Joest expects IMSA testing programme with Mazda to start next month

Joest expects to begin its test programme with Mazda's IMSA SportsCar Championship RT24-P next month

Joest expects IMSA testing programme with Mazda to start next month

The team behind Audi's Le Mans dominance will re-establish an American base near Atlanta in Georgia and test on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mazda has now halted its SpeedSource-run campaign for the rest of 2017 to focus fully on '18 preparations with Joest.

The RT24-P is based on the Riley Mk30 and was jointly developed by Riley Technologies and Multimatic, but this summer Multimatic has taken over development of both the Mazda and the Gibson-engine LMP2 version.

Managing director Ralf Juttner said Joest's on-track work with the Mazda would begin "within the next 30-40 days".

"We want to bring all the experience that we have gathered in endurance racing into this project, and therefore I expect a really, really close relationship with Multimatic on the development of the car and the improvement on the car," he said.

"Without going into detail on the test programme, in the next month we expect to have the car rolling."

Juttner believes it will be possible to develop the Mazda sufficiently despite homologation restrictions.

"There are areas that can be touched and areas that are more difficult to be touched," he said.

"We are going, together with Multimatic, the IMSA organisation, the technical guys there, to make sure that we don't leave anything out where we can put hands on.

"It's not that you have a clean sheet of paper and you can start from scratch, that's clear.

"But I still think there's a lot of potential that can be unlocked.

"The testing will be done with a car that does already have some modifications in it.

"We expect more to come throughout the remainder of this year until we have a version that we think is the right one to start the season in 2018.

"The other thing is that we need to work on reliability, because that's the first thing that you have to have in order to finish on top."

Mazda North America's motorsport director John Doonan said the focus would be more on "raceability and competitiveness" than reliability, with the Mazdas having been outpaced by Cadillac and Nissan this year.

Current Mazda racers Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez, Joe Miller and Tom Long will begin the test programme but Joest has offered no guarantees over their long-term involvement - though Juttner added "it's not that we are coming with a whole wagon of drivers in our bag trying to bring those in."

It expects to announce the 2018 driver line-up by this autumn's Petit Le Mans IMSA finale.

"Mazda has their drivers which they have raced up to now," said Juttner.

"They have grown them through their own famous and very good system, which they are very proud about and rightly so.

"We have not worked with any of these drivers up to now. I'm looking forward to do that.

"I'm very open to start working with those guys. The rest, we will see."

shares
comments
Audi Le Mans legend Joest to run Mazda's IMSA sportscar programme

Previous article

Audi Le Mans legend Joest to run Mazda's IMSA sportscar programme

Next article

Mazda feared its IMSA programme 'wasn't good enough' for Joest

Mazda feared its IMSA programme 'wasn't good enough' for Joest
Load comments
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending Plus

Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending

Mazda believes it has never had a better chance of clinching the title in IMSA's Prototype division. Achieving this goal would be the bittersweet culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit

IMSA
Apr 11, 2021
The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault Plus

The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault

After taking over Corvette Racing from long-time custodian Doug Fehan, 34-year-old Laura Wontrop Klauser is leading General Motors through a transitional phase in sportscar racing. Here’s how she got into her dream role and what she plans to do with it

IMSA
Mar 21, 2021
Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours Plus

Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Plus

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitter Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Plus

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories

IMSA
Jan 28, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Plus

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Autosport to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
When Porsche became a giant-killer Plus

When Porsche became a giant-killer

In the first of a new series celebrating underdog achievements from the annals of motorsport history, we revisit the 2015 Petit Le Mans - where a tyre advantage in appallingly wet conditions helped the GT cars overcome the prototypes

IMSA
Apr 15, 2020