Mazda’s classic victor takes the applause again
THIS remarkable Mazda will be screaming around the Le Mans Circuit next Saturday before the start of this year’s Le Mans 24 Hour Race.
Exactly 10 years ago, the 787B became the first and so far only Japanese car to win the long-distance classic.
It is also the only rotaryengined car to win the race. Mazda had been trying for 17 years. Jointly developed by Mazda and Mazdaspeed, which managed Mazda’s racing programme, the 787B featured a chassis designed to meet Group C technical regulations and was powered by a four-rotor rotary engine that produced 700ps or 690bhp.
Since 1991, the Le Mans winning Mazda 787B has been on display at the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima.
In preparation for the demonstration at Le Mans this year, Mazda has carefully restored the 787B racecar to driving condition for the first time since its post-race overhaul in 1991. The work was carried out by current Mazda employees who participated in the company’s original Le Mans Challenge Project. Also back with the car will be the English driver Johnny Herbert who put in extra time at the wheel to make sure of the 1991 victory.
Other rotary engine Mazdas carried on racinge, the last outing at Le Mans was in 1997.
ROARING FORTE: The Mazda 787B triumphed 10 years agao at Le Mans.