Mazda’s serious about broadening its reach in motorsports, and it’s equally serious about using diesel to do so. This week Mazda announced plans to enter a factory team of SKYACTIV-D-powered prototypes in the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship. The diesel-powered prototypes’ first outing will be the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
Mazda’s spent the past couple of years proving that Audi’s not the only diesel-powered game in town when it comes to racing. The diesel-powered SKYACTIV-D Mazda6 was successful in Grand-AM GX this year, racking up nine victories in its class on its way to winning the Grand-AM GX championship.
Moving to the TUDOR Sports Car Championship, Mazda will be facing new competitors, and is aiming for overall race wins as well as class victories. Mazda will be the only OEM racing in the TUDOR series with a diesel engine. The SKYACTIV-D engine used in the Daytona car is based on the engine that powers the roadgoing Mazda6, with over half of its stock parts intact.
SpeedSource Race Engineering, the team responsible for the diesel-powered Mazda6 racers, will develop and campaign the Daytona prototypes.
“This is the most significant step Mazda has taken towards returning to the global racing stage since our overall victory at Le Mans in 1991,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports. “And thanks to our SKYACTIV-D Mazda6 racecars winning nine of 12 Rolex GRAND-AM GX races and the GRAND-AM GX Manufacturers Championship this year, we’re confident that our two prototype cars will challenge the best North America has to offer.”