Back during Indy 500 weekend, we told you about Cummins’ past efforts at diesel greatness at that race– but that was more than 50 years ago. This weekend, a Mazda became the first diesel-engined car to win a race at the Brickyard.
According to the press release from Mazda, the Number 70 SpeedSource Castrol Edge Mazda6 entry driven by Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long took the top spot at the conclusion of the Grand-Am North America Endurance Championship Brickyard Grand Prix held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday, July 26. The car is powered by a modified version of Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D diesel engine.
Long said, “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.”
Tremblay said, “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.”
Mazda North American Operations Motorsports Director John Doonan said, “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.”
Mazda says the SKYACTIV-D engine, while modified for race duty, remains true to its roots as a consumer engine. “The engine is 51% stock by parts count, and 63% stock by weight,” the release said.
“Mazda chose this path as it is the most honest way to demonstrate the quality, durability, and reliability of Mazda cars,” it added. And, might we add, it’s a good way to demonstrate the capabilities of its diesel engines– something American consumers have never seen from the brand until recently.