First Look at the Mazda RT24-P Daytona Prototype International

Mazda just unveiled their new DPi (Daytona Prototype international) challenger for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It's their Riley Mk 30-based, RT24-P.

Sylvain Tremblay, owner of the SpeedSource racing team, was on hand at the presentation, along with some familiar faces dressed in fire suits- Johnathon Bomarito, Tristian Nunez, Joel Miller, and Tom Long.

The standout feature of the car was the radical aerodynamics package, starting with a massive front splitter, extending several (pretty fucking far) inches in front of the bodywork. Sylvain Tremblay explained to me that it was crucial in an effort to put as much downforce on the RT24-P as possible. He also noted that the RT24-P is a few inches longer, as well as a handful of inches narrower than the outgoing Lola-Multimatic coupe. It was also nice to see that the car made several styling shout-outs to their roadcar lineup – a significant difference from the rumored “generic” bodywork that class rival Cadillac will use.

Sylvain stressed that the car was all about efficiency and doing more with less. “More downforce with less drag” along with the chassis dimension changes will help the car achieve higher top speeds. He wouldn’t be prodded for specifics, as the class-wide Balance of Performancee has’t been made.

Mazda has departed from their well-developed diesel power plant utilized in the Lola for a 2-liter, turbocharged gasoline engine: a curious detail considering they announced that diesel cars will be coming to the United States in Q2 of 2017. The production-derived, dual overhead cam Skyactiv engine can produce up to 600 horsepower, although after the aforementioned BoP, it’s unlikely they’ll see that number in competition.

All four drivers are excited to get the season underway at the car’s first race – the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona in January, which is exactly where the RT24-P is headed after the LA Auto Show. Will Cadillac have the car to keep up with the guys at Speedsource? January will tell.