Joining Mazda Team Joest for a full season in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, British drivers Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell will make their Mazda race debuts at the world-famous Daytona 24 Hours on the 27-28th January.
The race also marks the debut of Mazda Team Joest: a new collaboration that pairs the third-winningest car manufacturer in IMSA racing history with a racing team that has won the Le Mans 24 Hour race 15 times and taken two outright Daytona 24 Hour victories.
Mazda’s RT24-P race cars are in the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) category of this multi-class championship. They will compete in all of the 10-races-season. British drivers Oliver and Harry will be with long-standing American Mazda drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez. For the four longest endurance races, Spencer Pigot and Rene Rast will join them.
For the Daytona 24 Hours, Oliver Jarvis will join Jonathan Bomarito and Spencer Pigot in the number 55 car, while Harry Tincknell will be with Tristan Nunez and Rene Rast in the number 77 Mazda prototype
“Mazda North America has had a driver development programme since 2007,” explained John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports North America. “So it’s a big part of our Mazda Prototype effort to feature drivers that have come up through the Mazda ranks, whether that’s in sports cars like Tristan Nunez, or the single seater route link Bomarito and Pigot.”
“We were also able to recruit fast and winning drivers from Joest Racing’s recent history like Jarvis and Rast. And with Harry Tincknell, who has been successful in both GT and Prototype racing, these new guys are a great fit for our team.”
Joining Mazda after winning the LMP2 category at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans with Jackie Chan DC Racing, Jarvis has extensive experience with Joest Racing, including overall victory in the 2013 Sebring 12 Hours, while Jarvis’ CV also includes a GT class win at the Daytona 24 Hours with Alex Job Racing.
— oliver jarvis (@ollyjarvis) January 8, 2018
A highlight of Jarvis’ single-seater career was the win in the prestigious Macau F3 Grand Prix in 2007
He also became McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year in 2005.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining Mazda at such an exciting time. I have followed the project closely since the launch of the stunning RT24-P. And I’m convinced that Mazda will be successful. So it was an easy decision when the opportunity arose to be part of the team. Having raced in and won both the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours, I know the IMSA series well and it’s always been a goal of mine to race in the championship full-time, and I don’t think there’s been a better time to be part of the series.”
Mazda’s other British recruit comes to Mazda Team Joest with a spectacular sports car racing career
It already includes a European Le Mans Series title and Le Mans 24 Hour win in LMP2. Plus a third-place finish in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship GTE class. Tincknell also had a sparkling career in single seaters before moving into sports cars.
“I’m really honoured to be joining Mazda Team Joest. The whole Mazda team has put so much effort into developing the RT24-P. And after testing it I can’t wait to see how we get on at Daytona. The car has taken huge strides over the winter and I immediately felt comfortable in it,” said Tincknell.
Developed for the 2017 season, the Mazda RT24-P race car has a Riley Mk.30 LMP2 chassis in unique Mazda bodywork. It features KODO: Soul of Motion design cues to create a dynamic and purposeful look, at the same time as delivering the aerodynamic performance needed for success on the track. The engine is Mazda MZ-2.0T turbocharged, developed by British firm Advanced Engine Research (AER). Mazda has also worked with Canadian based Multimatic to develop the chassis.
Over the winter Joest, Multimatic and AER have worked to extensively develop the RT24-P
The 2018 evolution of the Mazda prototype features a host of chassis, aerodynamic and engine upgrades, plus weight saving to enhance performance.
The 56th Daytona 24 Hours takes place at Daytona International Speedway, Florida on the 27-28th January.