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Mazda, Joest Begin U.S. Testing Program With Revised DPi

Mazda Team Joest begins U.S.-based testing program with heavily revised Mazda RT24-P this week at Daytona…

Photo: Mazda

Mazda Team Joest has begun its U.S.-based testing program with a heavily revised Mazda RT24-P this week at Daytona International Speedway, in the ramp up to the program’s debut in January’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

The two-day test, which kicked off on Tuesday, has seen Tristan Nunez, Jonathan Bomarito, Joel Miller and Spencer Pigot share driving duties of the car, which has undergone significant updates from Multimatic in recent months.

Bomarito, Nunez and Audi ace Rene Rast took part in an initial shakedown of an interim car last month at Hockenheim, followed by a test at Donington Park with Bomarito at the wheel. 

Tuesday’s track action marked the first mileage of what is expected to be the car’s final configuration, which will be presented to the FIA, ACO and IMSA for LMP2 and DPi homologations.

“It feels completely different now. It’s so confidence-inspiring to see the changes made to how it is on track. It’s a completely different car,” Nunez told NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno following the first day of the test.

“It seemed like the car was a lot more compliant. It’s easier to drive. It wasn’t doing anything ‘evil.’

“You knew what it’d do, and it did it every time. At times before, you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into. Now it’s a lot more confidence-inspiring.”

While driver lineups are not expected to be announced until early next month, Nunez and Bomarito, along with the potential of Miller, are all likely to be retained as full-season pilots. 

Ex-Audi LMP1 ace Oliver Jarvis has been also linked to a full-time seat, with Rast and Pigot expected to be the team’s third drivers for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. DanO

    November 1, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Ah yes, the familiar sight of a Mazda prototype with no rear bodywork on, whilst puzzled engineers look on. And that’s before they get to the worst of their problems.

    • arentyoucute

      November 1, 2017 at 9:45 am

      What a moronic post. You probably consider yourself to be some kind of “engineer” I bet.

      • Low IQ equals ignorant statement

        November 1, 2017 at 12:23 pm

        With the many engine related problems from last year, maybe the original poster was simply pointing out the obvious. Or, maybe he is an engineer. You on the other hand, are seemingly very quick at brandishing the poster a moron without evidence or any real proof. This by most means, shows you have a terrible self-image of yourself with a total lack of confidence in you’r personal intellectual pursuits. To lower the level of conversation down to you’r more simple language usage, you’r an idiot!

        • LM mike

          November 1, 2017 at 12:57 pm

          Looks like someone’s seeking attention today. I believe the original poster was taking a shot without having all the facts. And you come along, oh someone is being called a moron so let me call them an idiot an attack their character.

        • Sol Shine

          November 1, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          Low IQ? You got your name correct anyway. “you’r” is not even a bloody word. And you used it 3 times. The words you wanted are “your” twice and “you’re” once. And you called him an idiot? You clearly have a distorted self image yourself, probably thanks to the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality these days. You got zero in spelling but they shoved you up a grade anyway.

          • sol shine is an idiot.

            November 1, 2017 at 3:50 pm

            Ralpy Morris wrote:
            I think that question number 8 has to read “you’r” instead of “your”. What is “your” opinion? This is a copy of an English test on the college level. YOU SAY THAT YOU’R IS NOT A WORD. YOU SIR ARE A MORONIC FOOL!

          • Pete

            November 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm

            God I love the comments section here…

  2. John

    November 1, 2017 at 7:16 am

    To me, still the best looking of the DPis.

    If only it ran as well as it looks…

  3. Jason Skow

    November 1, 2017 at 8:34 am

    I am sure that with Joest behind the program it will run awesome and be in contention for wins!

  4. Justin Porter

    November 1, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Anyone else noticing the asymmetrical door windows in this picture? Interesting detail in my book.

    • Jakester

      November 1, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Appears to be left hand drive; the driver’s side door adding a bit of extra protection for the driver?

      • Guest

        November 1, 2017 at 10:05 am

        Any protection difference would be pretty small, the real reason is weight savings. Since they don’t need a full window for blind-spot visability on the driver’s side, they put in lighter carbon fiber.

        • Slicks in the wet

          November 1, 2017 at 3:45 pm

          Would carbon fibre actually be less weight than say Lexan?

    • Mazder

      November 1, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      I think it’s part of the head rest for the seat, protecting the driver’s head from whipping side to side in a crash, most of the prototypes have that on the door too. Basically what you can see on the left side of the drivers head in the picture, that same padding is on the door.

    • John

      November 1, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      I’ve also noticed the Oreca with similarly different door configurations.

      Its “stepped” window is more severe.

    • billthe3

      November 1, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      I think most of the LMP2 cars have this. It’s because they have extra padding mounted on the driver side to prevent the helmet from hitting the door. There’s no helmet on the other side so they don’t have the padding.

  5. Tom

    November 1, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I can’t tell any visual changes. It looks the same to me.

    • Adrian

      November 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      I don’t think that’s a picture of the revised car.

      • Pete

        November 1, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        I looked at a picture of last year’s car next to the one they’re testing here, and to me it seems like the fenders are slightly less pronounced, and the channels between the fenders and nose slightly shallower. But I suppose that could just be an illusion from looking at painted vs unpainted.

        I definitely like the new wheels, though.

        • Adrian

          November 2, 2017 at 10:42 am

          I think it’s just an illusion. That picture is from Daytona, so it has to be from the pre-season test last year.

          • Jack

            November 2, 2017 at 11:42 am

            They were at Daytona day this article was posted. Check there twitter

    • j_tso

      November 1, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Mazda Motorsport’s twitter feed has more photos, but I can’t see many changes either.

      • Slicks in the wet

        November 1, 2017 at 3:48 pm

        Yeah. Pretty sure the chassis rigidity, suspension geometry (they were using technologies, on the front at least, that are like 15 years old) and cooling were the main issues.

        Top end and normal downforce levels were fine. They were competitive often, but couldn’t handle or keep engines running because the chassis and cooling sucked.

        • Jose

          November 1, 2017 at 10:37 pm

          Yes it has nothing to do with AER building hand grenades. The AER engines were so reliable in the Lola’s. They only started exploding in the Riley.

          • Slicks in the wet

            November 2, 2017 at 5:40 am

            Hey, I never said AER was a good choice. But they weren’t doing it any favors either!

            To be competitive off the corner, due to lack of torque in its tiny displacement, the turbo has to run so much damn boost and the heat builds up and kills it.

  6. TF110

    November 1, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I think Mazda says changes are underneath.

    • Pete

      November 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      The bulk of the changes are certainly under the skin, but I did just take one of Mazda’s photos from today of the nose and put it side-by-side with one of the nose from last year. The differences are extremely subtle (slightly less rake between nose-channels-fenders, lower & wider mirrors, slight changes in the splitter, etc) but they have definitely made an attempt to get the drag out of the car.

      • Slicks in the wet

        November 2, 2017 at 5:41 am

        Maybe not get the drag out so much, but get the downforce balance better. It was always one of the faster cars in a straight line—as I remember.

        • Pete

          November 2, 2017 at 5:43 pm

          The Mazdas weren’t quite the aero nightmare that the standard Riley was, that’s for sure. I think I remember Keating’s car was the only LMP2 at Le Mans to never break 200mph (196 was as close as they got, I believe).

          I’ll be very interested to see how Dallara fixed their aero imbalance. They were rockets through the speed traps, but the aero imbalance at the front of the car killed their overall pace. I wonder if they’ll have to sacrifice some of that top-end speed to balance the car.

          The December test and the Roar should be quite interesting.

  7. tracer

    November 1, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Main aero changes are to the floor, so won’t be able to see those in trackside pics.

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