While it might not be able to match the glory of the 1991 Le Mans-winning 787B, the 767B is very important for Mazda Motorsports as it paved the way for some prestigious race cars. In 1989, the 767B-002 competed at Le Mans and finished second in the IMSA GTP class and ninth overall. Now, after a two-year restoration, the vehicle is back in race-ready condition and will be seen in action during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (August 19 - 21) at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Part of Mazda North American Operations (MNAO)’s collection, the race car is motivated by a four-rotor 13J engine pushing out 630 horsepower (470 kilowatts). Mazda says the engine ‘delivers all the power, torque and noise it did when the car raced in-period’ and the car was taken down to a bare tub before being rebuilt piece by piece. In other words, it should now be as good as new thanks to the experts from Downing/Atlanta which during the restoration process were supervised by Mazda racers Jim Downing and Rick Engman.
The 767B-002 was first raced at the Fuji 1000 km event back in April 1989, managing to take the win in the IMSA GTP class with Yojiro Terada / Takashi Yorino / Yoshimi Katayama behind the wheel. Its last race was in March 1990 at the Fuji 500 km where it triumphed in the IMSA GTP class and finished ninth overall with drivers Yojiro Terada / Takashi Yorino / Yoshimi Katayama.
It’s worth pointing out the 767B due to make an appearance at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca later this month is not the same one that crashed last year at Goodwood Festival of Speed. That was chassis 001 which scored a win in the IMSA GTP class at the 1989 Le Mans.
Mazda Raceway to Welcome Long-Lost Mazda Racer
Using history to inspire the future, Mazda returns iconic 767B racecar to the track
arlier this year Mazda celebrated the 25th anniversary of its 1991 Le Mans win in the iconic green and orange Mazda 787B. While the 787B is the crown jewel of Mazda’s global vintage racecar collection, there were others that paved the way. One such car was the Mazda 767B which competed at Le Mans in 1989.
Now, 27 years later, after a two-year restoration, it is part of Mazda North American Operations (MNAO)’s collection, and will return to the track at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 19-21, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
As with the 1990 787 Group C, 1991 RX-7 IMSA GTO and 1992 RX-792P racecars in MNAO’s Heritage Collection, the experts at Downing/Atlanta took the responsibility to return the 767B to race-ready condition. Under the watchful eyes of Mazda racing stalwarts Jim Downing and Rick Engman, the car was taken down to a bare tub and rebuilt piece by piece. The team built the four-rotor 13J engine specifically for this car, and it delivers all the power, torque and noise it did when the car raced in-period.
Support of motorsports comes from the top within Mazda. According to president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) and managing executive officer, Mazda Motor Corporation (MC), Masahiro Moro, “Mazda has a never give up attitude and it is exemplified in the 767B. The race track is the perfect environment to showcase our history of continuous innovation. We use our historic racecars, not as static reminders of the past, but rolling, screaming, fire-breathing brand ambassadors for the future.”
Ken Saward, design manager, MNAO, in Irvine, California, has worked with the Mazda Motorsports team for many years, and has been given the honor of piloting the 767B in Monterey. Saward brings many years of experience in Spec Miata and endurance racing to his new challenge.
Saward noted: “It’s unbelievable how motorsports and automotive technology has evolved over the past three decades. We see things that were once only found on exotic race cars now on affordable street cars. As a designer, our unique racing history really does inspire us to take chances with design for future cars. I couldn’t be more honored or thrilled that Mazda has entrusted me with this incredible piece of company racing history.”
Chassis 767B-002 is powered by a four-rotor 13J putting out a healthy 630 horsepower. This chassis was first raced at the Fuji 1000 km in 1989, where it won the IMSA GTP class. Early in 1989, it acquired its iconic green and orange “Charge” livery, one of the products of the Renown company.
The full race record for the car is as follows:
1989 Fuji 1000 Km. JSPC (30 April), #202, 9th overall, 1st IMSA GTP, Yojiro Terada / Takashi Yorino / Yoshimi Katayama
1989 Le Mans WSPC (10-11 June), #202, 9th overall, 2nd IMSA GTP, Takashi Yorino / Herve Regout / Elliott Forbes-Robinson
1989 Fuji 500 Miles JSPC (23 July), #202, 7th overall, 2nd IMSA GTP, Yojiro Terada / Takashi Yorino / Yoshimi Katayama
1989 Fuji 1000 Km. JSPC (8 Oct.), #202, 10th overall, 1st IMSA GTP, Takashi Yorino / David Kennedy
1989 Suzuka 1000 Km. JSPC (3 Dec.), #202, DNF, gearbox, Yojiro Terada / Takashi Yorino / Yoshimi Katayama
1990 Fuji 500 Km. JSPC (11 March), #202, 9th overall, 1st IMSA GTP, Yorjiro Terada / Yoshimi Katayama / Pierre Dieudonne
WSPC = World Sports Prototype Championship
JSPC = All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship