#55 Mazda Team Joest Mazda DPi, DPi: Jonathan Bomarito, Harry Tincknell, Olivier Pla

No. 55 Mazda Duo Looking to Stay Hot

By Jeff Olson

Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell want to get something started.

They won the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona on July 4, and now they want to put together a streak of victories. Their win in the No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda RT-24P DPi pushed them into a tie for second place in the DPi standings, and now their sights are on Saturday’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring.

A run of victories would be new — and welcomed.

"It’s something we haven’t had in the past," Bomarito said. "That’s something we haven’t experienced since I’ve been with the program. Last year we had a very strong second half of the season, and we’re starting off this year with a couple of strong races."

To continue the positive start, Bomarito and Tincknell will have to conquer a Sebring that’s unlike what they’re used to seeing. Instead of the typically pleasant March weather that greets them for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, they’ll be facing hot, humid and possibly wet conditions.

"It is going to be way different," Bomarito said. "Mid-July, Central/South Florida — it’s going to be crazy hot and humid. … It’s hot during the day, and you can almost guarantee afternoon thunderstorms, a bit of a dump of rain then it dries out really quick. That’s going to be something I’m pretty sure we’re going to be dealing with."

Scattered storms are forecast during Saturday’s 2-hour 40-minute race, and racing in the wet isn’t something with which Tincknell has much experience in the Mazda DPi.

"It’s pretty treacherous," Tincknell said. "I haven’t had many laps at all in the wet. … With rain, it will be a few new experiences for me."

And, on top of all that, it’s a sprint, not an endurance race. That could make the race more, not less, difficult.

"It’s going to be just as hard as the 12-hour race in March on the drivers physically," Bomarito said.