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Mazda “Ready for Action” in First Public Test with Joest, Revised DPi

Mazda fired up for new season with revised RT24-P, new Joest partnership…

Photo: John Dagys

After multiple private tests in both Europe and the U.S., Mazda Team Joest is “ready for action” in the first public outing for its revised RT24-P and team structure this week at Daytona.

The German squad is taking part in IMSA’s two-day test with both of its DPi cars and five of its six drivers, which were also recently confirmed, in preparation for January’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

According to Mazda Motorsports Director John Doonan, the series of off-season announcements and its extensive testing program has given the entire effort a boost of confidence heading into next year.

“I think fortunately we had talked a lot, and now we’re ready for action,” Doonan told Sportscar365.

“You put all these pieces together and we couldn’t wait to get to the race track, which of course we did at Hockenheim.

“We’ve done a lot of testing here in the U.S. at Daytona and Sebring, and now it’s official and in public, which is something that we all want.

“You have some good test days under your belts and then you want to get out in public, get to the race track, and get the thing going officially.

“Yes there’s a lot to do before the race, before the season starts, but to get everybody here in public, let’s get on with it.”

While the pair of Mazda DPis appear unchanged from the outside, in still sporting the same Kodo-inspired bodywork, significant developments have been made mechanically and also from a cooling standpoint.

Doonan said the Multimatic-developed package is essentially now locked in, with the car having recently been to Windshear for its wind tunnel re-certification tests.

“I think Multimatic has made, essentially, all the right moves to make it a more effective and efficient package,” he said. “Not just the engine but the whole car.

“The goal on the engine side was to utilize the same power plant, which is exactly what we’re doing, but to create a better environment for it, from the cooling standpoint, primarily, but just the whole package.

“We got the car down to weight which produces horsepower in and of itself, the car cools better which is horsepower, so overall just make the package better and that’s what we’ve done.”

Lap times from recent tests at Daytona and Sebring are understood to have been encouraging, although Doonan admitted they won’t know exactly where they’ll stack up until the dust settles.

“The goal was to put all these pieces together to have success for the Mazda brand, and success means winning,” he said.

“Multimatic has done an amazing job of transforming the car, Joest, the people, personnel, and processes are in place, and now the drivers are in place.

“I’m heading into the race as encouraged as probably I’ve ever been to deliver, finally, what Mazda deserves.”

Juttner: Logistics the Biggest Challenge

Joest Racing Managing Director Ralf Juttner admitted the team’s biggest challenge so far has been logistics, in getting the team up running in America in a condensed timeframe.

It only moved into its Atlanta-area shop last week, following a test at Sebring and is borrowing a transporter from Riley Motorsports this week, as it awaits for delivery on additional equipment. 

“We had scheduled ten days for several people including myself to go [to the shop and prepare] and we couldn’t do that,” Juttner told Sportscar365.

“After Sebring they went in unloaded the trucks but two of those are [not here] yet. We have one out of three.

“That’s the kind of [challenge] because everything is late. The biggest problem we are facing right now is logistics.”

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

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Slicks in the wet

    December 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Good luck. Please be better this year. Competition would be welcome.

    • Kurt

      December 5, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Good to hear the improvements. Unfortunately pictures of Joest changing an engine during the 1st session look all too familiar.

      • Slicks in the wet

        December 5, 2017 at 5:39 pm

        True. But. Apparently they damaged that one at private Sebring testing. Who knows how long it ran there. But I mean, it isn’t like an engine died already just today.

        • JJ

          December 6, 2017 at 9:49 am

          It had 7 hours of running after the Sebring test…. Same old, same old.

          • Slicks in the wet

            December 7, 2017 at 2:22 am

            That’s good enough for 85% of the calendar.

            But yeah. The AER sucks. Always has.

  2. Greg

    December 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    I am keeping my fingers cross. I wish nothing but the best for mazda.

  3. Matt

    December 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Until they step away from AER engines this program will never be truly competitive. For an engine to let go after 7 hours is abhorrent.

    • j_c

      December 6, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      It didn’t have a stellar record back in ALMS either.

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