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Mazda RT24-P brings KODO style to the Rolex 24 at Daytona

In addition to its new CX-5 crossover, Mazda revealed its new racecar, the RT24-P, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The car has been designed for the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class in IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and will make its racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It was designed using Mazda's KODO design language, which the brand has so successfully applied to its road-going cars. The racer's relation to Mazda's production cars is made obvious by the small five-point grille at the tip of the RT24-P's nose.

While plenty of credit needs to go to the stylists and aerodynamicists at Mazda and Multimatic, one of the companies Mazda partnered with on the car, some of the credit needs to go to IMSA's new DPi rules for 2017. The new DPi class is very similar to the LMP2 class that it competes with in the WeatherTech series, with some noteworthy differences. The DPi class allows manufacturers to create unique bodies and engine packages for one of the four chassis available. The LMP2 class requires competitors to use the chassis companies' bodies, and are restricted to one engine package.

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As for the powertrain, the Mazda RT24-P uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out roughly 600 horsepower. Mazda used the same engine in its P2-class race car last season. Mazda's body and engine will ride atop a chassis developed by Riley Technologies and Multimatic. You may remember that latter company as the one that developed the awesome spool valve shocks on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. The RT24-P will be campaigned by Speedsource, a company that has been racing Mazdas in American endurance racing for years, including last year's P2 cars.

Considering Mazda's success in making such a cool race car, we're excited to see what other manufacturers do with the extra design freedom of the DPi class. Both Chevrolet and Ford competed last year in the WeatherTech prototype class with Daytona Prototype-style cars, and Honda competed with an LMP-style racer. Depending on what other makes decide, this year's WeatherTech line-up could have some nifty designs.

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