View Full Version : 787B to return to Le Mans
05-20-2011, 03:16 AM
Just a shame it's not actually racing
05-20-2011, 04:28 AM
I remember that shit and it was also the first year I owned a RX7! 20 fucken years ago!!!!
Long time to be into rotaries, seen so many pretenders come and go from them in that time :117:
05-22-2011, 12:33 PM
I just headed over here to post this story as well, only reported via Motor Trend.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary of its historic Le Mans win in 1991, the Mazda 787B will make an appearance at this year’s 24-hour race. As the first and only Japanese manufacturer to take the win at one of motorsports’ most challenging and prestigious endurance races, Mazda’s attendance at the 79th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans also coincides with the 50th anniversary of its development of the rotary engine — the engine that carried the 787B to victory.
Along with being the only Japanese competitor to win Le Mans, the 787B was the first and only winner powered by a rotary engine. Jointly developed by Mazda and Mazdaspeed, Mazda’s performance wing and manager of its racing efforts, the 787B was the product of 17 years of sports car racing as well as Mazda’s advancement of the rotary engine. The 787B’s 4-rotor engine was tuned to 700 PS (690 hp), but was capable of producing upwards of 900 hp. While the 787B’s rotary played a major role in its 1991 win, running that engine at Le Mans the next year wasn’t an option, thanks to changes to the World Sports Car Championship’s (WSC) Group C regulations. Still, Mazda continues its participation in sports car racing and occasionally contests the famed 24-hour race in France.
Having sat in the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima, Japan, since its Le Mans win, the 787B needed to be restored to driving condition before it could take to Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe once again. For this, Mazda tapped its current employees who originally participated in the 787B’s racing campaign as well as engineers from its subsidiary engineering company Mazda E&T. Once thoroughly inspected and reconditioned, the race car was put through its paces by Mazda’s in-house development drivers, who confirmed that the 787B was ready for duty again. Now back in top form, the 787B can properly demonstrate its 10,500-rpm redline to crowds at Le Mans before this year’s race in June.
Various members of the 1991 Mazda team will be attending the race to witness the 787B’s return to the track they conquered 20 years ago. Among them, one of the three winning drivers, Johnny Herbert, and Mazda drivers of the 1991 WSC season, David Kennedy and Pierre Dieudonné, will be in attendance. Representing Mazda’s new crop of drivers, actor and racing driver Patrick Dempsey, who races a Mazda RX-8 in the GT class of the Grand-Am Rolex series, also plans to attend. Although rotaries aren’t favored by the current rules governing Le Mans, Mazda’s commitment to the engine design is still strong in other series, such as Grand-Am and the Star Mazda Championship, a spec series that employs rotary-powered open wheel racers. Since first tinkering with the rotary engine in 1961, Mazda has since developed the power plant for applications in passenger cars and, of course, race cars. Mazda says that its Le Mans win, while historic in its own right, was just one step in the evolution of its engines, which will soon enter another phase of advancement through the company’s next-generation SkyActive technology. With a history rooted in competition, the lengths gone to by Mazda to celebrate the anniversary of its Le Mans win certainly shows how much that achievement means to the brand.
Read more: http://wot.motortrend.com/mazda-787b-mark-anniversary-race-win-appearance-24-hours-le-mans-80091.html#ixzz1N6ShFIeg
Another one to add to the list:
A Rotary Will Wail At Le Mans Once Again
By Chuck Squatriglia May 23, 2011 | 9:00 am | Categories: Cool Cars
Twenty years ago, Mazda became the first — and so far only — Japanese automaker to win the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. To celebrate the anniversary, Mazda is bringing the winning car out of retirement to take another lap of the famed track.
The Mazda 787B was one hell of a car, the first and only rotary-engine racer to win at Le Mans. It was an evolution of the 787, a Group-C prototype built to compete in the World Sportscar Championship series, Le Mans and other events.
Power came from an R26B four-rotary engine with continuously variable intake and three spark plugs per rotor. Although the 3.5-liter engines raced at Le Mans could put down 900 horsepower, they were limited to 700 to ensure longevity. The engine was bolted to a Porsche five-speed gearbox. The 787B wasn’t as quick as its competitors, but it was remarkably reliable.
Mazda entered three cars. They weren’t favored to win, and the best of them started 19th. The No. 55 car driven by Johnny Herbert, Volker Weidler, and Bertrand Gachot climbed to third in the early stages of the race. It moved into second as night fell. With three hours left, the Mercedes-Benz C11 leading the race took to the pits with mechanical problems, leaving Herbert to take the win.
The No. 55 car completed 362 laps and covered 4932.2 kilometers (3,064.7 miles). The other two Mazda entries finished sixth and eighth. Changes in the rules made 1991 the last year rotaries would compete at Le Mans.
Mazda meticulously restored the 787B ahead of its demonstration lap around Circuit de la Sarthe before the start of the race on June 11. The car has spent most of the past two decades on display at the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, members of the winning team will return to Le Mans, including Herbert and drivers David Kennedy and Pierre Dieudonné.
Former Mazda factory drivers Yoshimi Katayama, Takashi Yorino and Yojiro Terada put the restored 787B through its paces at Mazda’s Mine Proving Ground in western Japan.
The No. 55 car wore bright orange paint in honor of key sponsor Renown. The other two cars raced at Le Mans with Mazda’s traditional blue and white livery.
The No. 55 car got a complete post-race teardown and rebuild to prepare it for its demonstration run at Le Mans next month.
The R26B engine: 700 horsepower in race trim and one hell of a glorious racket.
05-27-2011, 09:48 AM
Now we just need it at Sevenstock!
05-27-2011, 12:37 PM
I read before that after the race they inspected the engine and found the wear on the seals and housings was miniscule, to the point where they could have run an entire season and had 0 issues in that department.
05-27-2011, 09:54 PM
Theres some photos up on ausrotary of it getting rebuilt, I'll link em later when I get some time
05-27-2011, 10:40 PM
Seems like she is up and running
05-27-2011, 10:48 PM
05-27-2011, 11:11 PM
Wow!!!!! Those pictures are awesome!
05-28-2011, 01:02 AM
Yeah the whole 3 plug per rotor is interesting!
05-29-2011, 06:02 PM
Looks like they got the variable length runners working again.
06-04-2011, 06:42 PM
Fucking awesome. Thanks for the pictures.
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