Mazda has been breaking molds in motorsports for a while now. Ever since their win at LeMans with a 4-rotor powered prototype up until now with their new Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D (D is for “Diesel” duh..) race car. This weekend the Grand-AM series will visit Indianapolis Motor Speedway and when Mazda’s new sedan race car makes its first hot lap it will have been the first Diesel powered car to do so at the brickyard in 62 years!
The last diesel-fueled race car to compete at the Indy Motorspeedway was the “Cummins Diesel Special” Indy car back in the 1952 Indy 500. Back then it was probably just a crazy PR stunt, but today we know better. We know that diesel race cars can be pretty flarkin’ fast! That being said, I am sure Mazdaspeed Motorsports is after more than just headlines this weekend. Lets see if their new diesel-wonder has what it takes to get the win.
MAZDA RETURNS DIESEL POWER TO THE BRICKYARD
— First Diesel to Compete at Indy since 1952 Cummins Indycar —
July 25, 2013 (INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana) When the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel racecar hits the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week, it will be the first time in six decades that a diesel has competed at the most famous track in the world. Historians will note that the last time a diesel competed at the speedway was in the 1952 Indianapolis 500, when the Cummins Diesel Special surprised the establishment with technology unknown to most racers at the time. While there are no direct links between these two companies or their products, they share common goals in testing production technology in the harshest of environments.
While most people correctly associate racing with fast cars, it is far more complex than just raw speed. The best race cars have been optimized for efficiency in every conceivable area. Decreasing weight, friction, and aero drag are also key elements to performance. Less obvious to non-race fans is the fact that better fuel economy can mean the difference between winning and losing as fewer pit stops can often determine the winner in endurance races. Blend all of these ingredients together and you have the Mazda SKYACTIV recipe for racing.
Applying the same SKYACTIV methodology to both race cars and production cars, Mazda seeks the same ultimate goal – a satisfied customer. Racer customers want just one thing – a winning race car. Regular customers are far more demanding, wanting everything from superb driving dynamics, to great fuel mileage, and it must be wrapped in a good looking package at an affordable price.
The all-new SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine in the all-new Mazda6 is a true production based engine. The engine is 51% stock by parts count, and 63% stock by weight. Mazda chose this path as it is the most honest way to demonstrate the quality, durability, and reliability of Mazda cars.
“This year has been one for the record books. In January, our SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Mazda6 became the first diesel racecar to ever compete at Daytona. In April, we became the first ever diesel to score a Grand-Am win at Road Atlanta. Now, we are about to bring clean diesel to one of the most famous proving grounds in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Being students of motorsports heritage, it wasn’t lost on us that the last diesel to compete at Indy, a Cummins, made a strong impact in the 1950’s, hence our interest in looking at the state of the art from the past with our latest innovation,” noted John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations.
The Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Racecar Specs:
Chassis SpeedSource Tubular Spaceframe
Engine Mazda SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel
Configuration Inline 4 Cylinder Turbo Diesel
Displacement 2.2L (2191cc) Bore: 86.0 mm Stroke: 94.3 mm
Power 400 hp @ 5000 rpm – Grand-Am GX class target
Torque 445 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Fuel System Common Rail, Direct Injection
Turbochargers Series Turbocharged
Honeywell Turbo Technologies (Garrett) Turbochargers
GTR3776R Low Pressure Stage
GTR2560R High Pressure Stage
Transmission EMCO 46P1 Transaxle
Clutch Quarter Master
Suspension Double A-Arm Front and Rear
Dampers Dynamics DSSV
Front: 355mm Disc, Monoblock 4-piston Caliper
Rear: 328mm Disc, 4-piston Caliper
Wheels BBS 1-piece Aluminum
Tires Continental Racing Slicks (GRAND-AM Spec Tire)
Front: 285/645R18 Rear: 305/645R18
Weight 1111 kg (2450 lb) — GX class minimum
Weight Bias 50:50
Dimensions Length: 4935 mm (194.3 inches)
Height: 1298 mm (51.1 inches)
Width: 1880 mm (74.0 inches)
The 2013 Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Grand-Am season to date:
Date Race Results Notes
Jan 26-27 Rolex 24 at Daytona DNF World Debut
March 2 Circuit of the Americas 2nd First finish / First lead laps
April 6 Barber Motorsports Park 2nd First pole
April 20 Road Atlanta WIN (#00) First win
June 1 Detroit WIN (#00) Second win
June 15 Mid-Ohio WIN (#70) Third win / First win for #70
June 30 Watkins Glen Six Hours WIN (#00) First endurance win