Mazda launches new breed of prototype
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