For the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, Verizon IndyCar Series drivers James Hinchcliffe and Spencer Pigot will join the driver lineup in the all-new Mazda RT24-P race cars under the new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) rules.
The two-car Mazda Prototype team has also confirmed the driver lineup that will compete in the top category of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. For the third consecutive season, the drivers for the full 10-race championship season are Jonathan Bomarito, Tom Long, Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez.
The No. 70 ModSpace/Castrol Edge Mazda Prototype (Gunmetal Grey livery) will be driven by Long, 34, of Charlotte, N.C., and Miller, 28, of Hesperia, Calif. The duo finished sixth in the 2016 Prototype driver points championship after five top-five finishes.
For the 55th running of the historic Rolex 24 at Daytona, Long and Miller will be joined by IndyCar race winner James Hinchcliffe, 30, of Toronto, Canada. Hinchcliffe finished second in the most recent season of “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC-TV, and will race with Mazda at Daytona for the fifth time since 2012.
“It’s great to be back behind the wheel at Daytona! It sucked sitting out last year’s race, but my focus at the time was getting myself back in shape for the IndyCar season,” said Hinchcliffe. “Coming back to Mazda and SpeedSource, where I’ve done all of my races at Daytona, is like coming home and I can’t thank Sylvain [Tremblay, SpeedSource owner] and John [Doonan, Mazda Motorsports director] enough for the chance. I can’t wait to be working with everyone there again, to get my hands on the new car, and try and deliver a win for Mazda.”
The No. 55 Mazda Prototype (Soul Red Crystal livery) will be driven for the third consecutive season by the pairing of Jonathan Bomarito, 34, of Louisville, Tenn., and Tristan Nunez, 21, of Boca Raton, Fla. Bomarito and Nunez recorded a league-leading three pole positions in 2016, led six races, and finished seventh in the final Prototype driver point standings.
Spencer Pigot, 23, of Orlando, Fla., will join the No. 55 team for the second year at Daytona. The IndyCar driver made his Prototype debut with Mazda last year at Daytona, then raced at Sebring before leading races at Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.
For this weekend’s Roar Before the 24 test sessions at Daytona, driver Ben Devlin, 34, of Norwich, England, will also join the team, utilizing his extensive prototype experience to help hone the preparation of the two Mazda RT24-P race cars.