Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is one of the most widely known motorsports facilities in the world, and now a large Mazda race car mural will only add to its popularity. Painted on plywood boards, the mural of the legendary Mazda 787B race car measures in at 32 feet long and 10 feet tall and is visible to those traveling on the Monterey-Salinas Highway (State Route 68) in California.
Local Salinas resident John Cerney created the artwork. He was commissioned by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) to make the Mazda 787B mural along with the mural of Grand Prix motorcycle legend Wayne Rainey placed at the County of Monterey-owned Laguna Seca Recreation area in July.
“The colorful race car that can be seen from the highway will let people know that this is an incredible racing facility,” Cerney said. “The car is huge. I used 10 sheets to complete this board compared to the six that I used for the Wayne Rainey mural. I strived to get all the little details right, from the logos to the body lines. The bright orange and green colors really make it stand out.”
The 787B is iconic in the endurance racing world because the Mazda is the only Japanese automaker to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The No. 55 race car won the event in 1991, driven by Johnny Herbert, Volker Weidler, and Bertrand Gachot. Using Mazda’s R26B engine, the 787s were the last Wankel rotary-powered cars to compete in World and Japanese racing championships. The R26B generated a distinctively high-pitched engine roar and revved to 9,000 rpm with ease. The race car still makes frequent appearances at the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix this month and will host the Pirelli World Challenge, October 12-15.