What an exciting week at Daytona International Speedway with another incredible Rolex 24 event! Unlike in recent years there, the weather was fabulous for the important part of the week, providing plenty of sunshine for the Michelin Pilot and WeatherTech races.
Mazda has a new partnership with Idemitsu, which is the OE oil manufacturer for Mazda’s product line. The relationship between the two brands has a deep history. They were partners during Mazda’s racing effort at LeMans in 1991 with the race-winning 787B prototype.
Now, you’ll find the Idemitsu name on the billboard (also known as the main fin!) on the white No. 77 prototype, which had a great run to second in the Rolex 24. Because of the new partnership, there were a lot of new people at the track with us. It is always rewarding to introduce people to motorsports, from having dinner together the night before the race to showing them around the paddock. I also got to give the Idemitsu guests hot laps to give them an understanding of what the drivers and cars go through! Later, during the race, we gave them pit tours so they can see just how much is happening with the team throughout the event.
One thing that I haven’t ever participated in during the Daytona weekend is the Saturday morning 5K run at the Speedway. I got to do it this year, and it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed getting to have a sunrise run with so many friends and colleagues.
Once again, it was impressive to witness 24 hours of racing and to have such incredibly tight battles for the win in many of the classes. It’s a true testament to the level of equipment, teams and drivers that one can find in IMSA.