Mazda is the “most prepared” it has ever been for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona following a “completely smooth” Roar Before the Rolex 24, according to Harry Tincknell.
The Mazda RT24-Ps were dominant at the Roar, topping four of the seven test sessions over the course of the weekend in addition to Olivier Pla’s fastest time in the Roar qualifying session for pit box and garage selections.
Such was the speed that Pla’s 1:33.324 lap time unofficially broke the Daytona International Speedway oval/road course lap record.
Tincknell explained that the team’s hard work over the winter in finding gains in the Multimatic-built and AER-powered DPi package has proven worthwhile ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.
“Operationally and reliability-wise it was absolutely completely smooth the whole way through, so we’re really happy and we’re going into the race with a lot of confidence,” Tincknell told Sportscar365.
“Obviously [we had our] breakthrough season last year, it’s now time to go and win a big race like Daytona.”
While the Mazda DPis were also strong at the Roar last year, they had a troublesome race at Daytona and Sebring in which both cars were plagued with issues.
Tincknell believes that the cars are “still unproven” at Daytona and that the team has done “everything they can” to have a reliable race.
“Daytona will be the acid test of whether we’ve done enough, but we certainly have much more knowledge just through learning from our issues in the past and just working hard to improve on them and also from our successes through last year,” he said.
“I think we’re definitely the most prepared we’ve been, but let’s see if it’s enough.”
Mazda, Tincknell ‘Sights Set’ on Championship
With two seasons of experience in the bag including a hat trick of wins at the end of last year, Tincknell is confident that Mazda will be able to fight for the championship.
“I think now 2020 our sights have to be set on the championship because we had a fantastic winter period and we should be much more reliable,” he said.
“We know we’ve got a winning car, we know we’ve got winning lineups; it was just that consistency that set us back in 2019 because after Road America we were looking at the championship going, ‘We’re not actually that far back’.
“So you imagine if we had a reliable Daytona and finished Sebring off like we should have then all of a sudden that puts us right there.
“That’s definitely the aim and I think that’s definitely achievable.”