Car News

Mazda builds a giant monument to their racing history, crashes rare 767B racecar

It’s time for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, and Mazda has built quite an eyecatching sculpture.

THE SCULPTURE IS made up of 418 steel beams with a combined weight of 120 tonnes.  At the top are the Le Mans winning Mazda 787B which took overall victory in the famous 24 hour race in 1991 driven by British driver Johnny Herbert (of Formula 1 fame) alongside Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot.

Screenshot from Gran Turismo 6
Screenshot from Gran Turismo 6

Mazda is the only Japanese manufacturer to have won Le Mans 24 Hours (Germans tend to do rather well, as they did this year) and theirs is only rotary engine to have won the famous French endurance race.  Possibly also the only rotary engine ever to have been entered, but we’ve not checked that fact.

Next to the 787B is the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo car, which has just been made available an update to Gran Turismo 6.  It is another concept car, and named after the number 55 Mazda 787B that took victory in the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours.  Mazda say the LM55 is “both a homage to the dramatic proportions of the 787B and a vision of a futuristic sports prototype drawn with inspiration from Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy.”

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Gran Turismo 6 also now features a special event where you can race the LM55 Vision along the famed hillclimb course. It is well worth having a try, as it really brings a new understanding of what the track is like in real life and makes the viewing of the event itself more enjoyable.  Practical Motoring has managed a time of 41.3 seconds for gold… how about you?

Screenshot from Gran Turismo 6
Screenshot from Gran Turismo 6

UPDATE: News reporting are filtering in that the rare 1989-vintage 767B racecar has crashed when on a timed lap.  Nobody was hurt, but some haybales are the worse for wear.  The driver is reported to be Seniji Hoshino…who we can’t find any record of, anywhere.  Either way, it’s a real shame the car has been wrecked but that’s the risks of running it for real as opposed to just displaying it at a museum.

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Crash story & image source: Jalopnik.

 If you want to watch the Festival of Speed here’s the live-stream:


Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper is a motoring journalist, offroad driver trainer and photographer interested in anything with wings, sails or wheels. He is the author of four books on offroading, and owns a modified Ford Ranger PX which he uses for offroad touring. His other car is a Toyota 86 which exists purely to drive in circles on racetracks, and that's when he isn't racing his Nissan Pulsar. Visit his website: www.l2sfbc.com or follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RobertPepperJourno/ or buy his new ebook!