Hype News: Legendary Mazda 787B Race Car Returns To LeMans After 20 Years

Posted on 05.20.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The year was 1991.  Ric Flair won the NWA/WCW championship, Seinfield made its TV debut, Bryan Addams was on the top of the Billboard 100, I started 4th grade, and most importantly Mazda made history by being the first Japanese manufacturer to win the 24 Hours Of LeMans with their 4-rotor powered 787B race car.  Its been 20 years and a lot of things have changed since ’91.  Ric Flair retired, Seinfield ended, Bryan Addams has been spoofed by a cartoon baby, and I finished college (mostly).  However, one thing that hasn’t changed was Mazda’s accomplishment.  They are still the only Japanese manufacturer to ever win LeMans and the 787B is the first and only rotary powered car to win the race (rotaries were banned after ’91). 

To celebrate their 20 year standing accomplishment the organizers of the 24 hours of LeMans have invited Mazda to back to Circuit de la Sarthe for a special exhibition run, complete with members of the original 1991 team!  Engineers at Mazda have completely restored the 787B to racing condition for the event on June 11th which will be photographed and recorded by Mazda and then uploaded for all the interwebs to see.  And it will be quite a sight to see the ol’ 787B taking the corners of de la Sarthe again.  I can’t wait!  Until then I will just listen to another 4-rotor Mazda in action to hold me over.



Press Release:

– The Mazda 787B’s incredible 4-rotor engine noise will be heard again around the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 11, before the 24-hour race begins –

HIROSHIMA, Japan—2011 marks the 20th anniversary of Mazda’s victory in the world’s most demanding endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1991, Mazda became the first and only Japanese car manufacturer to win the race. In celebration of this anniversary, and at the invitation of the event organizers, the Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO), Mazda will demonstrate the winning Mazda 787B on the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France on Saturday, June 11, 2011, before the 24-hour race begins.The 79th 24-Hours of Le Mans is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (local time) on Saturday, June 11, 2011, and finish at the same time on the following day. Mazda plans to hold the demonstration of the 787B racecar on the Circuit de la Sarthe at 12:30 p.m. on June 11. Additionally, the 787B will also take part in the Driver’s Parade through the Le Mans city center on Friday June 10.

The Mazda 787B is the first and only Japanese car, and rotary-engine car, to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Jointly developed by Mazda and Mazdaspeed, the organization that managed Mazda’s racing program, the 787B has a chassis designed to meet Group C racing car technical regulations and is powered by a four-rotor rotary engine that produces 700 horsepower. Due to a change in the race regulations, 1991 was to become the last year that a rotary-engine car could participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. At the last chance, after 17 years of effort, Mazda finally realized its long-held dream to take the overall victory at Le Mans. This victory was not Mazda’s alone, but the result of long years of hard work by Mazdaspeed, the drivers, suppliers and the many others involved.

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s representative director, chairman of the board, president and CEO, said, “Mazda is founded on a desire to ‘never stop challenging.’ This spirit brings Mazda Group employees together across the globe, and it inspires us to achieve the demanding goals we set ourselves. Exactly 50 years ago, in 1961, Mazda commenced development of the rotary engine. The road from this beginning until our 1991 victory at Le Mans, and on to our current SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY development program, is built upon our spirit of challenge. 2011 is set to be another landmark year for the entire Mazda Group, as we enter our SKYACTIV era with the global introduction of our next-generation vehicles.”

Since 1991, the winning Mazda 787B has mostly been on display at the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima, Japan. In preparation for the demonstration at Le Mans, Mazda has carefully restored the winning 787B racecar back to driving condition for the first time since its post-race overhaul in 1991. The work was carried out by current Mazda employees who participated in the company’s original Le Mans Challenge Project, along with engineers from Mazda’s subsidiary engineering company Mazda E&T. The restored 787B has been tested by one of Mazda’s in-house top gun drivers, and its performance has been confirmed by former Mazda factory drivers Yoshimi Katayama, Takashi Yorino and Yojiro Terada at Mazda’s Mine Proving Ground in western Japan.

As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, various 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.

Video footage and photographs of the restoration work and the demonstration at Le Mans will be uploaded on Mazda’s official Facebook and YouTube web pages.

The Mazda Facebook page:

The Mazda Youtube channel:

[Source: Mazda]

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Knight Sports Mazda RX-8 SE600SS Muffler With Titanium “Rotor” Tips

Posted on 02.16.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

I have no idea where or how to get this but major props to any Mazda RX-8 stateside that is rocking this Knight Sports muffler right now.  Those “rotor” shaped titainium tips are fire!!

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Hype Event: SevenStock 2009

Posted on 09.28.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The 12th annual SevenStock was just one of the corners in a huge Mazda fan trifecta this weekend and the only Mazda event I can actually go to!  Sorry man I’m not a big enough baller to go to Road America and Road Atlanta in the same weekend! SevenStock was pretty awesome though.  There were tons of Rotary’s all over the place and I’m not just talking about the cars that were meant to have them.  Anything you could shove a Rotary in was on display.  There was also the flip side with a few LS1 powered RX-7s, those engine bays got a lot of attention.  There was also another treat at the event but I’m saving that for its own post.  In the meantime check out some pictures here and the rest on our Facebook page.



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Rare Hype: 1984 First-Gen Mazda RX-7 MINT Condition Autoweek Auction

Posted on 12.08.08 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

If you’re a Mazda fanatic and I mean a serious fanatic then this post is all for you.  Right now, up for auction is a completely refreshed and re-stored first generation 1984 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE.  This car has had ONE OWNER and was purchased brand new from a Mazda dealer in San Luis Obispo.  Back in 2003 10 grand was dropped to do a complete restore job.

This car is a rare gem indeed and could easily be the crown jewel in anyone’s classic Japanese car collection.  The best part is that the proceeds from this auction will benefit the Humaine Society.  So if you win this car, not only will you pick up a mint but you’ll also help out a great cause.

The Mazda is currently being auctioned right now on Autoweek.com so click on over and place a bid!

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Racing Beat RX-8 “Street Legal” Cat Back Exhaust

Posted on 10.06.08 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

If you’re a Mazda fan then you are probably well aware of Racing Beat.  They’ve been tuning Mazdas since our parents were in high school.  They’re keeping things current though.  Check out their cat-back exhaust for the RX-8.  The sound is pretty nice and you’ll get a reasonable bump in power.  Definately worth consideration if you’re pushing the new RX.

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What To Do This Weekend: Sevenstock XI, Irvine CA

Posted on 09.26.08 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

If you’re a Mazda fan then this weekend will be like a double X-mas.  First on Saturday will be Sevenstock XI (or 11 if you don’t know your numerals) at the Mazda R&D headquarters in Irvine.  Then on Sunday famed Mazda tuners and race team Tri-Point Engineering will be having an open house at their facility.  Their race cars will be on display and the crew will be giving clinics on suspension setup.  This weekend will be chocked full of Mazda freshness!

Sevenstock Info

Tri-Point Open House Info

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A’PEX-i Power FC

Posted on 09.08.08 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

An oldie but a goodie, the A’PEX-i Power FC was one of the OG stand-alone fuel management system.  Back in the day 3rd gen RX-7 guys swore by this set up although this isn’t just for wankel heads.  If you know what you’re doing or if you know someone else who knows what you’re doing the Power FC can really optimize your car’s performance.

Now a days you can still get this set-up for the Mitsubishi Evo and a few others.  If you’re shopping for ECU solutions the Power FC is more than worthy of your consideration.

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