While veterans of this class like Hyundai are already busy developing their electric TCR cars, Mazda is new to the TCR (Touring Car Racing) field. On the heels of its recent announcement, Mazda will campaign in 2020 with a sufficiently widened version of the Mazda3 hatchback. The car will be built by Long Road Racing, the North Carolina crew responsible for the loveable the MX-5 Cup cars seen en masse in the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series.
For the new TCR car, the Mazda3’s aerodynamic package was optimized by Mazda’s California-based design team. The turbocharged four-cylinder has been tuned to produce 350 horsepower, and is paired with a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle-shifters. And with that, Mazda’s latest race car is ready for any of the 36 TCR-sanctioned championships around the globe.
Right away, Mazda plans to enter the new car in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, beginning with the four-hour Endurance Challenge, a support race for the Rolex 24 at Daytona weekend on January 26. Current MX-5 Cup Champion Bryan Ortiz will pilot the car for it’s debut. The car will be available to privateer teams right from the get-go next season, as well.
Mazda is rather proud of this addition to their racing lineup. As they explain, if you’re racing in America, you’re highly likely to be driving a Mazda:
“Alongside its flagship prototype sportscar racing program in the IMSA series with Mazda Team Joest, Mazda North America’s motorsport program boasts one of the most comprehensive motorsport development ladder systems in the world: the Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the racing ladder, starting with the Global Cup MX-5 series and culminating with Mazda Team Joest. The Mazda3 TCR adds a new rung to this ladder. Additionally, the popularity of Mazdas and Mazda powered cars in American amateur motorsport means that in the United States more Mazdas are raced on any given weekend than any other manufacturer.”
Yes, the TCR looks excellent in this Mazda Motorsports livery, but how about following up with a street version featuring a similarly extroverted body kit and perhaps the 2.5-liter turbo-four from the Mazda6? I don’t know...call it the Mazdaspeed3, maybe?