The Mazda RT-24P Daytona Prototype international (DPi) program has not lost an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in July since 2018.
A little over a year ago, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito delivered the program‘s first victory in the Sahlen‘s Six Hours of The Glen with co-driver Oliver Pla in a 1-2 sweep for Mazda. The following weekend, Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, leading another 1-2 ahead of Bomarito and Tincknell.
In Saturday‘s two-hour, 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona it was No. 55 Mazda co-drivers Bomarito and Tincknell doing the honors once again in yet another 1-2 sweep ahead of Nunez and Jarvis in the No. 77 entry. The No. 55 dominated most of the second half of the race, taking the lead for the final time at the end of the pit stop sequence with just over 30 minutes remaining.
Tincknell took the checkered flag 10.168 seconds ahead of Jarvis to win the first WeatherTech Championship race since January‘s Rolex 24 At Daytona. It was his third career win in the series and Bomarito‘s ninth in IMSA competition.
“The build up to this event was obviously tricky with the quarantine period and all the regulations in place,” Tincknell said. “We knew with only 15 crew including drivers, we didn‘t have enough for a pit-stop helper.
“We practiced it meticulously, and it worked absolutely fine. I had plenty of time to do my belts up after JB buckled me in. To be honest, it was like clockwork like most of the weekend. Literally a dream stop for everyone.”
The start of the race was delayed 40 minutes due to lightning just before the scheduled start. Early evening rains also left the track damp in many areas, but with no more rain expected, some teams elected to start on Michelin rain tires while others gambled on slicks.
That led to a flurry of activity and a variety of different leaders in the first half, including both Acura Team Penske machines and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. A different Cadillac — the No. 5 Mustang Sampling machine from JDC-Miller MotorSports shared by Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais — completed the podium in third.
The race was run without a full-course caution. It was the series‘ 12th caution-free race since 2014.
Next up for the WeatherTech Championship is the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring on Saturday, July 18.