As racing enthusiasts look ahead to Saturday and the 2016 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, many will remember an outcome that made history 25 years ago. On 23 June 1991 at around 16:00, the chequered flag waved through the winner of that year’s event.
It was car number 55, with its flashy orange and green exterior and the unmistakable scream of its four-rotor engine. Some 21 hours into the race, after a long battle with the favoured Mercedes-Benzes and Jaguars, the Mazda 787B took the lead for the first time. It was a position the outsider would not surrender: Three hours later, against all expectations, Johnny Herbert guided the Mazda triumphantly across the finish line in front of 250,000 spectators.
Mazda is of course still involved in motor sport today, supporting selected MX-5 race series across Europe as well as initiatives like the recently launched “Friends of MX-5