where Ingvar Carlsson finished 4th.

I feel this car - works machine with great handling - deserves more of a write up. This is quite a short story compared to some of the other cars. But basically everything is said already in the story of the previous (BF) generation gA Mazda 323. Even though new generation and bigger engine, well see the Australian B-Team drivers comment above. The standard works drivers in 1990 were none less than Timo Salonen & Hannu Mikkola! And the 3rd new generation car was loaned to Mikael Sundström, not a former World champion but another very bright talent. Debut of the new model 1000 Lakes Rally (FIN) and the car was not only unreliable, but far off the pace, though at least Salonen finished 6th. Similar on the RAC, though Salonen actually won 3 stages. But when after the debut of the new car the old car was used again in Australia, it was in the hands not of their stars Hannu Mikkola & Timo Salonen, but Ingvar Carlsson & Gregoire de Mevius instead, they finished 5th & 6th and Carlsson managed to win 3 stages too. So by all sympathies it is hard to see where the good news is for Mazda with their new car.

Leaves to say that once more the handling of the Mazda was fantastic. But it had too many shortfalls in other areas. After only one full season with the 323 GT-X, Mazda pulled the plug on rallying for good.

Surprising was Achim Warmbold's sense for detecting future stars. In Mazda's last season, 1991 with this 323 GT-X, his line up included Tommi Mäkinen and Jesus Puras, both should come to stardom many years later.

Mazda 323 (BG/4) Related Content

Mazda 323 (BG/4) Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Mazda 323 (BG/4) GT-X (90-92) 275/7000 326/5700 4035.1675.1390 1120 (4.1) 4x4 (2450)

Random Mazda 323 (BG/4) Photos

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Mazda 323 (BG/4) Results

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

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
18th. 1999 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo R. Frau . UNKNOWN #34 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
8th. 1993 WRC Rally New Zealand N. Allport J. Robb #18 [UNKNOWN] 6:36:58
7th. 1992 WRC Swedish Rally B. Johannsson A. Olsson #10 [UNKNOWN] 5:38:58
4th. 1991 WRC Swedish Rally I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #1 [UNKNOWN] 5:01:55
6th. 1991 WRC Swedish Rally B. Johannsson A. Olsson #17 [UNKNOWN] 5:05:36
7th. 1991 WRC Swedish Rally H. Mikkola J. Johannsson #7 [UNKNOWN] 5:06:10
7th. 1991 WRC Rallye de Portugal J. Puras J. Arrarte #16 [UNKNOWN] 6:50:17
8th. 1991 WRC Acropolis Rally H. Mikkola J. Johannsson #11 [UNKNOWN] 7:36:54
5th. 1991 WRC Rally New Zealand N. Allport J. Robb #14 [UNKNOWN] 7:28:19
6th. 1991 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Millen T. Sircombe #7 [UNKNOWN] 7:30:51
8th. 1991 WRC Rally New Zealand I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #5 [UNKNOWN] 7:42:38
5th. 1991 WRC Rally of Finland T. Mäkinen S. Harjanne #10 [UNKNOWN] 4:20:55
12th. 1991 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sundström J. Honkanen #17 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
6th. 1991 WRC Rally Australia (WA) R. Millen T. Sircombe #12 [UNKNOWN] 6:04:37
7th. 1991 WRC Rally of Great Britain H. Mikkola J. Johannsson #15 [UNKNOWN] 6:02:41
6th. 1990 WRC Rally of Finland T. Salonen V. Silander #5 [UNKNOWN] 4:49:02

Mazda 323 (BG/4) Retirements

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

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1998 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo R. Frau . UNKNOWN #31 [UNKNOWN] SS99 gearbox
Ret. 1992 WRC Rally Australia (WA) R. Millen T. Sircombe #9 [UNKNOWN] SS11 crash
Ret. 1992 WRC Rally New Zealand N. Allport J. Robb #8 [UNKNOWN] SS21 crash
Ret. 1992 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Millen T. Sircombe #7 [UNKNOWN] SS36 engine
Ret. 1992 WRC Rally New Zealand R. Wilson L. Bult #19 [UNKNOWN] SS99 gearbox
Ret. 1991 WRC Rally of Great Britain T. Mäkinen S. Harjanne #9 [UNKNOWN] SS33 crash
Ret. 1991 WRC Rally Australia (WA) I. Carlsson P. Carlsson #4 [UNKNOWN] SS32 crash
Ret. 1991 WRC Rally of Finland H. Mikkola J. Johannsson #7 [UNKNOWN] SS30 engine
Ret. 1991 WRC Rally New Zealand J. McAndrew M. Fletcher #18 [UNKNOWN] SS99 gearbox
Ret. 1991 WRC Rallye de Portugal H. Mikkola J. Johannsson #9 [UNKNOWN] SS24 electrics
Ret. 1991 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo H. Mikkola J. Johannsson #10 [UNKNOWN] SS3 engine
Ret. 1991 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Puras J. Arrarte #16 [UNKNOWN] SS15 crash
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally of Great Britain H. Mikkola A. Hertz #10 [UNKNOWN] SS12 engine
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally of Great Britain T. Salonen V. Silander #6 [UNKNOWN] SS24 crash
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Sundström J. Repo #23 [UNKNOWN] SS14 engine
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally of Finland H. Mikkola A. Hertz #11 [UNKNOWN] SS22 engine
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally of Finland M. Sundström J. Repo #16 [UNKNOWN] SS26 turbo