Mazda marks 25th Anniversary of Le Mans win
With the 24 Hours of Le Mans kicking off this weekend, Mazda is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its own historic win at the world’s most famous enduro.
To mark the occasion, Mazda is reviving the livery of its winning car, the 1991 Mazda 787B. The iconic orange and green livery from Japanese clothier Renown will run again on Mazda’s 2016 IMSA SportsCar Championship race car. Both the Le Mans winner and the IMSA prototype are number 55 (five is pronounced “go” in Japanese, so the number is a pun saying “Go, go!”).
“As a kid, I remember seeing pictures and models of the Mazda 787B,” said Jonathan Bomarito, driver of IMSA car, of the classic 787B. “There was no other car in the world that looked like it, or sounded like it. It showed that Mazda was a unique car company, approaching things in their own way.”
The 787B was perhaps the pinnacle of Mazda’s trademark rotary engine technology, its quad-rotor mill capable of approximately 800 horsepower and an otherworldly roar as it breathed through long individual intake runners.
“That day in 1991 cemented what defined Mazda, and that spirit and passion of the company is seen and felt every day in each element of our brand,” said John Doonan, motorsports director of Mazda North America. Mazda has a long history of tackling the world’s most grueling races, from the 1968 84 Hours of Nurburgring to the 1979 RX-7‘s debut class win at the 24 Hours of Daytona.