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The famous 1991 24-Hours of Le Mans winner, the Mazda 787B will be featured at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Ex-Formula 1 driver and Le Mans veteran Mike Wilds and current Mazda works driver Mark Ticehurst will be racing the 787B up the hallowed Goodwood hill for the festival this weekend. The race car returns to mark the 20th anniversary of its famous victory in the demanding 24-Hours of Le Mans.
Mazda’s 787B made history in 1991 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by becoming the first Japanese car to win the event. It’s victory lap was also its last as after 1991, rotary engines could not participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Mazda is still the only Japanese car manufacturer to win Le Mans.
The 787B is powered by a 700-hp rotary engine which has a top speed of 210mph.
The 787B will also join the MX-5 GT race car which is powered by a 275-hp 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine featuring a six-speed sequential paddle-shift gearbox, carbonfibre doors and polycarbonate windows. The car has a kerb weight of just 850kg and can accelerate from 0-60mph in just three seconds.
Gallery: Mazda 787B
Marking the 20th anniversary of Mazda‘s victory in the world’s most demanding endurace race, the 24 Hour of Le Mans, Mazda has brought the winning Mazda 787B back from the dead.
Since winning in 1991, the Mazda 787B has been on display at the Mazda Museum in Horishima, Japan. The car has been carefully restored since its last 1991 post race overhaul, to open for the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans. The 79th annual race begins Saturday June 11 at 3 p.m. Additionally, the 787B will also take part in the Driver’s Parade through the Le Mans City center on Friday 10.
The 787B was powered by a four-rotor rotary engine that produced 700-hp. The 787B was the first and only Japanese car to win the 24 Hour of Le Mans. After 1991, rotary engines could not participate in the 24 Hour of Le Mans.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, members of the 1991 Mazda team will also return to Le Mans. The winning driver Johnny Herbert (England) will be joined by 1991 Mazda drivers David Kennedy (Ireland), Pierre Dieudonné (Belgium) and other team members.