Author: Steve Allen |
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Mazda celebrates 25th anniversary of iconic Le Mans overall win

While Mazda Motorsports racers are always looking forward to the next win, they also respect the path that led them to their current success. For Mazda and scores of fans, there is no more significant win than the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans with the iconic rotary powered orange, green and blue Mazda 787B race car. Mazda is the first and only Asian auto manufacturer to score an overall win at the world’s most famous endurance race.

“As a kid, I remember seeing pictures and models of the Mazda 787B,” said Jonathan Bomarito, driver of the No. 55 Mazda Prototype in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The No. 55 is in honor of the race-winning car from 1991. “There was no other car in the world that looked like it, or sounded like it. It showed that Mazda was a unique car company, approaching things in their own way. It’s an honor to race the No. 55 Mazda Prototype, and I have the privilege and responsibility to help Mazda achieve more victories now and in the future.”

The 1991 Le Mans win came after 17 attempts to conquer the twice-around-the-clock auto race, and it gave birth to the Mazda creed of “Never Stop Challenging.” Now, 25 years later, Mazda dominates grassroots road racing in America and is rapidly challenging for overall race wins in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The year 2016 is also a special year for Mazda as the automaker passed the 1 million mark for cumulative MX-5 Miata sales and launched the first season of the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires.

“That day in 1991 cemented what defined Mazda, and that spirit and passion of the company is seen and felt every day in each element of our brand,” said John Doonan, motorsports director, Mazda North American Operations. “Today, the win we want most is the next one, but we appreciate that our current and future success has a rich history that sets us apart from all our competitors. We continue to try to write the next chapter of our history each and every weekend where Mazdas compete.”