Expensive News – James Hinchcliffe, Spencer Pigot added to Mazda IMSA 24 Rolex lineup
James Hinchcliffe, Spencer Pigot added to Mazda IMSA 24 Rolex lineup
INDYCAR DRIVERS PART OF A TWO-CAR MAZDA EFFORT AT DAYTONA
They will join returning full-time drivers Jonathan Bomarito, Tom Long, Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez at the two-car Mazda RT24-P factory effort under the new Daytona Prototype International classification. This will be the third season that Bomarito, Long, Miller and Nunez have raced together at the marque.
The No. 70 (Gunmetal Grey livery) will be driven by Long and Miller. The duo finished sixth in the 2016 Prototype driver points championship after five top-five finishes. Hinchcliffe will join them for the Rolex 24.
The No. 55 (Soul Red Crystal livery) will be driven by Bomarito and Nunez. Combined, they recorded a league-leading three pole positions in 2016, led six races, and finished seventh in the final Prototype driver point standings. Pigot will join them after making his Prototype debut with Mazda last year at Daytona, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.
Hinchcliffe had to miss the Rolex 24 last season as he recovered from injuries sustained in qualifying for the 2015 Indianapolis 500. He’s raced for Mazda five times since 2012.
“It’s great to be back behind the wheel at Daytona,” Hinchcliffe said. “It sucked sitting out last year’s race, but my focus at the time was getting myself back in shape for the IndyCar season.
“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.”
For this weekend’s Roar before the 24 test sessions at Daytona, driver Ben Devlin will also join the team, utilizing his extensive prototype experience to help hone the preparation of the two Mazda RT24-P race cars.
Pigot’s relationship with Mazda was honed by the Road to Indy program. He’s the first (and only) driver to win four Mazda scholarships, capturing the 2014 Pro Mazda and 2015 Indy Lights championships. He utilized the resulting scholarship to compete in the Indianapolis 500, as well as road/street circuit races in IndyCar last season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing.
“I’m really looking forward to driving for Mazda again in my second Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona,” Pigot said. “The Mazda RT24-P is an incredible car and being able to help develop and improve the car from the very beginning has been a great experience. Mazda has given us a car capable of fighting for the win and I know we have the team to get the job done.”