Found this short video of a lap at Le Mans in 2011 by driver Johnny Herbert in the legendary Mazda 787B.
Loved the pure engine sounds and various camera perspectives on the car and it got me thinking, I ought to do a little looking into the history of the 787B. First, enjoy the video:
Now, for a little background on the car.
Only 5 were produced. Two 787 models and three 787B types were produced in the early 1990s. They were created to conform to a mixture of FISA and IMSA regulations, and is to this day the only non-traditional engine configuration to win at Le-Mans. The chassis and engine were an evolution of the 767 which was campaigned by Mazda in 1988 and 1989 but logically came with some technical, mechanical and reliability improvements over the previous iteration.
Quite a good looking thing, yes?
Photo courtesy of the Mazda Experience
The livery is an homage to the principal sponsor of the team for some time in the late 80s and early 90s, Japanese clothing company RENOWN. Such a striking design it was that it resulted in a turbo’d edition of the MX-5 Miata seen here:
Photo credit: PistonHeads
Your eyes do not deceive, that is a legitimate release from Mazda, and not a vinyl wrap. These cars were painted this way! Only 24 were made; making them the rarest production Miatas money can buy.
The powerplant in the 787B is a 4 rotor monster making 700 race reliable horsepower, but the Mazda team clain it was capable of well over 900 if pressed. Rotary engines are norotious for not developing a world of torque, and this four-rotor is no exception to the rule: it puts down a mere 450 some odd ft-lbs at full tilt.
All in all, this car is a definite beast and surely deserve its status as a legend of motorsport.