IRVINE, Calif. (August 2, 2018) – Another favorite of the drivers of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, the Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, is the next target for the drivers of Mazda Team Joest.
The 4.048-mile Road America circuit is unique in that the layout has been essentially unchanged since the track opened in 1955. The layout, however, presents a challenge for the drivers and engineers at Mazda Team Joest as it serves up every type of corner imaginable in addition to numerous elevation changes and challenging deceleration zones. For the Mazda Team Joest engineers, as well as the engineers of technical partner Multimatic, Road America will present a variety of challenges to maximize lap times.
While this race weekend will mark the first appearance of the Mazda RT24-P at Road America, Mazda has a long history of success at the legendary circuit. Dating back to Mazda’s first IMSA victory at the track in 1979, its most recent success came with an overall victory in the thrilling American Le Mans Series race in 2012 and a Grand-Am GX-class victory in 2013.
At the previous Prototype race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P driven by Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell ran in the top-three throughout the race until retiring in the closing stages of the race. The No. 77 Castrol/ModSpace Mazda RT24-P driven by Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis finished the race in sixth position. All the drivers will be looking to improve on Mazda Team Joest’s best result of the season which was a third place at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course.
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase will be shown live on Sunday, August 5 at 2:30 PM ET on FOX Sports 1.
John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports
“When we announced the partnership with Team Joest last year, we made it crystal clear that our goal was to win races, win championships and put results on the board for Mazda. It starts with having a fast car. Multimatic has absolutely transformed the Mazda RT24-P and our drivers Jonathan, Olly, Tristan and Harry have shown that the team is capable of running up front, leading races and standing on the podium. But we haven’t reached our ultimate goal – we’ve been close, we’ve shown progress, but it’s now on everybody’s mind to win as soon as possible. Road America means the world to me personally. I’ve been going there since I was six weeks old and my Dad raced there so many times, it’s like home. To have our first win there would be amazing for me personally, but more importantly it would be amazing for Mazda and our fans.”
NO. 55 MAZDA RT24-P
“Harry and I had a strong run at CTMP, running in a strong third place for much of the race and I feel we will be equally as strong at Road America. We had a productive test here and I would be very disappointed if we didn’t roll out for the first practice and be immediately on pace. With just a few races remaining we have to maximize our results. Road America is one of my favorite tracks and one of the best in the country – I can’t wait to get on track in the Mazda RT24-P.”
“Road America looks like one of the top race tracks in North America, and I’m excited to drive it. The circuit looks like it has everything – high speed corners and some slower, more technical stuff and that should suit the Mazda RT24-P. We had really good preparation on the Multimatic simulator, and we are hopeful of a strong weekend. Jonathan, myself and the 55 car were right at the front all weekend at CTMP, running in the top-three for a long time and it was a shame not to be able to finish on the podium at the end but we all came out of the weekend with our heads held high because we were competitive. So, it looks like we should be even more competitive this weekend. The guys had a good test there a couple of months ago, but it will be my first time seeing the circuit in real life. So, I really need to get my head down personally and really pick the track up quickly, as with every circuit this year apart from Daytona – I’m really looking forward to that challenge. Obviously, the aim is to be on the podium, hopefully the top step.”
NO. 77 CASTROL/MODSPACE MAZDA RT24-P
“I always love going to Road America. It’s a proper racetrack with every type of corner – fast, technical, slow, uphill, downhill, you name it and Road America has it. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a good result. We would love to get a win there, especially with all of the history that our boss John Doonan has here, watching his father race when he was a kid, and all of the Mazda history that has happened on this track. I have a good feeling about this weekend.”
“Once again, we are heading to a track I have never raced at before but it has always been on my wish list, so I can’t wait for the race weekend to get started. Fortunately, we were able to test at Road America earlier in the year and it certainly didn’t disappoint – it’s even better in real life than on TV or in a simulator! With a good test behind us I will be heading into this race well-prepared and we are optimistic that we can fight at the front, but as always with some extremely tough competition we know we will have to deliver in every area to stand on the top step of the podium.”
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24) program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI) is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and Mazda Motorsports on Instagram and Facebook.
Mazda North American Operations
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at InsideMazda.MazdaUSA.com/Newsroom.
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Tim Olson, Mazda North American Operations, 949-727-6551
Efrain Olivares, Mazda Motorsports, 818-254-7196