If you ask people to name a LeMans car I’m sure the first car to leave a lot of people’s lips would be the Mazda 787B.
The 787B was the final iteration of a line of rotary powered sports cars built to compete at prototypical level in races around the world. The 787B was only really in competition for two years before the FIA played about with the Group C class of cars to make it a formula series and ruined it for everyone. It’s a general misconception that the 787 was banned purely for being a rotary, it wasn’t, it was just that a rotary would struggle to fit into the FIA’s rule book and so Mazda decided to pull the plug on the program.
Gosh! There’s a few good ideas for blog posts in that paragraph! The rise and fall of Group C and the heritage of Mazda’s rotary prototypical sports car program, alas they will have to wait for another day though!
Assetto Corsa isn’t the first game that the 787B has featured and I doubt it will be the last. As mentioned above the car is massively popular. It’s easy to understand why though. As with rotary powered road cars they make the most perplexing and unique of noises; at idle they make a sort constant rhythmic rasp and then under load they make a sound that can only really be described as the world’s loudest swarm of angry wasps. Rotaries tend to produce a lot of backfire too. One can only imagine then sensation of this mighty angry scream shaking the floors and the trees as the car past followed by this fantastic firework display as it let off throttle to change gear.
In game the car sounds good. the idle resonates well and under load the game has really scream and urgency of this mighty 4 rotor.
Everything else is as one would expect from a car in Assetto Corsa really. The interior is beautifully detailed..
The car is also a pleasure to drive. In comparison to the classic Formula 1 cars in the game the Mazda, along with it’s other Group C counterparts really stick to the track. The Mazda also doesn’t lock it’s breaks as quickly as some of the other cars from this era and although it can be a little twitchy under hard acceleration it’s a forgiving vehicle to drive and does not require much mastery.
My overall impressions are good. If you are looking for a car to try out as a simulation rather than playing the driver aids on and such it’s not a bad place to start. I’m interested to see how it compares to the other Group C cars in game so there may be an article coming up about them in the not too distant future.
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