It may not be 24 hours and it may not be Le Mans, but the Six Hours of Watkins Glen is no walk in the park. In honor of the 25th anniversary of its Le Mans win, Mazda wrapped one of its IMSA prototypes — number 55, as it happens — in the orange and green livery of the legendary 787B when it ran last weekend. “It’s kind of emotional… to be in the firesuit just like they wore and [with] the livery on the car,” said co-driver Jonathan Bomarito, “The fan reaction was absolutely incredible.”
And in case you needed another reason to feel old, Bomarito’s co-driver, Tristian Nunez, wasn’t even born yet when Mazda took the checkered flag in 1991. “I may not have been born when they won Le Mans,” Nunez said, “but… there are a lot of videos on the internet of that car! I’ve been watching the 787B for years – even before I got picked up by Mazda. It’s one of those cars that really captures your eye – and the sound that rotary motor made!”
Their sister car, the identical number 70 prototype and driven by Tom Long and Joel Miller, will run the same graphic scheme, but in Mazda’s signature Soul Red and Machine Gray colorway.
In the end, the #55 Mazda took eighth due to engine troubles, while the #70 car finished fifth. It’s not as resounding a success as the Le Mans run 25 years ago but it just goes to show that racing is tough, and that win in France was truly special.