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History Sports Cars 8

Johnny Herbert and the Mazda 787B

In the January issue of Motor Sport we asked Aston Martin works driver Sam Hancock to get behind the wheel of the Mazda 787B that Johnny Herbert used to win the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours.

sports cars racing history  Johnny Herbert and the Mazda 787B

However, at the 2011 Le Mans race Herbert was also given the keys to the rotary-engined machine after the car had been given a full rebuild by Mazda. Here are the videos of the rebuild and an impressively fast ‘display lap’ by Herbert at La Sarthe. Enjoy.

sports cars racing history  Johnny Herbert and the Mazda 787B sports cars racing history  Johnny Herbert and the Mazda 787B

 

 

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8 comments on Johnny Herbert and the Mazda 787B

  1. hamfan, 23 November 2011 15:34

    Drool.. All things considered (record, looks, drivers, etc) one of my top three all-time Le Mans cars. Great stuff MS team, keep it coming…

  2. Ray T, 23 November 2011 16:15

    I hate Wankels. Great tech development and awesome car, but watching these live is awful. The sound induces headaches, even with earplugs in. It actually resonates through your body.

  3. Rich Ambroson, 23 November 2011 17:48

    Love the rotary. I saw the prototype Mazda ran in the IMSA series in ’92. Loved the sound!

  4. Tony Geran, 24 November 2011 06:45

    Ray T agree with you about Wankels. When Allan Moffatt raced an RX 7 here in the Australian Touring Car champs in the 80′s the sound was awful especially when compared to the V8s. The engive sound in the video of the Le Mans car isn’t so bad perhaps it was due to the microphone or the development that had gone on, I dunno, but it sounded more like a nice old Cosworth. Liked the in car footage, remember when racing cars had gear levers and not paddles?

  5. Lewis Lane, 24 November 2011 20:44

    Thank God nobody’s legislated the different configurations and sounds out of sports cars in all their forms down through the years… (yet…). It’s one of the main points of interest. GT1 Marcos LM600 – ground trembling, or 1970′s Matra V12 for me… I kind of like the idea that an engine can be felt as a car passes – but i guess there is a limit! Ears bleeding, probably…

  6. Mario Carneiro Neto, 25 November 2011 01:56

    One of the cars that fuelled my fascination with Le Mans when I was about 10 years old. So nice to see it back on track.

  7. john h wickens, 29 November 2011 19:00

    thank you so much for your email that included the mazda787b. i was there when they won and it is the car and the team i admired most of all. they only had and needed one car to win .i thought they were just amazing.thank you again ,it is now a treasured possession of mine.john

  8. john h wickens, 29 November 2011 19:05

    ps. to the above.it will be interesting to hear sam hancocks comments.

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