For Mazda the LA Auto Show is all about the “6”. Not only is the 2014 Mazda6 making its North American debut, Mazda has also announced that the new 6 will offically go racing next year (2013) in the new GRAND-AM “GX” class with an all new turbo charged “Skyactiv-D” (the D is for Diesel) race engine. The race versions of the Mazda6 will be built by Speedsource and will essentially be taking the place of the discontinued RX-8 in the GRAND-AM series. The Mazda6 race car is set to make its debut at the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona in January, 2013. This will mark the first time a diesel engine of any kind was run at the 24 hour race.
Despite the new Mazda6’s recent reveal, Speedsource has been working on its engine for a very long time with Mazda but the engineers had to wait for the production car to be officially announced before they could spill the beans on the new power plant. After hours of testing the engineers are confident that the new Skyactiv-D race engine will be up to the grueling task of a 24 hour endurance race. One of the more interesting notes about the engine is that it is not a purpose built racing block. The engine that will be in the Mazda6 race car is built off a production Skyactiv-D road car block!
Rumor has it that there will be four Mazda6 Skyactiv-D race cars in total at the race next year. One will be fielded by Speedsource and the other three will be customer teams. As of now those teams and their drivers are unknown.
I really want to see this car up close but for now the rendering will have to do. Click the thumbnail below for a larger version.
MAZDA6 CONFIRMED FOR 2013 GRAND-AM GX CLASS
ALL-NEW SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL WILL POWER LATEST MAZDA RACECAR
November 29, 2012 (LOS ANGELES, Calif) Mazda North American Operations today announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show that the racing version of the 2014 Mazda6 will make its motorsports debut at the Rolex 24 endurance race on January 26-27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Mazda6 racecar will be powered by a Mazda SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine and is being developed for the new GRAND-AM GX class. This will be the first time a diesel-powered vehicle of any type has ever raced at the Rolex 24. Mazda will be seeking their 24th class win in the American endurance classic, having most recently won in 2008 and 2010.
John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations noted that: “We have been eager to announce this car for months, but had to wait until the production car was revealed. The SpeedSource engineering team, working with the Mazda engineers, have been flat out for months on engine development. We’re happy to report that the engine is meeting the performance targets for both power and endurance. That means 400+ hp for over 50 hours, with an engine that includes a very long list of production Mazda parts. This is not a pure race engine; it is a production block SKYACTIV-D. We’re excited about having our newest engine powering our newest car.”
About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports & MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. Mazda cars compete in over a dozen professional classes in the U.S.
Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.