First street circuit of 2015 requires different mindset for Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype Team.
IRVINE, Calif. (April 14, 2015) – The first two races of the TUDOR United SportsCar Series were endurance contests on predominantly wide circuits, a sharp contrast to this weekend’s Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The 100-minute sprint race on the streets of Long Beach takes place Saturday afternoon, April 18. The street circuit provides the challenge of a racing surface that is encased on both sides with concrete barriers, leaving no room for errors with the Mazda SKYACTIV diesel-powered racers.
Joel Miller, driver, No. 07 Mazda Prototype: “This is a much different race from the driver’s perspective. You will definitely push the envelope more than before because it’s such a short race. Unlike the endurance races where you set up a secure, drivable car, the goal here is to have a car that’s on the knife-edge. You push the tires straight away and raise the aggression factor.
“I like the circuit because it drives more like a road course. It’s not a typical street circuit where there are only 90 degree turns – Long Beach has a great variety. I especially like the unique combination from Turn 9 through the hairpin onto the front straight.”
“The fuel mileage advantage of the Mazda diesel cars could really come into play. It gives us a wider array of strategic options because we can likely do the race on only one pit stop.”
Tristan Nunez, driver, No. 70 Mazda Prototype: (Nunez and co-driver Jonathan Bomarito have just completed two days of computer simulation work with the Multimatic “Driver in the Loop” simulator in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Multimatic plays a large role in developing the Mazda Prototype chassis with the team.) “It’s huge having a simulator like that. You can’t test at a street circuit, and with the simulator there’s no risk of crashing your real race car into the wall. You just hit reset! You look at the technology they have there, and it blows my mind. The track time we have at Long Beach is so limited, this really helps us develop the best setup and helps me prepare as a driver. It’s a daunting track, but I got almost 10 hours of seat-time in those two days.
“At Long Beach, you have to go in with a mindset of ‘Push, push, push!’ You have to attack it, but you also have to keep your head up because any mistake means you’re into a concrete wall. No mistakes! The Long Beach race is a big mental and physical challenge for sure.”
SpeedSource, Mazda’s factory team, is based in Coral Springs, FL, which makes the trip west a lengthy one. The team haulers left the race shop Saturday, April 11 for the approximately 2,700 mile journey. The team will remain in California until after the TUDOR Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday, May 3. From Mazda Raceway, they will travel more than 3,000 miles east to return to the team’s home.
Mazda Driver Lineup for 2015 Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach:
No. 07 car: Tom Long, Joel Miller
No. 70 car: Tristan Nunez, Jonathan Bomarito
Previous Long Beach Race Results:
No. 70 car: Drivers: Tom Long, Sylvain Tremblay ST: 21 Fin: 21 DNF
No. 07 car: Drivers: Joel Miller, Tristan Nunez ST: 20 Fin: 17 Running
Fans can watch the race live online at MazdaLIVE.com at 7:00 pm ET Saturday. The streaming video features in-car cameras from both Mazda Prototype race cars, with audio from the race broadcast from Radio IMSA/Radio Le Mans.