There are a few racecar liveries that stand the test of time, remaining instantly recognizable over the decades. Mario Andretti’s John Player Special. The Gulf livery of Grady Davis’s 1967 GT40. Richard Petty’s Blue and Red #43. These are some of those that bring memories of past accomplishments to mind.
In the world of LeMans prototype racing there’s one victorious livery that arguably stands head and shoulders above the others. Instantly recognizable, the 1991 Mazda 787B’s orange and green argyle Renown pattern was outrageous and distinctive.
Twenty five years later, Mazda remains the only Japanese manufacturer to win the top class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a fact painfully punctuated by the crushing Toyota loss this year in the last six minutes of the 2016 24 Hours.
Mazda is understandably proud of their accomplishment, and in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their win they have announced that they are wrapping their two IMSA prototypes in tribute patterns.
The #55 car will feature the famous graphic scheme in all of its orange and green glory. It’s a spectacular thing to behold and looks perfect on this newest Mazda prototype.
A surprisingly attractive twist on the classic livery will be the #70 car’s Soul Red and Machine Grey color scheme, evoking the original while using Mazda’s latest signature colors. While more subtle and staid than the 1991 race design, it’s still a fitting nod to the past while acknowledging the present and looking toward the future.
Look for the cars to appear at the Watkins Glen six hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race this weekend.