Mazda Motorsports will return to full capacity for this weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas, with the factory squad fielding two diesel-powered prototypes for the penultimate round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.
The SpeedSource-run squad had run only a single entry in the last four P class races, in order to split its focus on testing and development of its new, yet-to-be-raced gasoline-powered engine.
Saturday’s two-hour and 40-minute race will mark Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez’s first time back behind the wheel of the No. 70 car in race conditions since Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.
“The team has made consistent improvements – especially with reliability – and have finished each race since Long Beach,” said Mazda Motorsports director John Doonan.
“Our testing program away from race weekends has been very productive, but we wanted to close out the season at full strength for COTA and at Petit Le Mans.
“We have missed not having the No. 70 team and Tristan and Jonathan with us for the past few races, so we’re happy that they will be back with us and right in the thick of it this weekend.”
The team has continued testing its gasoline-powered car, including a recent outing at COTA last week, with further development planned through the end of the year.
While being out of the cockpit of the diesel-powered car until now, both Bomarito and Nunez have been staying busy with development work on the gasoline-powered car.
“It’ll be so great to be back,” Nunez said. “The time off makes you appreciate what you have.
“I’ve been dying to get back in there and I’ve been training my butt off. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been.”
The team has also confirmed both diesel-powered cars will take part in next month’s season-ending Petit Le Mans.