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Mazda and AER Aim for Third Straight IMSA WeatherTech Podium Finish

Watkins Glen IMSA 2017

BASILDON, ESSEX (7 July 2017) – Following strong podium finishes in the Detroit and Watkins Glen rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Mazda Prototype team rolls into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) outside of Toronto this weekend for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix looking for a third consecutive podium.

The two-car Mazda team posted fast lap times in this past Sunday’s six-hour race at Watkins Glen International, which bodes well for the similarly fast and smooth Canadian track, where the throttle is wide-open for 70% of the 2.459-mile lap. That will be a challenge for AER’s Mazda MZ-2.0-T engines, while high-speed, high G-force corners provide test the physical strength and endurance of the drivers.

“The thing that is most physically demanding is the length of the corners and the speed of the corners,” said Tristan Nunez, driver of the No. 55 Mazda Prototype. “You’re pulling such heavy G-loads around the track, and 70 percent of the track is at full throttle, so that gives you an idea of how fast the corners really are at CTMP. It takes a toll on the driver. Every year I’ve been there, I walk away feeling pretty sore. I’ve been training ahead of time, but nothing compares to the forces you take when you’re in the car.”

For the whole story on Mazda’s preparation for this weekend’s race in Canada, click here. And for the details of the team’s strong performance at Watkins Glen, click here.

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AER POWERS MAZDA PROTOTYPE TO FIRST PODIUM AT LONG BEACH IMSA

Long Beach Grand Prix

BASILDON, ESSEX (9 April 2017) – A smart drive by Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito with just the right mix of aggression and discretion yielded a third-place finish for the new Mazda RT24-P in Saturday afternoon’s BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. This marked the first podium finish in the for the Mazda Motorsports team in the young 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

“You have to be so flexible with the race environment,” Bomarito noted following the race. “Its risk vs reward. You don’t want to lose to the cars in front of you but you can’t take a big chance. Some took chances today and you saw their cars in the wall.”

While Bomarito and Nunez were kept busy dodging spinning and crashing cars, one thing they didn’t need to worry about was the performance of their AER designed, manufactured and supported Mazda MZ-2.0-T engines.

“Everyone at AER has worked tirelessly to make sure the engine is one factor the team doesn’t have to be concerned about,” noted Mike White, AER’s North American Programs Manager. “Mazda’s North American headquarters is about 30 minutes south of Long Beach, so it was particularly satisfying to contribute to our client’s success at its hometown track.”

For Racer.com’s coverage of the race click here.

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Engines Run Like Clockwork as Mazda Team Fights to a Fifth-Place Finish at Sebring

Sebring 2017

BASILDON, ESSEX (24 March 2017) – A series of early-race setbacks prevented the Mazda Prototype team from showing its full potential in this past Saturday’s Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, but one factor the team didn’t have to worry about was the performance of its Mazda MZ-2.0-T engines, as designed, built and serviced by AER.

“For the second race in a row our engines performed flawlessly,” noted Mike White, AER’s North American Programs Manager. “That’s an important statistic because the 36 total racing hours from Daytona and Sebring represent just over half of all the race hours in the 12 races on the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech schedule. It demonstrates the positive results of all the work everyone at AER put in over the off-season refining the Mazda MZ-2.0-T. Everyone here at AER can be justifiably proud as we turn our focus to ensuring that our partners at Mazda and SpeedSource will continue to have great engine performance for the team’s pair of Mazda RT24-P DPi chasses for the remaining ten races on the schedule.”

Despite the setbacks – which included crashes, brake failure, broken suspension parts and a (non-engine-related) coolant leak – the # 55 Soul Red Mazda RT24-P, with drivers Jonathan Bomarito, Spencer Pigot and Tristan Nunez, soldiered on to finish fifth in class. The team car, the No. 70 Mazda, with Joel Miller, Tom Long and Marino Franchitti driving, overcame a crash early in the race, made repairs and returned, only to find a cracked suspension piece that put them out of the race. The No. 70 team finished 8th in the Prototype class.

“It’s the first finish for the brand new Mazda RT24-P, and it’s nice to be able to come across the line with a top-five finish after truly a challenging week,” said John Doonan, Mazda Motorsports’ director.

The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship schedule is April 8 at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

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