More sports cars: DPi reveals forthcoming; Miller Lamborghini back

Successor to Lola Mazda will be revealed next week. Photo courtest of IMSA
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Two other quick sports car nuggets to pass along today because we could well get a run on program announcements and more in the coming days:

Mazda has formally confirmed it will launch its new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) Prototype at next week’s Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Mazda will launch the car Wednesday, November 16, at 12:50 p.m. PT. Those on hand for the announcement will include Masahiro Moro, President and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports North America, Ken Saward, Sr. Manager of Design, Mazda Design Americas, and Mazda Prototype Drivers Jonathan Bomarito, Tom Long, Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez.

With Mazda partnering with Riley Multimatic as a constructor, the public will get to see the car for the first time.

Although not yet publicly confirmed, GM also could launch its DPi car in L.A. next week too. GM’s car, expected to feature Cadillac branding and a Dallara chassis, would come alongside.

Photo: Paul Miller Racing
Photo: Paul Miller Racing

One car that is confirmed and announced features literally no changes from last year to this year, after major upheaval from 2015 to 2016.

Paul Miller Racing will continue intact from 2016 into 2017 with the full-season lineup of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow in the team’s No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Bryce Miller as third driver for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, and a fourth driver to come out of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse stable for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Andrea Caldarelli is a possibility for that and will test next week.

Miller’s full-season pairing came together last year in the Lamborghini after a separate lineup in a separate car ran in 2015 (Dion von Moltke, Christopher Haase in an Audi R8 LMS ultra). Sellers grabbed Lamborghini’s first GTD pole and Sellers and Snow its first win at VIR last year in a dominant performance, and the pairing finished third in GTD points.

“There are so many positives to the team continuing in 2017, it’s difficult to pick which one to begin with, but first and foremost I think it is important to thank Mr. Miller for making this all happen for yet another year,” Sellers said. “Madison and I really jelled over the course of the season and I really enjoyed my time with him. It will be great to be back with someone I know so well and build on that continuity.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.