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by Brett Davis

Those who love motorsport and anything to do with performance cars in general may remember the awesome Mazda 787b which won at Le Mans in 1991, giving Mazda its first ever Le Mans victory. For this year’s Le Mans event, Mazda restored the original 787b and gave the keys to former 787b driver and Le Mans winner, Johnny Herbert, for a nostalgic lap around memory lane.

As a celebratory 20-year anniversary gift to all the fans, Mazda restored the original winning car, strapped a number of cameras to it and let it go for a run around the famous semi-public 13.6km road circuit. Take a look at the video below, and just listen to the sound of that engine as it revs its way to the 9000rpm redline.

Featuring a quad-rotor naturally-aspirated 2.6-litre rotary engine, with three spark plugs per rotor, the Mazda 787b was a huge milestone for Mazda in the world of motorsport. Not only did it showcase Mazda’s traditional love of the rotary engine, it also won the 1991 Le Mans event outright at Circuit de la Sarthe in France.

The R26B engine is rated at around 520kW, although, in some tunes the engine is said to produce more like 690kW at 10,500rpm – not bad for a car weighing 850kg. There’s certainly no denying the speed of the thing, and you’ve got to love that proper manual, H-pattern gear shift which provides long-legged ratios.

The Mazda 787b has to be one of the greatest racing cars of all time, what do you think? May we suggest you take a squiz at the video before making your decision.




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