2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrates Mazda’s motorsport heritage with special sculpture

Article by Andrew Christian, on June 27, 2015

Mazda’s motorsport heritage is honored at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year with a 40-meter centrepiece sculpture that hangs over the audience below. Gerry Judah took inspiration from Mazda’s Kodo design philosophy in this sculpture of two racing cars that appear to burst out of the ground followed by amazing twisted steel art pieces.

Mazda has always held on its philosophy of strength, beauty and tension in how living things move and in the simplicity of Japanese aesthetics. What Judah built is an expression of all these qualities that belie the structure’s complexity. The sculpture is positioned like matchsticks, composed of 418 steel beams that all have a different lengths and angles.

This centrepiece is actually the most complex centrepiece that has ever been built, making use of 120 tons of steel that could extend 1,235 meters if they’re put end to end. To put it into perspective, this is how long the Goodwood Hill Climb track is. It’s very fitting that Mazda’s racing prowess is celebrated in this sculpture.

In the 1960s in Europe, Mazda entered endurance racing to promote its rotary engine. Mazda and its rotary engine cars have an impressive racing record, having won 100 IMSA races. Among its other titles are a class victory in the Daytona 24 Hours; several IMSA manufacturer and driver titles; the Spa 24 Hours; five class wins at Le Mans; and two British Touring Car titles.

But its most famous win is in 1991 at Le Mans with the 787B. But for this sculpture, the two cars chosen are the Le Mans winning Mazda 787B, which was the overall winner in the famed 24 hour race in 1991. Behind its wheel were British driver Johnny Herbert together with Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot. Mazda is still the only Japanese automaker to have been a champion at Le Mans 24 Hours.

It is also the only rotary engine to be a winner at the French endurance race. The second car on the sculpture is the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo car.

The incredible Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo was made for Playstation’s Gran Tursimo 6 racing simulation game so it is every player’s dream realized as it is seen in its physical form on top of the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed Mazda Central Feature.

The LM55 takes its name from the number 55 Mazda 787B that took the trophy at the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours. The LM55 pays homage to the bold proportions of the 787B and it also serves as a futuristic sports prototype created from Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy. The LM55 has the same dramatic proportions of a Le Mans racing car.

It features a sleek nose, some sculpted wings, and low rear-end that offer a one-of-a-kind dynamic form that is in line with the KODO ethos of 'beautiful form full of life'.

The 787B and LM55 on the Mazda Central Feature are a great complement to the West Sussex skyline as they perfectly capture Mazda’s 'Challenger Spirit' in the racing icons of its renowned sporting past as well as the brand’s future stylish and spirited cars.

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