Successor to Lola Mazda will be revealed next week. Photo courtest of IMSA

More sports cars: DPi reveals forthcoming; Miller Lamborghini back

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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.”

March 29 in Motorsports History: Scott Dixon wins first race after reunification

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Reunited and it felt so good.

That’s what drivers likely thought before the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For the first time since 1995, major-league open-wheel racing in the United States was under the banner of a sole sanctioning body as Champ Car and the Indy Racing Leauge had reunified just a month prior.

Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead. Photo: Jim Hines/IndyCar.

The first race after reunification also saw a reversal of fortunes for Scott Dixon, who won the race after losing the 2007 IRL championship in crushing fashion.

In the 2007 season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, Dixon ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap of the race. The race victory – and championship – went to Dixon’s future teammate, Dario Franchitti.

But the tides turned for Dixon nearly seven months later, and the Kiwi was able to win with the help of another driver’s misfortune.

Tony Kanaan was leading with seven laps remaining when E.J. Viso spun and made contact with Kanaan’s car. Kanaan remained on track through the caution period despite suffering obvious damage to his right front suspension.

On the final restart with three laps remaining, Dixon and others cars easily passed Kanaan’s wounded car on the outside. Dixon then maintained his lead through the checkered flag to win at Homestead for the second time in his career.

“I think Marco (Andretti) and T.K. probably had a little bit better cars today, but we came through with the win, and that’s what counts,” Dixon told ESPN after his 12th career victory.

Following his victory at Homestead, Dixon continued to redeem himself through the course of the 2008 season. In May, he won the Indianapolis 500 for the first (and so far only) time. Following Indy, he went on to win four more times in 2008 and won his second series championship.

Also on this date:

1998: Mika Hakkinen won the Grand Prix of Brazil, the first of eight victories in his first championship season.

2010: Will Power won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was held on a Monday morning because of rain postponing the race on Sunday.

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