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
How MSR took Acura to the first win of sportscar racing's new era Plus

How MSR took Acura to the first win of sportscar racing's new era

After much anticipation, the new dawn for sportscar racing got underway with a result that mirrored last year's IMSA SportsCar Championship's season-opener run to the previous DPi rules. Here's how Acura once again took top honours in the Daytona 24 Hours with a 1-2 led by Meyer Shank Racing, as the new GTP class for LMDh hybrid prototypes made its bow

IMSA
Jan 30, 2023
The big question concerning IMSA's new LMDh cars on their debut Plus

The big question concerning IMSA's new LMDh cars on their debut

The new LMDh era finally begins in earnest this weekend with the IMSA SportsCar Championship curtain-raiser at Daytona. The prospect of multiple marques going all guns blazing for victory over 24 hours is a salivating one for fans of sportscar racing, but what are the chances of the new hybrid machines (known as GTP cars Stateside) proving reliable enough to win on debut?

IMSA
Jan 27, 2023
Inside BMW's long-awaited prototype racing return Plus

Inside BMW's long-awaited prototype racing return

Much like German OEM rival Porsche, BMW's absence from sportscar racing’s top flight will be ended this weekend when a pair of M Hybrid V8 prototypes make their debut in the Daytona 24 Hours. A programme focused on the IMSA SportsCar Championship for now will expand to the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans next year, in a sign of both its ambition and pragmatism

IMSA
Jan 26, 2023
How Porsche and Penske are gearing up for sportscar racing's bold new era Plus

How Porsche and Penske are gearing up for sportscar racing's bold new era

Porsche and Penske have teamed up to tackle the world's biggest sportscar races in 2023 with the new 963 LMDh car. Autosport was on hand at the recent Daytona test to hear from key players in the partnership as it prepares for dual campaigns across the IMSA SportsCar Championship and World Endurance Championship

IMSA
Jan 5, 2023
The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right Plus

The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right

Nyck de Vries’s Italian GP exploits weren’t the first post-eleventh-hour call-up in motorsport history, and won’t be the last either. Here are some offbeat tales from the past

General
Dec 26, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022