- Back-to-back IMSA race weekends sees AERO teams in victory circle once again
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (July 10, 2019) – Once you win the first one, the second one is that much easier, and Mazda proved that this weekend.
It has been a long time coming for Mazda Team Joest, but after years of frustration and challenges, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi team scored double 1-2 finishes at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on back to back race weekends.
Carrying a color that is right at the heart of the brand for Mazda, the AERO™-painted Soul Red Mazda Prototype RT24-P machines were THE storyline of the previous two IMSA race weekends after Mazda Team Joest scored its breakthrough victory at the Glen with the No. 55 of Jonathon Bomarito, Harry Ticknell and Olivier Pla. The sister red Prototype finished just 0.353-seconds behind in second.
The Watkins Glen weekend started off strong as the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P scored pole position after Oliver Jarvis posted a new track record for the DPi class. Pla then backed up the Mazda momentum by scoring the fastest race lap during the six-hour endurance race along with the remarkable 1-2 race finish.
The team had little time to celebrate as it immediately headed north of the border for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It was another drive to the podium for Mazda, but this time with the No. 77 RT24-P of Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis scoring their first IMSA victory with the sister No. 55 Prototype just behind in second.
"This victory is for all the Mazda fans,” said John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports. “I'm so proud of the Mazda Team Joest crew and everyone at Multimatic and AER for scoring these two wins in a row. It has been a complete team effort, with flawless execution from all four drivers, from the pit crew, from the engineering staff and from everyone at Multimatic and AER. I'm thrilled for Tristan and Olly that they are finally able to celebrate their first victory, and I almost can't believe that we have another one-two finish for Mazda. We've said all along our goal was to achieve success for the Mazda brand and for the people who buy, sell and race Mazdas so this past week has been a dream come true."
The AERO™ advantage was not only an advantage seen in the IMSA Prototype field, but also in the GTLM category. The No. 3 Corvette Racing GTLM of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia claimed second at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen as they look to defend their 2018 IMSA Championship run.
The BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) dual M8 lineup had promising pace on the weekend at CTMP by first locking out the front row during Qualifying. The end of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix saw the No. 24 RLL BMW M8 of John Edwards and Jesse Krohn drive to a second-place finish.
Another AERO™ squad thinking championship is Meyer Shank Racing, which captured second place in GTD competition to grow their lead in the points to 19 for the No. 86 AutoNation/SiriusXM Acura NSX GT3.
It wasn’t just the IMSA WeatherTech field that brought AERO™ teams to victory circle, but was also a prominent force in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge events as well. The striking AERO™ green and slate grey No. 39 Carbahn Audi R8 of Jeff Westphal and Tyler McQuarrie edged onto the podium at Watkins Glen with a third-place finish. The American duo just missed a second podium finish the following weekend at CTMP and claimed fourth at the finish. The unmistakable No. 39 machine, painted in a menacing grey with bold green stripes along the side, continues to be a challenger for the points as the series prepares for a key string of races at Lime Rock Park, VIR, and then Laguna Seca.