Mad Mike Meets The 787B

It’s often said that you should never meet your heroes, but when Mad Mike Whiddett had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the machine that inspired him to push mechanical boundaries with his Mazda rotary-powered competition drift cars, there was no way he could ever be disappointed.

We are, of course, talking about the legendary Mazda 787B; the Group C racer that in 1991 rewrote the 24 Hours of Le Mans record books by becoming the first Japanese car to win the iconic French endurance race. In fact, it’s the only Japanese car to have done so. At the 787B’s heart, the R26B – a naturally aspirated and peripheral ported 4-rotor engine that developed more than 700hp and was outlawed at the end of the ’91 World Sportscar Championship season.

In this new Speedhunters clip from Jason Laroza, Mike takes us on a tour of the race-winning #55 car (787B-002) and explains why it holds such a special place in his heart.

The Speedhunters

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25 comments

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1

Oh come on now... At the moment when the engine is running you have to play music????

2

LOL Mad Mike sure knows how to make rotary sounds with his mouth and please let us enjoy just the engine tone not with background music

3

I thought he'd take her for some drifting..

4

Championship winning car?

5

rotary, given its high revving nature is suitable for race but for daily driving,lack of torque is annoying plus not to mention its thirst.

6

CharlieJoiner rotary engines have no less torque than piston engines with a comparative displacement

7

ernie2492 LOL like they would let ANYONE drift it. Don't see that happening anytime soon.

8

The Rotary was not "outlawed" so to say, the ACO/Sportscar Championship changed to a new formular that needed the car to have F1 derived engines. Mazda knew that and took the chance to build and win in a car in the last year of the old rule set.
The Rotary wasn't outlawed because it was to good ;) Any type of turbo engine was outlawed as well.

9

JackAM CharlieJoiner But far more fuel used and oil burned.

10

with oil prices plunging, hopefully the blowhard "rotaries consume too much oil" excuse will die off.

11

Fellow Rotards, rejoice!

12

Is this the one that wrecked at Goodwood FOS this year?

13

RIGHT CAR FOR MAD MIKE!
Person who loves Rotary, loves 787B!

14

Let him drive it!

15
Pete the perfect pilot

And you have owned how many? I assume you're speaking from experience .....

16

Great video but Mike's engine impersonation at 2.40 take a f**king bow sir!

17

ernie2492  Here's Keiichi Tsuchiya unintentionally sliding a 767 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx55chQWtGE

18

apieceobacon JackAM CharlieJoiner but they burn oil on purpose. just like a 2stroke. i ran premix so i had no issues with that. good oil control rings and your crank case oil will be fine.

19
Pete the perfect pilot

Legendary reliability was the hallmark of mazdaspeed entry's at Le Mans from the off. They always finished, most often as class winners. Rod Millens campaigns where always class acts, and he was pushing the factory with his 4 wheel drive rx7 with 3 rotor power. With 100 IMSA wins in North America Mazdas Rotary was a great success, and factor in the Bathurst victorys back to back in the standard production 12 hour races, the rotarys pedigree is a good one. It must be remembered that the budget that they used was very small compared to the efforts of Nissan, Honda and Toyota, making their results all the more impressive. The efforts of mazdaspeed team principal Takahasi Ohashi who sadly has passed away drove the Mazda factory forward; let's hope the new Mazda vision concept will be developed with the same passion and success the earlier rotar enjoyed. I have had at least one Mazda rotary in my garage for the past 20 years, theres nothing like it!

20

how calls that song at the final of the video?

21

j_tso ernie2492 "unintentionally"

22
ATmulholland_magazine

If you look up the race recap of their win at Le Mans the Saubers were actually wildly faster if I remember correct. They won because Sauber has transmission problems with one of the cars and the other one I can't recall what happened. Slightly ironic when you think about it.

23

j_tso ernie2492 : Such a gorgeous beast sitting still, and even more so in motion.

24

I met this guy when I was attending UTI in Orlando. Mad Mike is one down to Earth type of guy. We actually talked for a good 20 minutes and he even agreed with me about how drifting should be an X Games event.

25

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