Back to the future for Mazda at Le Mans
Mazda will be making a long-awaited return to the scene of its greatest motorsport triumph when it lines up on the grid at the Le Mans 24 Hours next week.
The Japanese manufacturer is taking part in the 'Le Mans into the future' event that precedes the start of the race, showing off the RX-8 Hydrogen RE sports coupe running alongside other forward-looking cars, including the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Ferrari 599XX HPDC and electric Secma F16 on two laps of the famous circuit.
It will be the first time that Mazda has returned to Le Mans since its victory there in 1991 with a team that included Britain's Johnny Herbert; the 787B is the only rotary-engine race car to have won at Le Mans and Mazda remain the only Japanese manufacturer to have taken the chequered flag there.
The 'Le Mans into the future' event is a new addition to race week and will feature vehicles using alternative powertrains such as electric, gas, hybrid, natural gas or hydrogen. The Mazda RX-8 is fitted with a dual-fuel (petrol/hydrogen) rotary engine and is currently available in Japan and Norway.