Joel Miller, Tom Long and Jonathan Bomarito will be on hand at Indy to review video and data and offer tips to Mazda racers
As it has done in years past, Mazda Motorsports is doing something extra special for its Mazda racers at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. At prior events, that has involved guided track walks, help with spotters and even coaching. For the 2017 Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mazda is bringing three of its factory drivers – Tom Long, Joel Miller and Jonathan Bomarito, all drivers of the Mazda RT24P prototype in IMSA competition in 2016 and ’17 – to Indy to offer data and video coaching help.
“David Cook thought it would be great to bring out some of the factory drivers to help out the club racers,” explains Long. “Not only to learn Indianapolis Motor Speedway, because practically all of them haven’t driven the circuit before other than in a simulator, but also to give them a little feedback once they have driven a few times to help them to continue to progress. To not only find a little bit of speed in their driving, but maybe some car setup help or overall advice going into the race weekend.”
To participate, racers will need to sign up at the Mazda trailer. Cook says he believes there will be ample opportunity to get some time. A driver will need to bring, at a minimum, video on an SD card, but ideally their laptop. While in-car video is the minimum, data would be a tremendous help.
“In a 30-minute window, you can do a pretty thorough review of a few laps of somebody’s driving by video, and also give them some help with data analysis. Hopefully that enables them to go out and put those to use during their next qualifying session. Over the course of the three days, we’re going to be doing this and hopefully set up a follow-up session to be able to not only measure the progress, but also give them their next set of goals and further targets,” Long says.
In addition, on Monday, the first day of qualifying, the trio will do a presentation on the circuit, offering up some of the nuances and answer questions related to the specifics of the circuit, car setup, passing opportunities, important corners and more. That presentation will be given twice to accommodate all the drivers who want to attend.
Long says that if time permits, there could be an opportunity to sit down with more than one of Mazda’s factory drivers to get a different perspective. The drivers will be there for at least the first three days of qualifying. More information about the Runoffs and amenities available to Mazda competitors will be made available as the event nears.