Mazda Motorsports is currently experiencing its very last season in IMSA. The DPi RT24-P prototype, which appeared in competition in 2017 and now operated by Multimatic in the American Endurance Championship, will leave the scene at the end of the year. Not only will the Japanese manufacturer no longer be present in 2022, but it has also given up on a commitment in the future LMDh category, which will be introduced in 2023.
« After five years of participation in the DPi category of the IMSA, Mazda opts to end its program at the end of the 2021 season, which will end with Petit Le Mans in October », announced the brand on Friday evening. « This decision was taken after an internal evaluation of the current DPi class and the future LMDh class, which brings Mazda’s participation in sport prototype to an end. »
“From 2022, Mazda will focus its sports programs on the MX-5 Cup and a few other races. As a single-brand championship, the MX-5 Cup remains the cornerstone of competition for Mazda. This championship, as well as our support for a few competitions, ensure the continuity of Mazda’s heritage in motorsport. «
The Mazda RT24-P was first operated in DPi by SpeedSource, before Joest took over and then Multimatic took over from him last year after the 24 Hours of Daytona. In 2019, this prototype won at the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, Motorsports Park and Road America. We also saw him win in a sprint race at Daytona last year and then at the 12 Hours of Sebring. From two cars lined up in 2020, Mazda had reduced the wing by moving to only one this year, entrusted to Harry tincknell and Oliver jarvis, joined by Jonathan bomarito for long races. The trio took third place at the 24 Hours of Daytona two weeks ago.
« Mazda has a long history in competition, and recently added several victories and podiums in DPi during the 2020 season », recalls Masahiro Moro, CEO of Mazda North American Operations. « It’s a tribute to our spirit of constant challenge. We are particularly proud of our victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, our podiums at Daytona in 2020 and 2021, and our record times at Daytona in 2019 and 2020. These are significant achievements in the history of Mazda Motorsports. We thank our drivers, teams, partners and fans for these years of support, and we want to have a great 2021 season. «
To date, three manufacturers have officially announced their future commitment to LMDh, a category that will ensure regulatory convergence between ACO and IMSA, with the possibility of aligning a single prototype in Europe and the United States. Audi and Porsche are preparing a program focused primarily on the WEC, while Acura will put IMSA at the heart of its commitment.