The Mazda Prototype team has unveiled the official liveries that the two Mazda RT24-P cars will carry in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The No. 55 car features Mazda’s Soul Red color as it has in past seasons, while the No. 70 car will carry another of Mazda’s featured colors, Machine Grey. The prominent colors complement the distinct lines of Mazda’s KODO design that defines the look and aerodynamics of the new race cars under the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) rules.
Drivers Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito will pilot the No. 55 Mazda this season, while Tom Long and Joel Miller are teamed in the No. 70 car. For the season-opening race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona (Jan. 29-30), the driver lineup will expand to include IndyCar stars Spencer Pigot (No. 55) and James Hinchcliffe (No. 70).
New Additions to the Mazda Prototype Crew
The Mazda Prototype team, operated by SpeedSource Engineering, will see prominent faces in new places this season.
Marcus Shen, who had been the lead engineer and strategist for the No. 55 team, is departing for a non-motorsports career opportunity, which means Zach LaGrone will move from the No. 70 team to take over the lead engineer/strategist role with the No. 55 car.
Jim Malicki has joined the team to take the helm as engineer/strategist for the No. 70. Malicki, of Austin, Texas, joins the team after a significant engineering career with teams such as Tequila Patron ESM, AIM Autosport and Performance Tech.
“You need to keep everyone moving in the same direction,” said Malicki, about what he brings to the team with his decade-plus of engineering experience. “With the brand new car, we’ll develop processes from simple logistics to all of the technical details of the car. It’s about rational thinking and having patience. Patience and racing don’t seem like they fit in the same sentence, but it’s very important.”
Ryan Knott has been promoted to crew chief on the No. 70 car, while new addition Chris “Scottie” Muir will take the crew chief role with the No. 55 car.
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24) program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI) is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.