IRVINE, Calif. (September 6, 2018) – The next challenge for Mazda Team Joest comes at the familiar WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, situated just east of Monterey, California.
Mazda Team Joest narrowly missed out on their first victory in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship at the previous round at Road America, when the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P of Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito led the Prototype class throughout the final hour of the race. Before being slowed by a wheel nut failure during a pitstop, the No. 77 Castrol/ModSpace Mazda RT24-P of Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez ran strongly in the top-five of the race.
This weekend’s race will mark the first appearance for the Mazda RT24-P at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. In 2016, Mazda locked out the front row of the Prototype class in the IMSA with Nunez taking pole position before he and Bomarito finished in fourth position.
Nunez and Mazda recently celebrated a victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, as he drove the 1992 Mazda RX-792P, driven by Price Cobb in the GTP class throughout the 1992 IMSA championship, to victory at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix will be shown live on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, September 9 at 5:00 PM ET.
John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports
“WeatherTech Raceway is obviously near and dear to everyone’s heart here at Mazda. With our longstanding relationship at the track, it would be so fitting to grab another podium, or better yet, our first victory there. Our Mazda RT24-Ps have been running extremely well, Jonathan is the hometown boy, and the track has always treated Mazdas well. The characteristics of the circuit always reward good-handling race cars. We plan to give it absolutely everything we have, as always, and look to get a great result for the Mazda family and all of our fans.”
NO. 55 MAZDA RT24-P
“I absolutely love racing at Laguna Seca. Getting the opportunity to race the Mazda 767B at the Reunion a couple of weeks ago was a perfect warmup to the high pressure IMSA weekend and racing the Mazda RT24-P. I feel very confident coming into this race and we are expecting a great result!”
“This is another new circuit for me this weekend, but I am spending time at the Multimatic DIL simulator to get myself up to speed before I arrive at the track. Laguna Seca is a very well-known circuit with one of the best known corners in the world – that of course being the Corkscrew. I can’t wait to drive it in real life. It’s going to be a special moment for me because Laguna was my favorite circuit playing video games when I was seven or eight years old, so to be heading back but driving the Mazda RT24-P is going to be incredible. The track should suit the car, and with cooler temperatures than previous races, I’m hopeful of a strong finish!”
NO. 77 CASTROL/MODSPACE MAZDA RT24-P
“It’s always exciting to come and race at Laguna Seca. This track has always had a special place in my heart. It was where I got my first-ever victory in a race car, where I got my first professional pole back in 2016 and I have a good feeling it’s where I’ll get my first Prototype win. Having driven the grandfather prototype to our Mazda RT24-P a couple of weeks ago at the Monterey Reunion – the Mazda RX-792P – I’m even more eager to get back at it with the current beast.”
“The last few races have been quite tough and I don’t feel we have achieved the results we deserve, but I am heading to Laguna full of optimism as itis a track I feel should suit our Mazda RT24-P. Having tested at Laguna earlier in the year, it is one of the few tracks I will have driven before arriving at the race weekend – which is a big positive. This year has passed incredibly quickly and with only two races remaining, I know the whole team will be focused to achieve that elusive victory.”
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. 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