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  Mazda RT24-P
 

  Article Image gallery (17) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Japan
Introduced in:2017
Introduced at:2016 Los Angeles Auto Show
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 27, 2017
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Click here to download printer friendly versionMazda Motorsports have been at the forefront of American sports car racing for many years. From the creation of the United SportsCar Championship in 2014, the Japanese company powered a pair of prototypes fielded by the SpeedSource Race Engineering team and built by Multimatic originally based on an old Lola design. A substantial rule change ahead of the 2017 season rendered these machines obsolete.

Replacing the original Daytona Prototype and LMP2 classes, the sport's governing body IMSA introduced the Daytona Prototype International or DPi class. While based on the new-for-2017 LMP2 regulations, DPi allowed for more manufacturer input in terms of engine choice and overall design. For their new DPi car, Mazda continued the partnership with Multimatic but also renewed their ties with Riley Technologies. The two companies together were tasked with creating the new Mazda racer.

At its core, the new Mazda is based on the Riley Mk XXX platform, which was designed for the revised LMP2 regulations. While the car is built up by Riley, all of the carbon-fibre components, including the monocoque chassis, are supplied by specialists Multimatic. The car itself is a straightforward design with double wishbones and in-board suspension on all four corners.

The new car was dubbed the RT24-P in honour of Mazda's Route to 24 program that has already brought so many drivers to the fore of sports car racing over the last couple of years. Compared to the 'base' Mk XXX, the RT24-P features distinct styling cues. Chief among these are the much rounder and visually very appealing headlights. The flowing design is carried through the rest of the car while most rivals rely on much more angular designs.

Carried over from the Mazda Prototype raced in 2016 is the four-cylinder, petrol engine. Very much a familiar unit, it has been gradually developed over many years by Advanced Engine Research. Displacing just under two litres, it features a single turbo and direct injection. Compared to years past, it is allowed to run at high power levels as part of the new regulations. Now good for around 600 bhp, it is mated to a six-speed, paddle-operated gearbox.

As before, the Mazda Motorsports effort consists of two cars. From the launch at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the striking RT24-P has been a fan favourite. Now all it needs to do is take up the gauntlet and face the stiff competition on the track starting at the season opening Daytona 24 Hours.

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  Article Image gallery (17) Specifications