2017 IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
24 WINTER 2016/17
are clear differences between the two
concepts, utilizing the same core chassis
across WEC and IMSA P2s should limit
the number of performance-balancing
“The two types of cars, DPi and P2,
will be directly competitive with one
another,” Raffauf affirms.
The process of moving from the older
Lola-based Mazda P2 that raced at Petit
Le Mans to the all-new Mazda DPi has
been a rallying point for the Japanese
brand. With one glance of the DPi-V.R or
the RT24-P, other brands would be wise
to fast track projects to make next year’s
Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“The process of developing the Mazda
RT24-P was a perfect example of what we
call ‘co-creation’ at Mazda,” Doonan
explains. “A global team from marketing,
vehicle design, finance, motorsports, and
all our racing technical partners went from
clean sheet to actual car very quickly, with
full alignment of what we were trying to
achieve. The designers are truly artists.
The marketing team tells stories.
“And down the line, motorsports,
finance, and the technical partners
needed to find a way to make it all come
together to be competitive. When we
unveiled the car at the Los Angeles Auto
Show, you saw the pride in ‘ownership’
In addition to its auto manufacturers,
the wave of energy behind IMSA’s new
Prototype formula has also extended to
the operators in charge of wielding the
Trading a hefty, tubeframe DP for a
lighter, stiffer, lower, growling DPi like the
Cadillac had Action Express Racing’s
Dane Cameron – the final DP-equipped
champion, along with teammate Eric
Curran – painting vivid pictures of the
contradictory driving experiences.
“It definitely wasn’t figure skating;
it was more roller derby,” says Cameron
of the retired Corvette DP.
And how about dancing with his
new partner, the Cadillac DPi-V.R?
“I definitely feel more like a watchmaker
as opposed to a construction worker!”
2013 Grand-Am Rolex DP champion
Ricky Taylor spent most of his career in
the old cars. Saying goodbye to DP and
hello to DPi was a mere formality after
sampling the future.
“I’ve never driven anything nearly as
sophisticated as the Cadillac is. It’s a very
direct-feeling experience, meaning you
can feel it was very well thought out, very
well built,” the Floridian says. “It’s very
nimble, very athletic. It just does
everything. When the driver gives it input,
the car does what it’s supposed to do.
That’s a nice feeling. With all the aero and
modern technology built into these cars,
the racing should be really, really exciting
and fun for the drivers.
“Each car, it would seem, will have its
strengths and weaknesses through each
type of corner,” he adds. “In the end, I
have a feeling that this is going to take
the racing in the Prototype class to a
whole new and different level.”
(LEFT) Mazda’s pair
of RT24-P DPi cars
put in valuable miles
during winter testing
in Daytona. The 2-liter,
machines are based on
“I’ve never driven anything
nearly as sophisticated as
the Cadillac is. It’s very
nimble, very athletic”
Cadillac’s aggressive-looking DPi-V.R will
equip three teams in 2017. Wayne Taylor
Racing (ABOVE, center) will run a single
car, with Action Express fielding two.