Racing Beat - A History Of Racing Experience

Racing Beat's founding duo, Jim Mederer and Takayuki Oku, began modifying and building rotary engines for racing applications back in 1972. It was a classic case of the American automotive engineer meeting the Japanese racer that brought these two unlikely partners together. Together, many early successes came while building engines for dirt track midget cars, IMSA R/S class RX-2's , Car and Driver Magazine's Bonneville RX-4, and Racing Beat's RX-3 NHRA drag car.

Needing a way to finance these projects, newly formed Racing Beat developed and offered a new line of rotary engine performance products. Not all engine development projects were racing applications, some of the more interesting projects in the next few years included a mechanically supercharged rotary engine, a single-rotor experimental engine for NASA, a 4-rotor prototype racing engine, a turbocharged self-contained industrial engine for seismic drilling, and a government-sponsored 1000HP aircraft engine for use in short airstrip takeoffs.

Racing Beat built several RX-7s for land speed record attempts both at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed in CA, and the Bonneville Speedway in Utah, Nevada. Three different Racing Beat RX-7s set new land speed records over a 25-year span. An ill-fated attempt in 1993 resulted in a harrowing airborne ride for car designer/driver Jim Mederer at speeds approaching 220mph! The car was repaired and in 1995 returned to the salt flats and established a new land speed record of 242.005 MPH. As a testament to the extraordinary accomplishments of the Racing Beat RX-7 race vehicles, these land speed records have stood the test of time for over 25 years!

While going fast in a straight line was a thrill, road racing was Jim Mederer's true passion. Racing Beat-built RX-7s dominated the 1980 IMSA GT-U season, won 8 races and captured the class championship. Returning to run only endurance races in 1983, the Racing Beat RX-7 won GT-O class events at the 24-Hours of Daytona and at the Mosport 6-Hour Endurance race.

In the 1990's, Racing Beat concentrated their efforts on developing racing and performance products for the newly introduced Miata. Racing Beat's Miata were featured in several national automotive magazines and established several new handling records, all with Racing Beat's bolt-on performance parts!

In 2000 we were invited to join Car and Driver Magazine for a tuner show-off, which highlighted our 1999 Miata. This project then lead to a similar feature article with Sport Compact Car Magazine; where the Racing Beat Miata set a all-time skidpad record of 1.1g during testing.

In 2008 Racing Beat was selected by Mazda USA to build and test a 20B 3-rotor engine for use in Mazda's futuristic Furai concept vehicle. This concept car thrilled journalists and legions of web viewers with its display of impressive looks and exotic rotary sounds.

We invite you to review our photo gallery for an overview of our various racing endeavors and project vehicles.


2002 Protege MP3

1977 NHRA Racing Beat RX-3 - Class record holder and Modified Eliminator champion.

RX-8 with supercharged RENESIS engine

1986 Bonneville Land Speed Record RX-7 - Boosted class record from 201 MPH to 238 MPH!

2004 Mazdaspeed prototype RX-8

Road America RX: IMSA GTU RX-7s - Eight class victories and finshed 1st and 2nd place in the championship.

2008 Mazda Furai project car

1990 Miata - Set Motor Trend Magazine's all-time slalom record at 76.3 MPH.

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