Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy
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IMSA Commentary

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

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Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

Nine months ago, some were optimistic that Mazda would give the green light to a new prototype and thereby enter the hybrid (LMDh) era of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The logical extension of that was that the marque might even go transatlantic to try and recapture the 24 Hours of Le Mans crown it earned in 1991 with that shrill thriller, the rotary-engined 787B.

Said one optimistic observer within the IMSA paddock: “Mazda has been about innovation and technical challenges. And marketing-wise, every manufacturer should like the idea of Prototypes that are eligible for IMSA and WEC, so they get to be in all the big sportscar races.”

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