Mazda confirmed its long-awaited entry into the competitive TCR market today with the unveiling of the 350hp Mazda3 model. In development for more than a year, the new turbocharged four-cylinder hatchback will be produced in America by Long Road Racing, the same firm responsible for the massive number of Global MX-5 Cup cars competing domestically and internationally on behalf of the Japanese brand.
With a list price for the turnkey TCR racer rumored to be in the same range as its rivals, Mazda North American Operations CEO Masahiro Moro gave the project the green light knowing the cars will have customer homes in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge series and the SRO TC America organization, among other destinations.
“TCR represents a great opportunity for us to showcase the new Mazda3 and provide our customers another avenue to race Mazda vehicles,” said Moro. “Some of our most important successes in IMSA and SRO TC America have been thanks to dedicated customers who chose to race with Mazda, and we hope the next generation of Mazda racers see the same potential in the Mazda3 TCR.”
Homologated to compete in all of the series where TCR cars are welcomed, the six-speed paddle-shift Mazda3 is set to make its racing debut in late January at Daytona during IMSA’s season-opening round for its major championships.
“The Mazda3 features the outstanding design and engineering that Mazda is known for, and, because of that, it is a fantastic foundation for our new Mazda3 TCR,” said Mazda Motorsports director John Doonan. “We have looked forward to returning to the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge for several seasons, and everyone at Mazda is very excited that we will do just that in 2020. We are eagerly anticipating success for the Mazda3 TCR in IMSA, SRO TC America and in TCR championships around the world.”