Mazda has added James Hinchcliffe to the SKYACTIV Prototype driver line-up for the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Hinchcliffe, a three-time IndyCar race winner and native of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, will drive for the Mazda factory team for the fourth consecutive year at the 24-hour race. Hinchcliffe, also known as the Mayor of Hinchtown, has driven in the Prototype, GT and GX categories at the Rolex 24. On his way to the IndyCar ranks, Hinchliffe competed in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system that helps young drivers climb to the top level of their sport.
Mazda has powered 23 class victories at the Rolex 24 at Daytona since 1975, and the 2015 driver lineup for the Mazda SKYACTIV Prototypes will be:
No. 70 car: Tristan Nunez, Jonathan Bomarito, Sylvain Tremblay and Hinchcliffe
No. 07 car: Tom Long, Joel Miller, Ben Devlin and Tremblay
James Hinchcliffe: “This will be my fourth year in a row with Mazda, so I think that shows how I feel about them and the level of professionalism that they show. It is a privilege and joy to get to drive for them and it’s a partnership I hope we can keep going for many more years.”
“Coming up through the Mazda Road to Indy, I have had a lot of experience driving different Mazda-powered machines. To see what they’ve done with that program and how they support the ladder system, not only in open-wheel racing but sports car racing and motorsports overall, it’s really really cool to see.”
“Director of Mazda Motorsports, John Doonan has been a big supporter of mine and a good friend for many years, so to get a chance to continue that relationship – personally and professionally – is great. With SpeedSource and Sylvain (Tremblay, team owner) and all the guys, John’s put together a real crack organization. It goes hand-in-hand with how they do it at every level of the sport.”
John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports North America: “James is a great example of what the Mazda driver development programs are all about. I’ve known him for many years throughout his climb up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder to become a winning driver in IndyCar. He is a great young man who brings value to Mazda Motorsports on and off the track. We’re thrilled to have him with us again.”
About Mazda Motorsports
Mazda’s SKYACTIV Prototypes compete in the highest category of the TUDOR United SportsCar Series. The Prototype cars can also be seen in high schools across North America as a part of Mazda’s extensive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educational program called Racing Accelerates Creative Education (R.A.C.E). The program reached more than 12,000 students in 2014. On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you’ll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the largest road-racing class in the world is Spec Miata, with more than 2,500 first- and second-generation Miatas tearing up America’s racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world.
Mazda’s involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world’s premier road-racing circuits, the Mazda Road to Indy and the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy.
Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona
The opening round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship takes place at Daytona International Speedway January 24 and 25. You can see the race action on FOX, Saturday, Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. ET. After two hours of coverage on FOX, the remainder of the race will be seen on FOX Sports 1 and 2, as well as IMSA.com. You can find the entire broadcast schedule at IMSA.com.