The diesel has landed: Three 2014 Mazda Mazda6 racecars—each powered by a SKYACTIV diesel engine—made their competition premiere over the weekend during the “Rolex 24 at Daytona” endurance classic. And while the trio was plagued by teething pains during the event, which saw the last of the Mazda6 diesel racers retire near the six-hour mark, Mazda will continue chasing checkered flags in the new Grand Am GX Class throughout the 2013 racing season.
"This is an amazing moment in Mazda Motorsports history because we are once again bringing innovative technology to the race track to demonstrate the performance, quality, durability and reliability of our brand,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports for the company’s North American operations. “While many know us as the 'rotary engine' company, and we love that part of our heritage, to race our latest SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel technology in our newest car, in the race where we have scored our largest number of wins, is amazing. To get to this point, thousands and thousands of hours by engineers within Mazda in both Japan and the U.S., along with the amazing team at SpeedSource, has produced what we see as our prime mover for the next decade, SKYACTIV engines for racing."
Of course, as more and more U.S. owners are discovering, SKYACTIV engines for Mazda’s production vehicles have plenty to offer as well—as evidenced by vehicles like the 2013 Mazda Mazda3 and 2013 Mazda CX-5, as well as the soon-to-debut production model of the 2014 Mazda Mazda6.