Published on November 21st, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Mazda’s RT24-P Is Quite Possibly the Prettiest Prototype Ever
The new Mazda RT24-P race car was unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, ushering a new era in the prominent history of Mazda Motorsports’ flagship endeavours in North America. The new car will compete under Daytona Prototype international (DPi) rules in the Prototype class, the top level of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. After significant on-track testing, it will make its racing debut at the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January 2017.
Mazda is known globally for the engineering and design excellence of its vehicles, and the new Prototype is no exception. The bodywork of the race car was developed by Mazda designers utilising the KODO-Soul of Motion design philosophy. KODO represents the instant that energy becomes motion, such as the muscular beauty as an animal pounces into action. The KODO design cues on the Mazda RT24-P include the sleek body contours and the five-point Mazda grille.
Managing the two-car Mazda Prototype factory race team is Florida-based SpeedSource Race Engineering. The team will race the new Riley Mk. 30 chassis, developed by Riley Technologies in relationship with Multimatic. Riley Technologies is a prominent chassis design and development company with 99 race wins and nine Prototype season championships in North American endurance racing since 2004. Canadian-based Multimatic has worked with Mazda since 2014 in the Prototype category and has developed and built some of the world’s premier on-road supercars and successful sports cars for the race track. The Mazda team will be the first to test the Riley Mk. 30 chassis later this month.
The Mazda RT24-P will be powered by the Mazda MZ-2.0T engine which raced during the 2016 IMSA season. The approximately 600-horsepower engine developed and raced with Advanced Engine Research (AER), is a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
The Mazda RT24-P name echoes the Mazda Road to 24, a driver development program that provides scholarships to help championship-winning drivers progress from grassroots into the upper categories of professional sports car racing. The “24” also represents the two-liter, four-cylinder race engine. The “P” signifies Prototype.
Mazda currently holds a more-than-55-percent market share in grassroots racing, and the Mazda Road to 24 helps provide championship-winning drivers an opportunity to earn scholarships to compete in pro categories such as the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BF Goodrich Tires. Mazda’s similar scholarship system in open-wheel racing is known as the Mazda Road to Indy. By the start of the 2017 season, Mazda will have provided $14.9 million in driver development scholarships to 53 drivers since 2007.