Mazda has won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway—with a diesel. The winning car was the No. 70 SpeedSource Castrol Edge Mazda6, powered by a Skyactiv-D Clean Diesel engine. The Mazda6 won the Grand-Am Brickyard Grand Prix. The win reportedly has Mazda overtaking Porsche in the GX manufacturers championship, after eight of the 12 races in the series. Porsche and Mazda were trading first places throughout the race, with the Mazda6 hitting 253 kph on the course.
The race marked the first time in six decades that a diesel has raced at the brickyard, as Indy is nicknamed, and the first since a Cummins Diesel Special raced there at the 1952 Indy 500. Just like their roadgoing counterparts, racing diesels have superior fuel efficiency than their gasoline counterparts. Needing fewer pitstops, the diesel cars have a potential edge in racing.
The Skyactiv-D Clean Diesel is a production-based engine. It is 51% stock by parts count, and 63% stock by weight. Mazda says this is the most honest way to demonstrate the durability, quality, and reliability of its 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,” noted John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations.
Audi has won multiple times in endurance racing, particularly the Le Mans 24 Hours with a diesel engine, and Peugeot has competed with diesel as well.
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