The Mazda RX-8 was a strong contender in the Grand-Am road racing series here in the US since its introduction. It was also a fan favorite due to its screaming rotary engine and beautiful display of exhaust flames.
As we enter the 2013 season, the RX-8 is gone and a family car is taking its spot. Meet the all new Mazda6. Pretty to look at, but not a car that you would imagine seeing racing against some exotic machinery.
The new Mazda6 will race in the new GX Grand-Am class which is a new class similar to GT, but for lesser performance cars.
The Mazda6 proves once again Mazda thinks outside the box as the car is powered by a Skyactiv 2.2 liter four cylinder turbo diesel. This will be the first diesel to ever race at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Now many of you realize that the Mazda6 is front wheel drive, this race model is a full tube frame chassis with a rear wheel drive drivetrain. The car puts out 380HP at 450ft/lbs of torque. Power is put to the rear wheels through a six speed sequential gearbox. The car weighs in at 2450lbs.
The first race for the new Mazda6 is coming up in just a few weeks time at the Rolex 24 in Daytona. It will be once again another exciting time for Mazda fans and competitors alike and quite a change going from the loudest car in the field to the quietest, but it won’t be the slowest.
Photos Courtesy of Mazda
Follow the Rolex 24 at Daytona January 26, 2013 live on SPEED starting at 3:30PM EST.