The Mazda6 Diesel race car is on a mission, and that mission is to win races and spread awareness of Mazda’s new 2.2 liter SkyActiv-D turbodiesel motor. With yesterday’s victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Mazda6 Diesel raced its way into the history books as the first diesel-powered car to win a race at Indy.
The Mazda6 Diesel won the alt-fuel friendly GX Class in the Grand-Am series at the Brickyard 400, which is admittedly small with just 3 entrants; two Mazda Diesels and a Porsche Cayman S. Nonetheless, a diesel race car has not finished in the top 3 since 1952, when the Cummins Diesel Special took the pole (but not the checkered flag). For a track with such a long and illustrious history, this is definitely a major milestone.
And it couldn’t come at a better time quite frankly. Americans are increasingly turning to diesel-powered cars in larger numbers thanks to major improvements in fuel economy and performance. The 46 mpg Chevy Cruze Diesel marks GM’s return to the diesel market for the first time in decade, and Chrysler is rolling out a 3.6 liter diesel V6 for its SUVs and pickups.
While not on sale yet, the Mazda6 Diesel will have plenty to brag about, with 5 class wins since its disappointing Daytona debut, and the market for oil-burners frankly couldn’t be better right now. Things are looking great for one of the most anticipated diesel sedans in memory.