Mazda launches new breed of pro­to­type

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Mazda has be­come the first brand to show off a chal­lenger for the new Day­tona Pro­to­type In­ter­na­tional cat­e­gory, and it could form the ba­sis of a Le Mans 24 Hours en­try in the fu­ture.

Mazda took the wraps off its RT24-P – named af­ter Mazda’s ‘Road to the 24’ driver ini­tia­tive – at the Los An­ge­les mo­tor show.

The car is the first of its kind to be con­structed for the new 2017 DPI rules, which al­low brands to de­sign their own body­work and en­gine spec­i­fi­ca­tions to up­grade one of the four 2017 ho­molo­gated LMP2 chas­sis.

Mazda has de­vel­oped the RT24-P onto a Ri­ley/mul­ti­matic LMP2 chas­sis and fit­ted an AER-de­vel­oped two-litre tur­bocharged en­gine ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing around 600bhp.

Two cars will com­pete in the full IMSA cham­pi­onship next sea­son with the US Speed­source team.

The four driv­ers con­firmed are Jonathan Bo­mar­ito, Tris­tan Nunez, Joel Miller and Tom Long.

Mazda’s North Amer­i­can mo­tor­sport boss Jon Doo­nan said: “To have a car that fea­tures Mazda de­sign lan­guage at the top level of our mo­tor­sports pro­gramme is mean­ing­ful for us as a brand.

“We be­lieve we have the right team, the right driv­ers and the right chas­sis to win races and the cham­pi­onship.”

The DPI reg­u­la­tions have also caused a stir in Europe. Ear­lier this sum­mer, president of Le Mans or­gan­iser the Au­to­mo­bile Club de l’ouest, Pierre Fil­lon, sug­gested that DPI cars could form part of the 24 Hours in the fu­ture.

Fil­lon said: “The ques­tion is where is the best place for DPI cars – is it with LMP1 [pri­vaters] or LMP2? Noth­ing is de­cided; we have to find a so­lu­tion.”

The new Mazda RT24-P is the first car built to new DPI rules

LMP2 chas­sis is up­graded with cus­tom body­work, en­gine

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