Mazda Prototype Team Unveils New Look, Powerplant for 2016

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Friday, 08 January 2016 14:28
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Mazda Prototype Team Unveils New Look, Powerplant for 2016 Mazda Motorsports
The two-car Mazda Prototype race team will be powered by the new gasoline-fueled MZ-2.0T engine this season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The engine has been in development for much of the past year and has completed nearly 4,000 test miles prior to this weekend’s “ROAR before the 24” test session at the Daytona International Speedway.

“We gained immense knowledge from three years of racing a stock-block diesel engine," stated John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports North America. "That knowledge will improve the next generation of Mazda diesel engines. But, with the impending rules changes in 2017 [which will not allow a diesel-fueled option], a purpose-built racing engine was our best choice to reach our long-term goals and contend for race wins and championships. After extensive testing, the MZ-2.0T is not only very fast, but reliable as well. There was no off-season for this team, as they’ve worked incredibly hard to prepare for the season. Mazda loves to race, and we couldn’t be more optimistic about the prospect of this engine and our team.”

The MZ-2.0T earned its name from its configuration: “MZ” refers to Mazda, “2.0” references its two-liter capacity, while “T” is a nod to the turbocharger. The inline, four-cylinder engine is built upon a similar foundation of the MZR-R engine that was developed by Mazda and Advanced Engine Research Ltd. (AER) for sports car racing beginning in 2006. In addition to the new Prototype engine, Mazda works with AER on the current version of the MZR-R engine that powers the entire field in the Indy Lights series, the top rung of the Mazda Road to Indy.

The Mazda Prototype team features two entries: the No. 55 car (numbered in honor of the 25th anniversary of Mazda’s Le Mans victory) with drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez, and the No. 70 car with Joel Miller and Tom Long driving. For the Rolex 24, current Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot will join the No. 55 team, while Ben Devlin will return to the team to drive the No. 70.

“The drivability of the engine is incredible," added Jonathan Bomarito, Driver, Mazda Prototype team. "The first thing you notice is how smooth the power is delivered in every gear through the RPM range. There is great low-end torque with zero turbo-lag, which is very impressive. All race tracks are different and the gearing is never perfect for every corner, so having an engine where you can short-shift or stretch a gear longer is very important. The MZ-2.0T does this easily.”
 
Specifications: MZ-2.0T Engine
  • Capacity: 2 liters
  • Cylinders: 4 inline cylinders
  • Horsepower: approximately 570 horsepower (285 HP per liter)
  • Maximum RPM: 9,000
  • Injection: Direct injection, multi-hole, spray guided injectors
  • Fuel Rail Pressure: More than 1,500 PSI
  • Compression Ratio: 13.5:1
  • Peak Manifold Pressure: 2.6 bar (37.7 PSI)
  • Turbocharger: single Garrett Motorsports unit, 46mm restrictor
  • Exhaust Manifold: tubular 4-2-1 manifold
  • Intake Manifold: bespoke carbon fiber
  • Oiling System: bespoke dry sump system
  • ECU:  LIFE engine management ECU
 
“This engine has transformed everything for us," stated Marcus Shen, Chief Engineer, Mazda Prototype team. "Obviously, it’s more powerful so we’re going faster. Once you go faster, the aerodynamics work very differently - we have much more downforce - and the chassis works better. It’s not just straightaway speed, the engine has improved every aspect of our overall performance. 
 
“A gasoline, direct-injected engine - like many of the Mazda passenger cars - helps with the horsepower and throttle response and yet still produces great fuel economy. When the driver puts the pedal down, it goes. It’s creating roughly 285 horsepower per liter, which is much higher than the estimated 110 horsepower per liter of the 5.5-liter V8 Daytona Prototype engines.”
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Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam has spent the last three years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plusand looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

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