After leaving the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona without the desired result for Mazda Team Joest, the team arrives at the historic 12 Hours of Sebring looking to finish what it started in January at Daytona.
Just as Mazda Team Joest arrived at Daytona filled with confidence from the team’s performance at the Roar Before the 24, it arrives at Sebring with similar momentum after the pace displayed by the pair of Mazda RT24-Ps – highlighted by Oliver Jarvis taking pole position and setting a new track record in the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P.
The 12 Hours of Sebring is another venue that Mazda has enjoyed tremendous success, with the company having scored 13 class victories at the event. At the 2018 12 Hours of Sebring, the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P nearly scored Mazda’s first overall victory at the race as it led throughout the race before finishing in sixth position.
The No. 55 Mazda RT24-P will be shared by Jonathan Bomarito, Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknell while the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P will be shared by Timo Bernhard, Jarvis and Tristan Nunez. Bernhard is a previous overall winner at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Qualifying for the 12 Hours of Sebring will be streamed live on Friday, March 15 at 9:45 AM ET at www.IMSA.tv.
John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports
“We are really proud of our history here at Sebring over the years, with thirteen class wins for Mazda. But, we will not be fully satisfied until we get an overall victory. We enter this year’s 12 Hour with some decent momentum after the pole position and track record at Daytona, but again, we didn’t achieve what we wanted based on the results of the race. Following Daytona, we gathered our partners together and now have a solid plan coming here to Sebring. Our test days here a few weeks ago went well, so now we need to execute. The Mazda RT24-Ps were quite good here last year, so we hope to have a good run with a solid result.”
No. 55 Mazda RT24-P
“The 12 Hours of Sebring is one of the best races of the year. It always comes down to a last lap fight for the win where you’re tired, beat up, and still wanting more punishment that this great track places on both the driver and machine. We had really fast Mazda RT24-Ps at Daytona and I would be really disappointed if that wasn’t the case at Sebring. The whole team has worked really hard to take what we’ve learned from Daytona to continue to get better for the rest of the year. Mazda always has huge support from nearby dealers and fans at Sebring, so we’re hoping for a great result for them!”
“The 12 Hours of Sebring is one of my favorite races of the year. Daytona was obviously not what we expected or deserved, but we left the race with a lot of positives as we had really good pace and we were always running at the front. Sebring will be a good track for the Mazda RT24-P and the team, like always, has been working really hard for this event. With all the great support we will have from Mazda in Sebring, we just can’t wait to race hard and do our very best to achieve a great result!”
“I’m really looking forward to Sebring as it’s one of the most iconic venues in the world. We were so close to a great result there last year, leading the race for a long time, so I’m confident that the Mazda RT24-P will be competitive again this weekend like we were in Daytona. It’s going to be a busy weekend for me, but I’ve trained super hard and more focused than ever to deliver that first win with Mazda.”
No. 77 Mazda RT24-P
“The 12 Hours of Sebring is one of the top iconic endurance races. It’s one of the absolute toughest for man and machine. Although we did not finish the 24 Hours of Daytona, I saw a lot of great things building up at Mazda Team Joest and with the Mazda RT24-P was really strong which makes me confident going into the 12 Hours. And on top of that, I enjoy the working environment with my teammates and Mazda Team Joest!”
“I am really looking forward to the 12 Hours of Sebring. It is always a highlight in the IMSA season and the track is the ultimate test of both driver and machine. Having left Daytona with so many positives, but ultimately disappointed with the end result, I feel we are headed into this race with a point to prove. We have a very quick car as we proved and I am confident that the Mazda RT24-P is well-suited to the demands of Sebring. As always, we will be well supported from local Mazda dealerships so I hope we can get a result to repay them and all the loyal Mazda fans for their support.”
“Sebring is always an exciting race. Personally, it’s one of my home tracks and it’s a blast every year. I have a really good feeling about this race. We’ve learned a lot since Daytona and we will capitalize on on the changes made. It was unfortunate to leave Daytona empty-handed, but the pace we showed and the preparation from the team and everyone involved in the program was top notch and I have no doubt that it will carry through to this race.”