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Spirit of Daytona in the Mix for Customer Mazda DPi

Troy Flis-led squad reported to be working on Mazda DPi program for 2020…

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

Spirit of Daytona Racing could make its return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with a customer Mazda DPi program reportedly currently under discussion for 2020.

Multiple sources have confirmed to Sportscar365 that the Troy Flis-owned team, which has been absent from top-level IMSA competition for more than a year, is working to field a Mazda RT24-P.

It would mark the first customer Mazda DPi, following the recent success by the Multimatic-built prototype, which enters this weekend’s round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on a three-race win streak.

Team owner Troy Flis has yet to respond to Sportscar365’s request for comment, while Mazda Motorsports director John Doonan declined to comment on any specific teams the manufacturer could be in discussions with.

Doonan, however, told Sportscar365 that there are “several interested parties at play” with the customer DPi program remaining “very fluid” at the moment.

While it’s understood a deal has not yet been finalized, a Multimatic-run endurance test at Motorland Aragon, held earlier this week, is believed to have held the dual purpose of evaluating several drivers for the program.

Among the drivers to turn laps in the European-based Mazda DPi were Ford WEC refugees Andy Priaulx and Stefan Muecke, as well as Olivier Pla, who is part of Mazda Team Joest’s Michelin Endurance Cup lineup.

Rising open-wheel turned sports car racing driver Harrison Newey, who is known to bring budget to his racing programs, also tested the car.

The Florida-based team, which had been a stalwart of Grand-Am competition, pulled out of WeatherTech Championship competition last year due to funding issues with its Cadillac DPi-V.R program.

Flis has held close links to Mazda’s Doonan in past sponsorship arrangements with Visit Florida, while coming close to running a customer Mazda DPi for this season. 

It’s understood Spirit of Daytona could also have involvement in Mazda’s upcoming TCR car, which has yet to be formally announced.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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