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Holt (Multimatic): $1 Million in Updates for Mazda DPi

Multimatic’s Larry Holt: $1 million in updates for Mazda DPi…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Multimatic’s Larry Holt says $1 million of updates have been put into the Mazda RT24-P DPi car, in what will also result in the likely re-homologation of the Riley Mk. 30 LMP2 chassis for 2018.

The Canadian firm is spearheading a significant overhaul to the prototype, which has struggled in both LMP2 and DPi form this year, with an eye to improve reliability and performance, primarily for the Japanese manufacturer’s reinvigorated DPi program with Team Joest.

According to Holt, who has taken over full control of the project after its initial partnership with Riley Technologies, the car will undergo updates over a three-phase program in the coming weeks.

A ten-day wind tunnel development program, led by Mark Handford, was recently completed with a scale model of the updated car, with on-track testing set to begin in the next two weeks.

“It’s all incremental,” Holt told Sportscar365. “We didn’t [completely start over]. I’ve been keeping the ACO tuned in the whole way.

“In the next weeks, we’ll have the suspension and everything on a test car, and we’ll test that. Then there’s a second generation of that. The final stage will be a fully tooled car.”

Holt said aero and mechanical updates have been made, with the biggest focus having been on solving the cooling issues that plagued the Mazda DPi.

“We for sure had some cooling anomalies,” he said. “We learned about the trade-off between front downforce and getting air down the tunnels. We found some good solutions.”

Among the developments include a new front underfloor and revised front splitter on the aero side, with new uprights, rear control arm, an inboard suspension configuration and new bellhousing, mechanically.

With the car having initially been overweight by 24kg, Holt said they’ve also focused on shedding weight in key areas, although have remained with the same tub design.

When asked whether the updates would all fall under the FIA and ACO’s one-time “joker” permitted for each LMP2 constructor in the four-year homologation period, Holt indicated the car may be re-homologated entirely.

“They’re not unreasonable people,” he said. “I [was against] taking the car to Le Mans because we’d get embarrassed. But in hindsight, it showed the ACO and FIA that we need some help.

“The stake in the ground is, ‘We’ll help you get competitive, but we’re not going to help you become the fastest guy.’

“We’s just keeping them up to date, every day, on what we’re doing.”

Holt said he expects the test car, built up at Multimatic’s base in England, to be shaken down at an airfield within the next 1-2 weeks before being handed over to Joest for initial testing in Europe.

The ex-Audi LMP1 squad will then transition its testing program to the U.S. in November with the final version of the Mazda DPi.

While “not chasing new car sales” Holt said he will provide free updates to both Ben Keating and VisitFlorida Racing’s Riley LMP2 chassis.

“My total commitment has been to do the right thing for Mazda,” Holt said. “That’s what my commitment was. But I also have my commitment to the two customers.

“For sure, Ben Keating and Spirit of Daytona guys, everything I’m doing, I’m committed to doing it all on their car, no charge. Both of those cars will be updated at no charge to them.

“Then it’s up to them on what they want to go and do from there.

“I’m very much focused on making sure the Mazda deal is right because I made a big commitment to John Doonan and I’m a man of my word.

“I’m burdening a lot of [the costs] but Mazda has been very fair. There’s things that occurred that were out of my hands, in the way the Mazda stuff went down.”

Holt said he’s not actively pursing additional manufacturers for DPi projects, with his current focus solely on Mazda, although admitted Multimatic does not have an exclusivity deal with the Japanese manufacturer.

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 Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Riley's Are Slow

    September 7, 2017 at 10:31 am

    So he’s hoping that Spirit of Daytona will switch back to the Riley and not end up purchasing a Ligier for next year… I don’t see that happening, unless Visit Florida drops them and they don’t have the funds to make that purchase.

    • Declan B

      September 7, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      …….”don’t have the funds to make that purchase”.

      Heh, if you knew the ownership of Spirit of Daytona, you’d know that is not close to an issue.

      • Race Fuel Smells Good

        September 7, 2017 at 9:30 pm

        Sometimes it’s hard to spend money when it’s only your money being spent…

      • jettrd

        September 11, 2017 at 11:06 am

        What is the ownership/ funding of Spirit of Daytona ?

    • Slicks in the wet

      September 8, 2017 at 5:21 am

      At $1million spent, I am pretty sure Mazda purchased a Ligier and are just putting their headlights into this point…ha!

  2. Johnny

    September 7, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Failed to mention Speedsource owns the first 3 Rileys and these are being built from scratch. Technically, Multimatic is obligated to update Speedsource’s cars as well!

    • Speedsource is done

      September 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      It’s not failing to mention, those are the cars they are rebuilding. Speedsource did NOT own the cars and those are the chassis Joest is working on

      • JJ

        September 7, 2017 at 6:08 pm

        That’s not correct. SpeedSource still has/owns all 3 cars in the shop. Joest will be getting new cars.

    • Jon

      September 7, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      The three cars that Speed Source owns are the old Lola LMP2 cars from when they ran the diesels

    • Slicks in the wet

      September 8, 2017 at 5:23 am

      Does Speedsource even exist anymore? Their website/facebook/twitter feeds as well as Sylvain Tremblays seemed to go Error 404 the moment Mazda said Joest was in charge…??

  3. JJ

    September 7, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Since SpeedSource still has 3 cars do they also receive the free upgrades?

    And the cars were more like 46kg over weight, which is pathetic if you want to be competitive.

    • Brent

      September 7, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Where does it say SpeedSource still has 3 cars ? Why would they give the upgrades to SpeedSource who will never run the cars?

    • Speedsource is done

      September 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Speedsource did not own the cars, they ran them for Mazda. Those are the chassis Joest is working with in Europe now

      • Declan B

        September 7, 2017 at 6:28 pm

        This. SpeedSource did not own the cars, period. Mazda owned and still owns the cars.

        SpeedSource will NOT be back with those cars, as they are not theirs. This is why no mention of SpeedSource was made in Holt’s comments.

  4. Bjones

    September 7, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I believe he said same tub being used plus I thought Mazda owned the cars so they are updating the old tubs

  5. David Chaste

    September 7, 2017 at 11:18 am

    If speedsource owns their cars its doubtful they will race them without manufacturer backing.

    Because theirs are mazda rileys not just rileys perhaps mazda has to give the ok for them to get updates.

    Keating and spirit of daytona should just cough up the dough for oreca 07s and be done.

    Unlike Ligier and Dallara, Oreca doesnt have as much presence in the U.S for support and repairs, but their performance speaks for itself.

    • jaysfan

      September 7, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Hold on, Troy Fliss owns and runs Spirit of Daytona, actually called Visit Florida Racing, Ben Keating runs Riley built Mercedes in IMSA GTD class. Totally separate teams

      • Billthe3

        September 8, 2017 at 2:04 am

        Riley constructed the Vipers (GTLM and GT3) but they didn’t have anything to do with the design of the Mercs. They’re only the team running them for Keating and possibly Weathertech.

      • Carr911

        September 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm

        Keating bought a Riley LMP2 and ran it at LeMans

  6. Louis

    September 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Speed source doesnt own those cars, mazda does

    • Cam

      September 7, 2017 at 11:28 am

      Can confirm what Louis said, Mazda owns the cars and took them away from SpeedSource when they parted ways.

  7. Matt

    September 7, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Multimatic should have run the entire programme themselves from the start

    • David Chaste

      September 7, 2017 at 11:51 am

      They got the Ford GT program going on. And as much money as Ford is paying you would want to give them full attention.

  8. TF110

    September 7, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    The car looked like an old DP in the cockpit area from the front. It was nearly twice as wide as the other p2’s. If they fix that it won’t be so damn draggy. It doesn’t sound like it if they’re keeping the same tub.

    • Slicks in the wet

      September 8, 2017 at 5:24 am

      But they had some of the best straight line speed????

      It seemed to be low speed acceleration was the problem.

      And burning turbos.

  9. Confused

    September 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I’m confused about how often a DPi can be updated.

    – Can the bodywork be updated while the tub is the same?
    – Is there a complete freeze on development
    – Can bodywork be updated only if there is a tub update from the LMP2 constructor?

    Sorry, it is just confusing.

    • Matt

      September 7, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      In DPi bodywork can be changed every race if they want, it just has to pass IMSAs testing. I believe everything is open outside chassis/suspension parts that are P2 homoligated parts.

      • Speedsource is done

        September 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        And IMSA has to OK the changes, they have said teams can approach them with reliability or durability updates but they can limit the number of changes. You also can NOT go back to a previous model without applying as if it was a new part again. This is not an open development series, everything changed must be tested and homologated by IMSA before running on the car at an event.

        • Declan B

          September 7, 2017 at 6:30 pm

          IMSA has a rule that says it can overrule it’s own rules at will. IMSA wants Mazda to stay in the series, and be competitive. It’s good of the series, good for the fans, good for racing. Accordingly, they are being provided a “give me” to assist to get them competitive. Good move by IMSA.

          • Slicks in the wet

            September 8, 2017 at 5:25 am

            Declan wins.

            They are doing anything to help out a team who screwed the pooch.

          • jareth Belanger

            October 17, 2017 at 5:42 pm

            They are doing everything they can to help a manufacturer who screwed the pooch. I have a good feeling it was MAZDA that chose the Riley chassis, MAZDA that chose the aero work, and MAZDA that chose the shitty AER engine.

            If anyone got screwed and needs a give men, it was Speedsource because since 2014 they have been given nothing but outdated or shitty chassis to work with and shitty engines.

  10. Anonymous

    September 7, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Now that Riley/Multimatic have used their joker to play catch-up, I’m guessing that Oreca, Ligier and Dallara are yet to use theirs?

    So while short term this might improve the Mk30’s performance it probably won’t be enough long term to match the others?

    • Kirk

      September 7, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Unless this update releases the inner beast that is the Riley P2 car, which will force Oreca, Ligier, and Dallara to use their jokers to catch up. Or not.

    • John

      September 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Something I read recently that mentioned that Ligier may use their joker sooner rather than later, for real this time. They wanted to run updated bodywork at Le Mans, and not have it count, but were shot down.

    • Speedsource is done

      September 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      No one has used their joker yet, Ligier apparently has a LD kit ready to use in the joker package but did not want to waste the update with just bodywork. I’d expect to see some parts testing with Visit Florida and possibly mechanical parts with ESM before rolling out a joker package. Oreca seems in a position to hold fast, test and wait to release after everyone else if needed.

  11. kevin Low

    September 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I thought this was a great story. It shows a lot about the character of Holt and Multimatic. Where as the other half of the partnership appears to have cut ties and moved on; Holt is picking up the pieces , shouldering responsibility and trying to make it right for his two smaller customers as well. Kudos to Mr. Holt. Good show, Sir.

  12. KW

    September 7, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    This is just the homework which the teachers (Reinhold Joest and Ralf Juettner) have told the pupils (Multimatic) to do until the next school year (IMSA season). If the marks of the next school year are good there might be other customers coming back…

  13. Mike S.

    September 7, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    I guess let’s just enjoy this budget space race for a few years until it doesn’t become sustainable anymore. Just like all series. Penske let’s put $2 million into our updates. It will be fun but not sustainable for any growth after 3-5 years.

  14. Jenner

    September 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    2017 isn’t even over yet and teams are already spending millions on R & D.

    Penske has been pretty quiet, what’s he doing behind closed doors.

    Let the Space Race begin.

    • Declan B

      September 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Penske has been at the track testing for months and made press releases about it. Nothing quiet at all.

    • Tyler Sanders

      September 7, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      You really think that comapny’s are going to have prototype racecar’s and not spend at least millions of dollars.

      • Jenner

        September 7, 2017 at 10:02 pm

        They why are people bitching about rising costs of racing in WEC. IMSA’s following the same path right now.

        Look at Penske’s history. He wins because he spends. To even keep up, teams are gonna have to dig deep into their pockets. Look at his Indycar teams. He’s always in the hunt year in and year out.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if the France’s start writing checks again.

        • Kirk

          September 7, 2017 at 11:22 pm

          Even if Penske spends 20 million that’s still small potatoes compared to what a top flight P1 team costs. Audi, Porsche, and Toyota were/are spending in the hundreds of millions to design, build, and run their own hybrid cars. The cars that win Daytona, Sebring, etc. cost monumentally less than any factory P1 car.

          • Mike S.

            September 9, 2017 at 10:53 pm

            Exactly the point that was unsustainable as well. This will be for growth as well. Less so but small medium competitors will get priced out eventually. Just enjoy it like we all enjoyed P1 for about 4 years at it’s height. It happens in every series, dirt open wheel cars, Indy, F1, box carts etc.

        • Carr911

          September 8, 2017 at 4:31 pm

          Penske will be spending Acuras money not his own!

      • Picchio Fan

        September 8, 2017 at 9:28 am


  15. Greg

    September 7, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    In unrelated news, revenues up big this quarter for multimatic LLC….

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