Supercar Sunday: Mazda Introduces Diesel Power for 2014 Prototype Sports Car
Mazda has had a successful go-around in re-entering premier racing, winning nine of the 12 races it entered this year in the Rolex Grand Am racing series with race-prepped Mazda6 SkyActiv-D diesel sedans. Now, it's looking like Mazda is going to take its oil-burning rig up another notch as it plans to enter two prototype race cars into the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC). USCC is the new racing series that merged the American Le Mans Series and Grand Am into one. A casualty of the series is the discontinuation of the LMP cars like the Audi R18 Ultra that were diesel hybrids and seriously tech-packed. Not saying the USCC's Grand Am prototypes are anything to scoff at, but they're designed to be cheaper to build and run throughout a series. The Mazda prototype race car will be making its debut at January 25's 24 Hours of Daytona, one of the most grueling races in the world, set up in Daytona, Florida. Alongside it, Mazda will start fielding Mazda6 SkyActiv-D race cars to privateers, focusing most of its efforts on its new top-tier prototype race cars. This isn't Mazda's first rodeo with racing prototypes. The automaker fielded its 787 prototype back in the early 1990s in France's 24 Hours of Le Mans, taking the overall victory. Mazda is the only Japanese automaker to ever win Le Mans outright. Mazda has been using racing to build up hype and credibility for its SkyActiv-D diesel engine. Its racing Mazda6 shares 51 percent of its parts with the street car, which is actually quite a lot considering the racer does without a full interior. A SkyActiv-D powerplant is expected to be an option in the 2014 or 2015 Mazda6, but it has thus far been delayed. At such time as it's offered--it's already available overseas--we'll be sure to put it through its paces and see how this premium engine option stacks up in the real world. Source: Mazda
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