58th Rolex 24 at DAYTONA

But the way it's been talked about so far it sounds like Roger is gunning for either an IMSA or WEC event and IMSA has much more schedule stability at the moment and really can't afford to expand the calendar any further.
@Ventisca 's avatar and tradition to the contrary, I'd gladly sacrifice Long Beach for IMS or almost any other non-street course venue.
I read awhile back that Mazda was going to give Joest the axe and turn the entire program over to Multimatic right after Sebring. Seems like that might not be the best move when the everything is really coming together.
Seems to me Joest has earned the right to stick around.
Seems to me Joest has earned the right to stick around.
This is maybe a bit too "inside baseball" but that program has gradually been becoming Multimatic's for over a year now. Most - at the least - of the improvement and newfound success for that team can be attributed to Multimatic's increased involvement.


At the completion of Petit Le Mans in October of 2018, the changeover from Joest to Multimatic made its greatest step forward. Given full authority over the RT24-P testing and engineering program, Mazda dispatched its cars to Multimatic’s base outside of Toronto where the vehicles underwent teardowns and inspections, in-depth performance analysis, and moved onto an intensive series of track tests before the DPis were sent back to Mazda Team Joest’s shop in Georgia.

The same vehicle handover process took place last month after Petit Le Mans, as will their return to Mazda’s shop near Atlanta before the new year.

As the reconfigured team appeared at the Roar, a staffing change was seen as the two-car RT24-P program was split into separate houses. One car run by Multimatic personnel, and the other by Joest’s crew.

Beyond the reduction to Joest’s physical presence inside the garage, Mazda also handed total control of the program’s engineering responsibilities to Multimatic. Joest technical director Ralf Juttner, along with Joest’s involvement in the vehicle dynamics, development, and race engineering of the RT24-Ps, were cut from the Mazda DPi effort.

Le Mans-winning race engineer Leena Gade was hired by Multimatic and appointed to oversee one RT24-P; Multimatic veteran Dave Wilcock would lead the other; even Multimatic boss Larry Holt got involved on the race engineering side as Mazda expanded its overall commitment to the company.

“But really, I’m pleased with Dave joining as well as Leena and again thankful to Larry and Raj and everybody on the Multimatic side for being willing to invest so much to see this program have success,” Doonan said before the Roar.

Compared to the full-Joest operation in 2018, the message at Daytona was clear: On the mechanical and engineering fronts, Mazda Team Joest was morphing into Mazda Team Multimatic.

Out of approximately 15 seats on the giant Mazda Team Joest timing stand in 2019, only two or three were reserved for Joest employees from Daytona onwards. The majority were taken by Mazda and Multimatic staff; in yet another example, the transition of authority was never hidden from the public.
I'm having a hard time believing Joest was incompetent and Mazda succeeded in spite of them. Just doesn't make sense.
It’s hard for us to see how many people attended because they have so many packages for sale. At the start of the race the stands going towards turn 1 were packed. I think the Rolex 24 is the only Motorsport event that I can sell my tickets for way more or face value.
I was honestly surprised by how big the crowd was, expected a dip this year but the weather really was as good as it's been several years. I haven't seen the Turn 1 grandstands that full at the start of the race and then stay that way into sunset before. Even on Friday the Pilot Challenge gridwalk was as crowded as I can remember, it was about impossible to see Deegan's car, and then in the infield the grandstands were even packed for the Ferrari Challenge race and it was tight just finding a spot on the fence to watch.
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