• 2020/10/02

Mazda RT24-Ps finish 4th and 5th at Mid-Ohio

Round 6 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship took place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Ohio on Sept. 27, where Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell in the #55 Mazda RT24-P car finished the race in fourth place, followed by the #77 car of Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez in fifth place. It was a tough race for Mazda USA Motorsports, as they suffered contacts and a flat tire early on, and were then penalized, but the drivers’ hard work allowed the two Mazda RT24-P’s to recover and take fourth and fifth place at the checkered flag, despite dropping to the back of the grid at one point.


The 2-hour and 40-minute race required more laps than usual to get the tires working properly due to the narrow track width and low grip unique to Mid-Ohio. However, Mazda’s RT24-P starters, Bomarito (No. 55) and Jarvis (No. 77), were able to maintain their third and sixth qualifying positions in the early stages of the race.


After struggling to keep up with the pace of the leaders throughout the race week, the engineering team came up with a bold change of strategy that resulted in the No. 77 car making its first pit stop much earlier than the rest of the DPi cars. Ultimately, however, this strategy proved unsuccessful due to a subsequent collision with a GT car and a tire puncture.


“That was a difficult race for us,” said Jarvis. “We were fighting with the balance of the car all weekend so we tried to go off strategy in an attempt to make up positions. Unfortunately during my stint I had light contact with a BMW which spun me and punctured a tyre, which resulted in putting us a lap down. With some good strategy calls we managed to get back on the lead lap and Tristan did a great job to overtake the #5 Cadillac at the end to grab fifth. We came to Mid-Ohio with higher hopes than fourth and fifth so we now need to regroup and focus on Petit Le Mans.”


“Jonathan took some front end damage at the start of the race,” said Tincknell. “Firstly on the right hand side in a tussle with (Pipo) Derani and then on the left after contact with a GT car so the car was a little second-hand after that but the pace was okay. A communication error in the first pit stop meant that Jonathan nearly took the fueller with him so we got a penalty for that which put us to the back.”


Bomarito worked his way back to sixth place before handing the wheel over to Tincknell. Tincknell was given a drive-through penalty for a pit lane speed violation caused by an apparent malfunction of the on-board pit lane speed limiter. Fortunately, the #55 car was able to refuel during the yellow caution to gain a fuel advantage without losing any positions. This paid off during the final pit stop, and the team pitted for splash refueling. Tinknell was able to return to the track in fourth place.


IMSA’s next race will be the Petit Le Mans 10 Hours at Road Atlanta on Saturday, October 17.


Text by MZRacing, Photos by Mazda USA


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