If you were born in the mid-80′s then chances are you have never seen or heard of a rotary powered car competing in races, let alone endurance racing except drifting thanks to Mad Mike and his four-rotor Mazda RX-7 FD. Back in 1991, Mazda achieved the seemingly impossible when the Japanese car maker beat the more established favourites likes Mercedes and Jaguar in the prestigious 24-hours of Le Mans. Till date, the car they contested has been the only rotary-powered car to achieve the feat. And it screamed all the way to the chequered flag.
Called the 787B, the rotary powered Le Mans racer revs to 9000rpm – that’s a lot if you consider that Le Mans race cars have to be engineered to last the equivalent of a whole season of Formula One racing!! If you think that is incredible, imagine this – rotary engines are very rev-happy by default and race cars are extremely loud by default – can you just imagine the sound of this thing at full flight at Le Mans? Well just listen to it but no matter how loud you turn it up, it won’t beat the real thing. Just ask the Mazda engineers, some of them are still deaf since 1991.