Mazda Team Joest will welcome Ryan Hunter-Reay to its IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship program for the upcoming Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.
The Andretti Autosport star will pair with fellow American Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P DPi for the May 3-5 event, and share the 600hp prototype during the 2h40m race around the 2.3-mile road course. Hunter-Reay will fill his one free weekend prior to the start of open-wheel activities at Indianapolis filling in for Mazda’s Harry Tincknell, who is scheduled to compete at the FIA WEC round in Belgium.
“Mazda has really put a lot into their program, and Mazda Team Joest have taken a big step up this season,” Hunter-Reay said. “The car is obviously very fast and I’m excited to race it at Mid-Ohio. Jonathan is a good friend and we’ve been teammates in the past, so it will be great to share the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P with him and fight for a win. I’ve driven race-wining Daytona Prototypes in IMSA for a long time, the Prototype field is as strong and deep as it has ever been, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it again this season.”
With their shared history, Mazda Motorsports director John Doonan is confident Hunter-Reay and Bomarito will make an effective duo, even in a one-off reunion.
“This will be the first time a former Indy 500 champion has been aboard a Mazda at the top level,” he said. “And based on his experience at Mid-Ohio his experience working with Multimatic previously, and the opportunity he and Jonathan had to drive together a few years back made him a natural fit.”