– Mazdas Finish Fourth and Fifth at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park –
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. Canada (July 9, 2017) – The Mazda Prototype team continued a run of strong finishes with a pair of top-five tallies today at the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In a race marked by several downpours late in the going, the No. 55 Soul Red Mazda Prototype driven by Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez finished fourth, immediately in front of the No. 70 Castrol Edge/ModSpace Mazda driven by Tom Long and Joel Miller in fifth.
Starting fifth, Bomarito climbed to fourth on the first lap and eventually reached third place before the first round of pit stops began. In the No. 70, Tom Long started 10th, but made a spirited push forward into the top-three before turning over to co-driver Miller near the halfway point of the two-hour, 40-minute race. At the same time, Nunez climbed into the No. 55.
With less than an hour to go and the Mazdas charging hard, things got dramatic as a burst of rain hit the Canadian track. In a flurry of pit stops, the Mazdas put on rain tires, only to see the track quickly begin to dry. After pit stops to go back to the dry tires, both cars fought back to grab fourth and fifth place when a second cloud burst took place as the race neared an end.
Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No 55 Mazda Prototype
“It was good day for us. A fourth-place under really hard conditions that were changing like crazy. Tristan did a great job. Overall I’m happy, and we’ll move on to the next round and go from there.”
Tristan Nunez, driver, No. 55 Mazda Prototype
“That was crazy race! It was really mixed conditions with short bursts of rain, and it made a huge difference. It became a gamble on what tires to go to. Maybe if we had pitted a lap earlier for dry tires, it might have made a difference to finish higher. It was an incredibly challenging race and everyone on both teams did a good job. It was a madhouse out there!”
Tom Long, driver, No. 70 Castrol Edge/ModSpace Mazda Prototype
“We got the car and tires dialed-in and the car was fast in the race. It was really a fun day in our Castrol Edge/ModSpace Mazda. Traffic is always interesting and exciting here at CTMP, so it’s quite a challenge, but our guys were up for the task. We had great pit stops all day and I was able to hand over a better position than where we started. We really pushed forward and stayed focused to end up with a top-five in very mixed conditions there near the end. Joel and the team did an excellent job to bring it home.”
Joel Miller, driver, No. 70 Castrol Edge/ModSpace Mazda Prototype
“What a race! Tom did a great job to gain quite a few positions, which was cool to see. As we got into the heart of the race, I got into a good rhythm, and then the rain came – the first round at least. We stayed on slicks and the rain continued to fall, and then the call came to rains. I had asked for rains, but the slicks would have been the right choice. Once we got back to the dry tires, the car was really flying. We were quick and started reeling them in. A good top-five for the program, but it’s time to win one of these.”