After its recent (though amicable) divorce from Ford, Mazda was left without a major technology partner, leaving it up to the small Japanese automaker to fend for itself. So how does a small car company tell the world about its awesome new turbodiesel sedan? Take it racing of course. Last weekend the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D diesel race car scored its first victory in the Grand Am series at Road Atlanta.
Participating in the new GX class for alternative fuel vehicles, the Mazda6 SkyActiv-D race car is a big part of Mazda’s push for its new 2.2 liter turbodiesel engine. SpeedSource Engineering is the team that put together the race engine, which differs from the stock 173 horsepower, 309 ft-lb of torque motor.
Drivers Andrew Carbonell and Joel Miller drove the #00 Mazda6 to victory, beating out a Porsche Cayman S and their fellow teammates driving the #70 Mazda6. Of course, given that these are the only three competitors in the new GX class, pretty much everyone is guaranteed a pole position…as long as they finish, something at least one Mazda6 race car failed to do at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
But next year the American Le Mans Series will be folded into the Grand-Am series, allowing for a lot more alt-fuel competition for the little Mazda6 diesel. Consider this a practice season ahead of the main event. Still, a win is a win, and I for one am a big fan of the new Mazda turbodiesel setup, especially when it wears its sexy wagon outfit. Check out the press release on the next page.