Mazda Motorsports today announced that it will supply racing versions of its new SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engines to customer teams competing in GRAND-AM’s new GX Class for advanced/clean technologies, beginning with the 2013 season.

“This opens a new chapter in racing for us,” said Jay Amestoy, Vice President of Mazda Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “We’ve won with rotary technology, and now we’re looking to again put our customers in the winner’s circle with what we believe will be the most advanced and cleanest production-based powerplant the sport has ever seen.”

The engines will be stock-block Mazda SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel four-cylinder, dual-stage turbocharged powerplants that, according to John Doonan, MNAO’s Director of Mazda Motorsports, “will deliver outstanding performance and fuel economy coupled with the kind of quality, durability and reliability needed to produce great street cars and win endurance races.”

Mazda remains the only Asian auto maker committed to bringing modern clean-diesel technology to the United States. The production Mazda SKYACTIV-D features include a 14:1 low compression ratio, a new two-stage turbocharger, and a 5,200 rpm redline. ] Compared to Mazda’s current-production 2.2L MZR-CD diesel engine gives up to 20% reduction in fuel consumption, a 20% reduction in internal engine friction and a 10% reduction in weight .

Mazda Motorsports is noted for many things, including grassroots dominance in road racing, and being the only Asian car company with an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its David and Goliath approach -- supported by unique powertrains, devoted teams and drivers, and sales of parts to all who wish to compete -- has made Mazda one of the most successful brands in motorsports.

Since 2007, Mazda has been competing with great success in the GRAND-AM GT class with the rotary-powered RX-8. Mazda racers have secured manufacturers, team and drivers championships, along with 2008 and 2010 GT-class wins by the SpeedSource RX-8 in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. With the RX-8 no longer in production for the U.S. market, Mazda needed a new challenge.

SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY will allow Mazda to chart its own path in racing, showcasing the latest in fuel-efficient, powerful and clean powertrains.

The engines are being developed jointly by Mazda Motor Corporation, Mazda North American Operations and SpeedSource Engineering. Dyno testing has already begun and on-track testing begins in late 2012. Engine pricing and terms will be announced at a later date. The actual Mazda model in which the SKYACTIV-D racing engine will be installed will be announced after the conclusion of the 2012 GRAND-AM racing season.

Additional quotes: John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports, MNAO: “We operate our motorsports program as a business, selling everything from B-Spec performance kits for the Mazda2 to complete powertrains. We’ve won at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring with rotary power. While the SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine is all-Mazda, the teams will be independents. We look forward to taking customer orders later this year.”

Sylvain Tremblay, SpeedSource Engineering: “As a motorsports engineering firm, we love a challenge, and starting a new program with a stock-block SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine gives us a wonderful opportunity. The ultra-low compression ratio stock engine has fantastic torque and fuel economy. Our job is to tune it such that it meets the needs of our racers. Once again, Mazda charts its own path, and we are pleased to be an integral part of this project.”