At Le Mans 1986, Mazda moved up from the C2 class to the IMSA-GTP class. The GTP category allowed a lighter car, but enjoyed the same fuel allocation as the C1 class. The new 757 race car was penned by the famous British engineer, Nigel Stroud, and boasted an innovative 13G triple-rotor engine that produced 450 PS at 8,500 rpm.
Two 757s began the race behind the lead group of Porsches and Jaguars. Both cars started well, but four hours into the race, one car came to a halt on the inside of the Arnage corner. It had suffered a damaged drive shaft. The second Mazda experienced an identical problem at 1:46 in the morning of the second day and also dropped out. Despite this, a clear improvement in power gave the team renewed hope for the future