1970 Mazda Chevron B16

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1970 Mazda Chevron B16

The first clarion call of a rotary-engined vehicle at Le Mans was sounded in 1970. A Belgian team installed Mazda's Type 10A unit in a Chevron B16, which, unfortunately, stopped four hours after the start due to a coolant pipe failure. Three years later, the first Japanese team with a Mazda engine entered a Sigma MC73, assembled by Sigma Automotive and powered by a Mazda Type 12A rotary unit. It lasted longer than the previous challenger but met the same fate in the eleventh hour. The following year's event saw Type 12A engine installed in the Sigma MC74, a modified version of the MC73. It completed the whole 24-hour slog for the first time only to be classified as DNF due to not having completed enough laps.