(29 July 2020) – Mooresville, NC: Round 4 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes place at the scene of the victory that completed a run of three consecutive wins for Mazda Motorsports in 2019. The team heads into this weekend’s race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, with the #77 Mazda tied for the championship lead and the #55 only trailing by six points in third.
Multimatic’s Executive Vice President, Larry Holt, commented: “Those three wins last year really represented the turning point for the RT24-P programme, and other than some minor engine issues at Petit last year and with the #55 at the Rolex, the momentum has continued and I am optimistic going into this weekend at Elkhart Lake. We came up against a fuel consumption related strategy issue in Sebring, only just making the finish. These two hour and forty minute races are a real challenge for the Mazdas because the capacity we are allowed doesn’t quite return a clean four stint, three stop race and so we either have to come in a fourth time and splash, or run a conservation strategy. We didn’t get a change in the rules dictated capacity this week so the strategy is going to be equally challenging at Road America, but we’ll be fully on top of it from the start.”
It was a hard fought win in 2019 for the #55 Mazda, with Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito having to fight for every scrap of race track but a daring pass on the outside of Turn 1 for Tincknell turned out to be the race-winning move.
Fast forward to 2020 and, although the world is currently a very different place, the race at Road America remains a highlight in the calendar for everyone, not least Tincknell:
“I have great memories of Road America from last year. Passing Montoya around the outside and going on to win the race was one of the biggest highlights of the season. Road America is my favourite circuit on the calendar and actually one of the best I’ve ever driven at. It’s got a bit of everything: high speeds, big braking zones, overtaking places, long straights. It’s a proper, old school, American race track. You have to be committed to be fast there and it is very unforgiving if you get it wrong.”
“The track is also in a very nice part of the world so I’m looking forward to going back there. I’m not sure how the balance of performance will affect us there. It could be tough but if it is we’ll do the same job we did at Sebring and maximise the performance and scoop as many points as possible. Having said that, we had a big balance of performance hit before this race last year and look how that one turned out!”
Round 4 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship gets underway at Road America on Sunday 2nd August at 11:05 local time / 17:05 BST.
IMSA MICHELIN PILOT CHALLENGE
The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge got back underway at Sebring but long weather stoppages prevented Multimatic’s #22 Ford Mustang GT4 from making headway through the pack. Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell had to settle for eighth place in the two hour race.
Road America is expected to be another tough track for the Mustang GT4 but Seb Priaulx has a plan:
“Sebring was a tough one for us. We struggled with straight line speed, due to the balance of performance, so it was a damage limitation job for us. I was happy to get the fastest lap of the Mustang drivers and it was great to be back racing again with the guys at Multimatic. I love racing in America. Every race is a new experience for me and Road America is no exception. I have heard it is a great track so I have high expectations but again, it’s not a track that will suit our car. Those tracks are coming though so we’ll keep our heads up and keep at it.”
The Road America round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge takes place on Saturday 1st August at 15:45 CDT / 21:45 BST.