4pm, 23 June, 1991: the flag dropped on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the car that shrieked across the finish line was the one you see in the pictures above. It was the Mazda 787B; the car that marked out Mazda as the first and only Japanese carmaker to have ever won the fabled 24-hour epic.
Of course, as with literally every single Le Mans, victory wasn’t assured. Following a gruelling 21-hour fight with Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, and only three hours before the end, Johnny Herbert took the lead for the first time… and didn’t surrender it until the end. Which meant that the 250,000 spectators at the event witnessed the rotary-engined monster cross the finish line.