Mazda
Mazda

The day Mazda blew ’em away

Riley Riley

It’s 30 years since Mazda blew them away at Le Mans to take an historic victory.

With its win Mazda became the first Japanese manufacturer and the only rotary-powered car to take outright victory in the prestigious event.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of this momentous achievement, Mazda has created a special website that showcases not only the victory — but also the history, technology, and personnel for fans to enjoy.

Mazda first entered Le Mans in 1970 and scored a class win in 1984 with the diminutive Lola T660 — but the overall win in 1991 was always the prize most coveted.

That year, Mazda entered three cars in the race, with its two 787B models finishing first and sixth and a year old 787 finishing eighth.

The winning car was driven by Briton Johnny Herbert, Belgian Bertrand Gachot and German Volker Weidler and completed 362 laps of the famed 13.6km Circuit de la Sarthe circuit.

“Last year, Mazda celebrated its 100th anniversary, and since our founding we have relentlessly taken on new challenges,”  Chief communications officer,  Masahiro Moro, said.

“Our commercialization of the rotary engine and subsequent win of the pinnacle event in endurance racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, utilising that technology is symbolic of our commitment to finding ingenious solutions.”

You can view the 30th anniversary website is at Mazda.com/innovation/lemans30th.

 

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