MAZDA - Diesel Competes at Indy Again For First Time Since 1952


-- First Diesel to Compete at Indy since 1952 Cummins Indycar --

Jul 25, 2013

Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D is 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

Brakes                    Alcon

                                 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

July 26        Indianapolis Motor Speedway                         

August 10   Road America                                                    

August 17   Kansas                                                               

Sept 8          Mazda Raceway                                               

Sept 28       Lime Rock Park

These three races form the Grand-Am North American Endurance Championship            

2013 Grand-Am GX Point Standings after seven of 12 races:


  1. Porsche                                                  233
  2. Mazda                                                      232


  1. BGB Motorsports (Porsche #38)                228    
  2. SpeedSource (Mazda #00)                          222
  3. SpeedSource (Mazda #70)                         215    


  1. Jim Norman (#38)                                  233    
  2. Joel Miller (#00)                                      222
  3. Tom Long/Sylvain Tremblay (#70)      215                

Rookie of the Year (Combined DP, GT & GX)   

  1. Joel Miller (#00)                                            187
  2. Tristan Nunez (#00)                                     152                


About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED

Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals.  Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built.  In 2006 Mazda Motorsports established the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks.  In 2010 this was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy.  Key to Mazda’s success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.


Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

Tom Beeler

Has been a contributor to RIS since 1992. He was invited to join the staff as a full-time reporter/editor in 1995. Tom has reported on IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.

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Volume 2013, Issue 7, Posted 5:23 PM, 07.26.2013