Tom Long has been racing sports cars successfully for many years. He worked his way up from SCCA Spec Miata to become a factory driver for Mazda in their DPi class. He’s driven an incredible array of race cars over the years. We caught up with him at the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach where he was getting ready to get behind the wheel for the first time in the amazing Mazda RX-792P IMSA GTP car from 1992. He shares his insight and comparisons of the newer and older Mazda race cars. He’s also been racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GT4 GS class and the Lamborghini Trofeo Series. When he’s not at the race track driving, he spends a lot of his time coaching drivers. Enjoy!
Note: Before the actual interview with Tom, I recorded the engine sounds of the Porsche 962, twin-turbo V6 Jaguar, and the four-rotor Mazda RX-792P IMSA GTP cars near the end of Shoreline Drive. This Mazda screams excitement!
By Larry Mason
Copyright © 2023 Larry Mason
Tom Long is a friendly face in the IMSA paddock and one incredibly talented driver.-photo courtesy of Tom Long
Tom Long is always focused on what it takes to go faster and win races.-photo courtesy of Tom Long
This compact and beautiful little Mazda RX-792P GTP race car is perfectly suited for the scenic foreground of the fountain and flower garden at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.
As compact and tidy as the Mazda GTP race car is, it has a voluptuous body figure.
Steamroller wide rear tires, a massive undertray diffuser and ground effects tunnels, along with a huge rear wing – this Mazda RX-792P race car produces prodigious amounts of grip.
Tom mentions different cars in the podcast. This Mazda is resplendent in the color scheme of the car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Mazda in 1991.
Tom mentions different cars in the podcast. Another four-rotor Mazda is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to that shrill sound at speed that only a rotary engine can produce.
Interview and photos Copyright © by Larry Mason (unless otherwise noted)