A combination of Mazda racing veterans and new faces with endurance racing pedigree will drive the Soul Red Crystal Mazda RT24-Ps in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Mazda Team Joest delivered its best result of the 2018 season in the final race with a second and third place at Petit Le Mans. Carrying that momentum into the off-season, the team has furthered its goal of delivering success for Mazda with its selection of drivers for 2019.
In the number 55 Castrol Mazda RT24-P, Jonathan Bomarito (USA) returns for his eighth season racing with Mazda and will partner with Harry Tincknell (GB), both of whom made up the primary driving pair in that car last year. For the Michelin Endurance Cup races, Olivier Pla (FRA) will round out the driving lineup. Pla, who began his career in open wheel racing and advanced to GP2, is a race winner in the World Endurance Championship and drove to a victory in IMSA’s Petit Le Mans in 2016.
Tristan Nunez (USA) and Oliver Jarvis (GB) will return as the primary drivers in the number 77 Mazda RT24-P. Though he is the youngest driver of the team at 23 years old, Nunez will begin his seventh season of driving for Mazda. He and Jarvis teamed for podium finishes in the 2018 season at Mid-Ohio and Petit Le Mans.
The two will be joined for the Michelin Endurance Cup events by endurance racing star Timo Bernhard (GER). A Porsche factory driver, Bernhard is a two-time champion in the World Endurance Championship and a three-time champion in the American Le Mans Series. He has scored victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (3), 24 Hours of Nurburgring (5), 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Recently, Bernhard reset the lap record at the Nürburgring in the Porsche 919 Evo.
At the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, Rene Rast (GER) will also return to the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P.
Behind the pit wall, longtime Joest Racing team engineer, Jan Lange, has been promoted to CEO of Mazda Team Joest and assumes leadership of the day-to-day operation of the team. Motorsports veteran Chris Mower has also joined Mazda Team Joest as Team Coordinator, operating the team’s base in Atlanta, Georgia.