Mazda Team Joest Earns Dominant WeatherTech Championship Victory

On Sunday morning, Mazda Team Joest were thinking they’d have a third-place finish at the Road Race Showcase at Road America. After all, Acura Team Penske – and specifically the No. 6 ARX 05-DPi shared by Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya – had been the class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) field throughout the weekend. The No. 6 led all three pre-qualifying practice sessions and Cameron took the Motul Pole Award on Saturday afternoon to lead a front-row qualifying sweep.

However, long green-flag runs happen to be the Mazda RT-24P’s strong suit, and as it happened the Road America event would run flag to flag without seeing a full-course caution. Consequently, Joest’s Harry Tincknell took the lead for the first time an hour and 14 minutes into the race when he swept past Montoya who combined with Cameron to lead 20 laps of what would be a record 83-lap race in the No. 6 Acura.

Ultimately, Tincknell’s move turned out to be a turning point in the race since once he took the lead he only surrendered it two more times during two pit stop sequences. Nevertheless, the session was not without its challenges since Cameron and his Acrua was pounding up behind the flying Mazda. In the end, even a final lap mistake by Tincknell, followed by side-to-side contact between the two cars heading into Turn 6, didn’t keep Tincknell from the win by just 0.227 seconds ahead of the Acrua.

#6 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi, DPi: Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron

“Fantastic race,” Tincknell said. “I couldn’t believe it. On the cooling down lap, I had tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe we had done it. All weekend we had been there, or thereabouts, but never the ultimate pace. I think we saw that a little bit in qualifying. Honestly going into the race today, I thought P3 would be a really a strong result, but it was very clear very early on the Penskes weren’t pulling away. Once we got into third and on the back of the Penskes, I thought maybe there was a chance.

“We came in right behind them when I jumped in the car. I saw the one car had an issue and we were up to second. We were both saving fuel. Obviously, we knew there was going to be quite a lot going for a splash at the end. We tried to minimize that as much as possible.”

It was the second win of the season for Tincknell and Bomarito in the No. 55, as they scored the first victory for the Mazda DPi program two races ago in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen along with endurance co-driver Olivier Pla. It was the team’s third straight win, as Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis won the most recent DPi race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on July 7.

“It was just a flat-out race, no cautions,” Bomarito said. “It was managing traffic, managing rear tire wear, managing fuel numbers. And pushing like crazy the whole time trying to keep pace with Penske, build gaps in traffic.

“We had no AC in the car at one point. It was super-hot and very physical. Just a tough race. We really had to work for that one today. To come through again on top, we were talking about it on the way (to the post-race news conference). This one almost feels more special because (at) Watkins we had the pace, and it was kind of ours to lose. We just had to fight so hard. It’s almost a little more of a rewarding feeling in the end. What an amazing day.”

Next up for the WeatherTech Championship is the Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway on Aug. 25. The race will include just the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes. The next race for DPi and LMP2 will be the penultimate round of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 15.

NBCSN will have live television coverage of the Michelin GT Challenge beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET with live streaming available on the NBC Sports App and IMSA Radio also will offer live coverage throughout the weekend on and, as well as race coverage on SiriusXM Radio.