Building a unique motorsport career for the new Mazda6, the Japanese car maker decided to enter a diesel-powered racing version of it in the Grand-Am series this year. And they nailed it with a class victory in the Grand-Am Brickyard Grand Prix this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The #70 SpeedSource Castrol Edge Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel becomes the first-ever diesel to win at Indianapolis. The last time a diesel-powered race car competed at the track was six decades ago in the 1952 Indianapolis 500, and the Cummins Diesel Special.
Inspired by Audi’s success in employing diesel in Le Mans, Mazda decided their new SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel is the engine of choice for the series, first and foremost because of its fuel economy. It may be slower than its petrol-powered rivals, but it is endurance racing we’re talking about here, and in endurance racing it is the overall number of laps that matter. Obviously, the longer you can stay out on the track, the more laps you can complete.
What makes Mazda’s success even more amazing is the fact that the engine, and the car itself, are virtually production-based. They are pretty much the same as the road-going Mazda6 SKYACTIV Diesel. The engine is 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight. Mazda says this is a showcase of the quality, durability, and reliability their cars.