Mazda RT24-P: an extremely gorgeous 2017 Daytona Prototype at the LA Auto Show

Article by Christian A., on November 18, 2016

An intense breed of race car combined with highly extreme aerodynamics, this very much defines the concept behind Mazda RT24-P seen at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. The super hot prototype model was labelled RT24-P in reference to Mazda’s “Road to 24” driver scholarship programme.

John Doonan, Mazda Sports Director expressed his gratitude about having a racecar that features their design philosophy. The strong spoilers and immense wings represent the company’s Kodo design language. Doonan added how this opportunity is very significant for all of them as a team. He believes there is so much more to reveal and we can finally learn about these things during the race.

Riley Technologies teamed up with Multimatic to develop the RT24-P’s chassis design. The American-Canadian tandem’s own take on the concept machine has resulted on the highly exceptional front-end and bodyworks. These two were also responsible for the prototype’s large horizontal rear wing, vertical fin and curved splitter.

Given these, we can expect the vehicle to deliver optimum aerodynamics efficiency and downward force. Multimatic is a Canadian-based company that has worked with Mazda in the last two years. The new chassis they had developed along with Riley will be tested for the first time this November.

Riley is well-known for its chassis designs, earning about 99 wins including 9 North American prototype racing season championships. Working with Multimatic’s engineers and aerodynamicists helped Mazda create the “purposeful-looking” and “aerodynamically efficient” masterpiece.

Ken Saward, Mazda Americas senior manager for design recounted how they were able to apply the Kodo design philosophy into the car’s body. Kodo, as we know embodies energy and motion. The “silhouette” and “surfaces” of the RT24-P very much explains it. Mazda will send the RT24-P at next year’s IMSA and Rolex 24 races.

The 600 hp 2.0 litre turbo engine used on its latest concept is similar to the previous year’s prototype model. The Daytona International Speedway will serve as the venue for the races happening this January 26 to January 29, 2017. Drivers Joel Miller, Tom Long, Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito are expected to represent Mazda’s two-car racing event.

Mazda Motorsports owns about 55% market share in independent racing category. Their company’s “Road to 24 development programme” supports scholarships for the drivers to help them advance into professional sports car racing. Mazda’s Road to Indy carries the same objective and has provided around 53 scholarships to the winning drivers since 2007. It was in 1970 when the strong bond between Mazda and IMSA have started to flourish. This 2017, the two are surely headed for more wins.

Press Release

The new Mazda RT24-P race car

The new Mazda RT24-P race car was unveiled today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, ushering a new era in the prominent history of Mazda Motorsports’ flagship endeavors 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.

KODO Design

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 utilizing the KODO—Soul of Motion design philosophy. KODO represents the instant that energy becomes motion, such as the muscular beauty as an animal pounces or a human leaps into action. The KODO design cues on the Mazda RT24-P include the sleek body contours and the five-point Mazda grille.

“KODO design is at the heart of any vehicle that carries a Mazda badge, and that is very evident in the design of the 2017 Prototype,” said Ken Saward, senior manager of Design at Mazda Design Americas, which falls under the Mazda North American Operations umbrella. “We considered the two main parameters of designing a successful race car for this series: aerodynamic performance and the new-for-2017 technical regulations. Working with Multimatic’s aerodynamicist and engineers, we discovered that applying the KODO design philosophy to the surfaces and the silhouette of the car enabled us to create a dynamic, purposeful-looking design and a very aerodynamically efficient one.”

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.

“This is a huge moment for Mazda Motorsports and the entire Mazda family,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports North America. “To have a car which features Mazda design language at the top level of our motorsports program is meaningful for us as a brand. We believe we have the right team, the right drivers and the right chassis to win races and championships.

“Mazda has good, long-standing relationships with Riley and Multimatic, and is happy to be the first to test their new chassis. We look forward to seeing it make its racing debut at Daytona with Mazda bodywork and the Mazda MZ-2.0T engine. The strategic vision of IMSA to give auto manufacturers this opportunity to integrate our branding —to better engage our passionate fans— is unique and we’re proud to be the first to unveil what is possible.”

What’s in a Name?

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.

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