Mazda Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Le Mans Victory With Classic Argyle Paint Job
Back in 1991, Mazda entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 787B race car—a bright green and orange racer powered by a rotary engine—for the brand’s 17th attempt at Le Mans, the embodiment of the brand’s “Never Stop Challenging” ethos. The bright green and orange colors are inspired by the primary sponsor, Renown, a clothing company that made argyle socks. That rotary sock car went on to win the entire race, making Mazda the only Asian manufacturer to win overall at the 24 Hours (and the only car ever to win with an engine not driven by reciprocating pistons).
Now, 25 years later, Mazda is entering once again, and once more the car is green and orange argyle, this time in honor of Mazda’s victory. The Mazda Prototype team has matched or improved their best-ever finishes in each of the past four races.
When asked about the throwback paint job, 20-year-old driver Tristan Nunez said, “I may not have been born when they won Le Mans, but being an age where technology is key, 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.” He later added, “I won’t see the car until it rolls off the trailers at the Glen, but I assure you it’s going to be an emotional moment for a lot of people, myself included.”
Nunez is joined in the No. 55 Mazda Prototype by Jonathan Bomarito and Spencer Pigot, while their teammates Tom Long, Joel Miller, and Ben Devlin will be driving the No. 70 Mazda Prototype. The No. 70 car will carry a similar design, but painted in Mazda’s more usual Soul Red, Silver, and Machine Gray colors. Together, the two Prototypes represent the past and future of Mazda Motorsports, and a set of the driving suits worn during the race (designed reminiscent of the 1991 uniforms) will be auctioned off afterward, with the proceeds going to Mazda’s “Drive for Good” program.