The Mazda 787B Le Mans racer sounds astonishing. It can also make you faint.
In 1991, a quite-famous driver named Johnny Herbert piloted the 690bhp screamer to win the Le Mans endurance race, making Mazda the first and only Japanese carmaker to take victory at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe.
Gallery: the Mazda 787B at Le Mans 2011
To celebrate 20 years since this astonishing victory, a less-fainty Mr Herbert returned to the circuit last weekend with his Mazda to do a few celebratory laps. These laps were stupendously loud. Johnny even re-enacted his faint for authenticity, before taking to the podium.
We garnered some opinion from the audience about the Mazda’s return to Le Mans. Most of it was unerringly positive. And unpublishable. Even film star Patrick Dempsey had a go in the four-rotor-engined winner. “I tried to start a relationship with it in two laps,” says Dempsey.
You must hear it in action. And then you must click on the gallery of pictures of it in action. You must.
Le Mans 2011: a TopGear.com journey