Mazda adds all-star spotters to Daytona effort

NASCAR regulars will he helping out on the spotter's stand.

Mazda adds all-star spotters to Daytona effort
#70 SpeedSource Mazda Mazda: Sylvain Tremblay, Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez
#70 SpeedSource Mazda Mazda: Sylvain Tremblay, Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez
#70 SpeedSource Mazda Mazda: Sylvain Tremblay, Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez
#70 SpeedSource Mazda Mazda: Sylvain Tremblay, Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez
#70 SpeedSource Mazda Mazda: Sylvain Tremblay, Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez
Listen to this article

The Rolex 24 at Daytona is known for bringing star drivers from around the world to Daytona International Speedway to compete in North America’s ultimate endurance race. Many have glittering credentials from Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR and more. For 2015, Mazda has added IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe to the driver lineup, and the team has also added two prominent NASCAR spotters.

Taking care of the team and drivers from high atop the Speedway will be Tim Fedewa, former NASCAR driver and spotter for 2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick, and Tyler Green, who has spotted for driver Aric Almirola for the past five seasons. Green guided Almirola to victory in the Sprint Cup race at Daytona last July. The duo will join Mazda’s primary spotter Chris Long, who can found during the week running the seven-post rig at Chip Ganassi’s NASCAR shop in Concord, NC and is the brother of Mazda driver Tom Long. The other primary spotter for the team is Daniel Tremblay, the son of Mazda SpeedSource team owner and driver, Sylvain.

“It is a lot tougher than I had imagined,” said Fedewa. “It really keeps you on your toes. I’m used to spotting where the cars on the track are all similar, and everyone runs pretty close to the same speed. For the 24, a spotter has to use a lot more knowledge because of multiple drivers, and the different classes and strategies involved. They all have different speeds and attributes, so I need to be aware of that at all times.”

Working together for the second year in a row, Fedewa and Green will trade duties every four hours during the race.

Four on, four off

“We will do four hours on, and four off,” explained Green. “We’re used to long days on the spotter stand at NASCAR races, but this is like doing three 500-mile Cup races in one day. You try to relax and sleep when you’re off, but it’s not easy. There’s always a lag of 30 minutes or more before you’re able to get to sleep.”

“It’s pretty straightforward in the daytime,” said Fedewa. “But, it’s not lit up like a NASCAR race when it’s dark. So, you have to focus that much more. It can be cold with fog or rain, and you do get tired, but you have to stay focused on the car and work with the crew on whatever they need. Watching it on TV is one thing, but there is so much more involved than I imagined.”

Mazda has 23 class victories at Daytona since 1975, and this is the second year of an aggressive developmental program with the Mazda SKYACTIV prototype machines.

Mazda Racing

shares
comments
Porsche returns to Florida sports car classic as record winner
Previous article

Porsche returns to Florida sports car classic as record winner

Next article

Dempsey/Wright Motorsports hopes to build on Its momentum at Daytona 24

Dempsey/Wright Motorsports hopes to build on Its momentum at Daytona 24
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push Prime

The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push

Have you heard the one about two British guys driving for a Japanese manufacturer in America’s top sportscar series? Time to sit down and talk with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat about racing across the pond… and your accent being mistaken for Australian!

IMSA
Mar 16, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022
Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC Prime

Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC

OPINION: The adoption by IMSA of the GTP name for its forthcoming LMDh versus Le Mans Hypercar era in 2023 appeals to fans of nostalgia - but it undermines the commonality achieved by bringing its rulebook into line with the WEC. GTP or Hypercar, both sides should settle on a single name

WEC
Feb 15, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic Prime

How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic

Helio Castroneves continued his fine start to life with Meyer Shank Racing that netted the 2021 Indianapolis 500 victory by prevailing in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours together with teammates Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud. As Cadillac fell by the wayside, the Brazilian veteran won out in an all-Acura duel to the finish

IMSA
Feb 1, 2022
How Derani's long road to title success exorcised painful memories Prime

How Derani's long road to title success exorcised painful memories

It took Pipo Derani no time at all to establish himself as a winner in IMSA, winning the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours on his first two starts in 2016. But it took until the final corner of the 2021 season before he could become its champion, the culmination of a journey that he believes has made him a better driver.

IMSA
Jan 16, 2022