Mazda reveals RT24-P prototype race car

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The Mazda RT24-P will debut for the racing season at the Rolex 24 Daytona on January 26 in Daytona Beach, Florida(Credit: C.C. Weiss/New Atlas)

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Mazda Motorsports unveiled a new race car for the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) rules. The RT24-P will compete in the Prototype class and is slated for extensive on-track testing in the coming weeks before the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

The RT24-P is built on a Riley Mk 30 chassis, developed by Riley Technologies and Multimatic. Riley has been building race car chassis for American motorsports since 2004 and Multimatic has been working with Mazda since 2014 in the Prototype category of DPi. The Mk 30 chassis is the latest-generation of the Riley design and Mazda will be the first factory team to test it on the track.

Powering the Mazda RT24-P is the MZ-2.0T engine the company used in the 2016 International Motor Sports Association race season. The little engine outputs nearly 600 horsepower (kW). The inline four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine was developed and raced with Advanced Engine Research (AER) for Mazda's racing team.

Most unique about the RT24-P is its design language. Part of the KODO - Soul of Motion design philosophy at Mazda, the look of the prototype represents "the instant that energy becomes motion, such as the muscular beauty as an animal pounces or a human leaps into action." The Mazda design begins with the five-point Mazda grille and the body contours that hint at muscles bunched before flinging into motion.

The two-car Mazda Prototype team is managed by Florida-based SpeedSource Race Engineering. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is a premier automotive track racing event in which two types of vehicles compete in four classes of racing simultaneously. Each class is a different type of vehicle racing under slightly differing rules and requirements.

The Grand Touring (GT) class features production-based vehicles racing in two classes, GT Daytona and GT Le Mans. The higher-end Prototype classes are based on non-production vehicles racing as either a Prototype or a Prototype Challenge, again with varying rules for each of those categories. The Mazda RT24-P will be competing under the Prototype class, which limited top speeds to 190 mph (306 km/h) and horsepower to 550-600 hp. Other restrictions include vehicle weight, gearbox type, and other chassis requirements.

The Mazda RT24-P will debut for the racing season at the Rolex 24 Daytona on January 26 in Daytona Beach, Florida. This is a 24-hour endurance race.

Sources: Mazda, IMSA

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