Mazda Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary Of Historic Le Mans Victory

Motorsport / Comments

With a digital showcase of the remarkable Mazda 787B race car.

When one mentions the word 'motorsports' names like Ferrari and Porsche tend to spring to mind, and not necessarily Mazda. Sure, the brand builds one of the most loved sports cars of all time, the Mazda MX-5, and its roster includes legends such as the rotary-powered RX-7, but Mazda is seen as more of a family-friendly brand these days. Few know however that Mazda enjoyed a long and successful racing career in the world-famous World Endurance Championship, particularly at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, culminating in a win for the brand in 1991. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Mazda has launched a special website commemorating the milestone and sharing technical details of the amazing car that won the race.

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Mazda
Mazda
Mazda

The legendary Mazda 787B was the first Japanese car ever to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, which is a pretty big deal not only for the brand, but for the nation as a whole, and celebrates Mazda's dedication to rotary technology. "Last year, Mazda celebrated its 100th anniversary, and since our founding, we have relentlessly taken on new challenges. Our commercialization of the rotary engine and subsequent win of the pinnacle event in endurance racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, utilizing that technology is symbolic of our commitment to finding ingenious solutions," said Masahiro Moro, chief communications officer, Mazda Corporate. The famous race was won by Mazda drivers Volker Weidler from Germany, Johnny Herbert from the UK, and Bertrand Gachot from France. The team completed 362 laps (approximately 3,059 miles) of the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe and encountered virtually no problems.

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Mazda
Mazda
Mazda
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The 787B was a true work of art and used a naturally-aspirated four-rotor engine with electronically controlled injection, a linear variable air intake system, three-plug ignition, and ceramic apex seals to generate a serious 700 horsepower. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a Mazda/Porsche five-speed transmission. The car itself weighed under 1,900 pounds and the body was constructed from carbon composite materials. The car rode on Bilstein suspension and 18-inch Rays wheels. Carbon brake discs and Brembo calipers scrubbed off speed with incredible efficiency. Mazda fans can visit the website at Mazda.com/innovation/lemans30th and bask in the glory that is the 787B, all while we wait for the brand to hopefully launch a new production rotary sometime in the near future...

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