Mazda6 logged first-ever diesel win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Article by Anita Panait, on July 29, 2013

After many years of being winless at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mazda finally stood at the podium at what is considered as the most famous racetrack in the world after the #70 SpeedSource Castrol Edge Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel piloted by Sylvain Tremblay won the GX class in the Grand-Am Brickyard Grand Prix.

The victory was the fifth consecutive win for the all-new Mazda6, allowing Mazda to take over the lead from after eight of 12 races in the GX manufacturers championship race.  Just like what has been happening this season, the Grand-Am Brickyard Grand Prix became a three-car battle between Mazda and Porsche, with both brands having their taste of the lead.

SpeedSource Mazda’s Tremblay took the lead with 47 laps remaining in the three hour race, and never gave it away afterwards.

The race at Indy was the third and final round of the Grand-Am North America Endurance Championship. The first two rounds were the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Sahlen’s Six Hour at Watkins Glen. The SpeedSource Mazda won the team championship for the GX class. This was the second year that sports cars bannered a featured race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

This was also the first time a diesel-power car won at the race track known for the very famous Indianapolis 500. The Cummins Engine Special, however, was the first diesel to win the pole for the Indy 500 in 1952. The SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine the powers the Mazda6 is a true production-based engine.  It is 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight.

The freshly-minted, mass-produced Mazda 6 is the model originating from Mazda Takeri’s concept car which was first sighted at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The new Mazda 6 features a heavily-built framework and a low, wide stance that displays power and precision, creating a sense of durability without deviating from the “universal tasteful appeal” and exquisite form it displays as a CD car, Chief Designer Akira Tamatani says.

He also says that the company made a design where the wild and dynamic expressions of motion aesthetically perceive a potent presence. He added that just by looking at the car, the consumer gets electrified about experience of driving it even before actually being inside it.

At a quick glance, the exterior display projects a certain tenacity, bravado, and a playful vibe through its sleek and buffed shape. The systematized interior, in keynote black, retains its timeless feeling of sophistication and top-notch quality, while adding a trendy and elegant flair.

Exterior

You can see the ‘signature wing’ incorporated in the front view, a nod to the unifying quality of the new Mazda family face design. Its hood line expands from the tips of the wing into the character lines of the body. These exterior features, along with the sturdy design of the nose, accompany the overall dynamic form of the body that conveys a strong urge for motion.

Press Release

MAZDA6 BECOMES FIRST DIESEL TO WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Over the past four decades, Mazda has scored hundreds of race wins at tracks across the county, and around the world. But until today, Mazda did not have a win at what is perhaps the most famous racetrack in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That box has now been checked. In the Grand-Am Brickyard Grand Prix, the #70 SpeedSource Castrol Edge Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel scored the GX class win.

The win was the fifth in a row for the all-new Mazda6, and moves it ahead of Porsche after eight of 12 races in the GX manufacturers championship race. As has been the case all year long, it was a three car battle between Mazda and Porsche, with both brands leading at times. Eventual winner Sylvain Tremblay took the lead with 47 laps remaining in the three hour race, and was never headed.

The Indy race also was the third and final round of the Grand-Am North America Endurance Championship, the first two rounds having been the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Sahlen’s Six Hour at Watkins Glen. The SpeedSource Mazda won the team championship for the GX class.

This was only the second year that sports cars have been a featured race at the track most noted for the famed Indianapolis 500. The track has had wide variety of powertrain configurations and technologies compete, but never before had a diesel engine won at Indy. The most recent diesel to compete was the Cummins Engine Special, which won the pole for the Indy 500 in 1952.

The SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine in the all-new Mazda6 is a true production-based engine. The engine is 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight. Mazda chose this path as it is the most honest way to demonstrate the quality, durability, and reliability of Mazda cars.

Quotes:

John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations: “We made history today, both for Mazda and for SKYACTIV Clean Diesel Technology. While this is our fifth win of the season, and fifth in a row, it is by far the biggest win to date. To win at Indy is every racer’s dream, and that dream came true for Mazda here today. So many people at Mazda in the U.S. and Japan, working hand-in-hand with the amazing SpeedSource team, have never stopped making progress in this program. We also are grateful for our partners at Castrol, ModSpace and VISIT FLORIDA, all of whom have contributed to our success.”

Sylvain Tremblay, Owner/Driver/Engineer, SpeedSource Engineering: “We were just trying to stay out of the way of the DP cars, and ended up on the marbles and almost kissed the concrete, but ended up kissing the bricks. It was not an easy day, but the team remained focused and we came through for the win. To score the first ever win for a diesel at Indy, in our first year with the program, speaks volumes for Mazda and our team.”

Tom Long, Co-Driver #70 Mazda6: "The race with our SKYACTIV-D Mazda6 was certainly exciting, and the SpeedSource team worked so hard to persevere. It's an incredible experience to share this first victory at Indy with Mazda and the entire team. The tradition of 'kissing the bricks' will be a memory I will never forget."

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