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Mercedes-AMG is coming to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017.
Mercedes-Benz USA and Mercedes-AMG unveiled their plans on Wednesday morning to join the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. Riley Motorsports will race two Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars in the GT Daytona class.
One of the team’s cars will run as AMG-Team Riley Motorsports, and the other as WeatherTech Racing.
Additional teams are expected to race the Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars as customer teams.
“We are thrilled to see the three-pointed star compete in North America’s premier endurance racing series in 2017,” said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car has already proven itself in worldwide competition and should quickly become a fan favorite. We are very excited about our prospects for the 2017 racing season.”
Mazda confirmed a two-car Daytona Prototype international (DPi) program at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday and unveiled its new race car, which will compete full-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class beginning in 2017.
The South Florida-based SpeedSource Race Engineering will manage the two-car program on behalf of Mazda Motorsports. The pair of Mazda RT24-P race cars will be driven by Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez, Tom Long and Joel Miller.
Mazda’s new DPi program is the next chapter in a lengthy history of prototype racing in IMSA. The manufacturer has fielded a two-car, factory-supported team since the inception of the WeatherTech Championship after previously supporting prototype and GT race cars in both the American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM. Most recently, the manufacturer utilized a Lola LM P2 chassis and four-cylinder, turbocharged engine in the WeatherTech Championship.
“This is a huge moment for Mazda Motorsports and the entire Mazda family,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports North America. “To have a car which features Mazda design language at the top level of our motorsports program is meaningful for us as a brand. We believe we have the right team, the right drivers and the right chassis to win races and championships.
he new DPi car — dubbed the “Mazda RT24-P” in a nod to the manufacturer’s “Mazda Road to 24” driver development program — will use the Mazda MZ-2.0T four-cylinder, turbocharged engine producing approximately 600 horsepower and a Riley/Multimatic prototype chassis with specially designed Mazda bodywork. The bodywork utilizes Mazda’s KODO-Soul of Motion design philosophy and will include elements such as body contours and a five-point Mazda grille.
On a warm and sunny morning in Burbank, CA, I had the honor to meet and converse with the legendary, Parnelli Jones at book signing at Autobooks.
I’ve been fortunate to meet the man (now 83 and oldest living Indy 500 winner), a couple of times over the years and he has always been kind and willing to sign anything. The occasion was the release of the “Trans-Am Era” by Daniel Lipetz. Also, special thanks to Marc Vaughn, Senior West Coast Editor for Autoweek, for taking the picture for me.
All Artwork and photography taken by mymotorways.com
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Artwork and original photography taken at COTA (Austin).
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