LMP2 will never look the same after the Mazda entry gets done with it
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Jun 18, 2012
It may be just a photoshop but it will look all that much better next year when it drives LMP2 kicking and screaming into an all-new era of racing.
From our first look at Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D turbo diesel racing effort (Mazda Goes Racing With Its SKYATIV-D Turbo Diesel!
, we knew it was not long before this up and coming high tech manufacturer would release news regarding its latest diesel technologies hitting the track in one form or another. Late last week, Mazda did just that with a release detailing its entry into the ALMS series and its intent to do battle at the most famous race of them all. That being the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Mazda will sell racing versions of its new SKYACTIV-D turbo diesel engines to teams competing in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class of racing’s greatest endurance challenge – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Le Mans engine program will make its debut at the 2013 running of the race.
Mazda was the first and to this day, remains the only Asian manufacturer to score an overall win at the race, in 1991.
Jay Amestoy, Vice President of Mazda Motorsports:
“In 1991 we made history, winning with rotary technology. Now we’re looking to return to the winner’s circle with what we believe will be the most advanced and cleanest production-based powerplant the sport has ever seen. We’ll do it in current Mazda style, with engines being available for sale to European and U.S. customers competing in the LMP2 class for both the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).”
The engines highlighted in the link above are being developed jointly by Mazda Motor Corporation, Mazda North American Operations and SpeedSource Race Engineering. Dyno testing has already begun and on-track testing begins in late 2012.
The engines will be stock-block Mazda SKYACTIV-D 2.2L turbo diesel I4, dual-stage turbocharged powerplants.
More on the 2.2L SKYACTIV-D from the consumer’s perspective.Dempsey Racing scheduled as the first SKYACTIV-D customer
In the Mazda release, preparations for Dempsey Racing to become the first LMP2 customer for the Mazda 2.2LSKYACTIV-D racing powerplant continues.
Dempsey Racing has been racing Mazda RX-8s in the GRAND-AM GT class since 2007 with their highlight being a podium finish at the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team has steadily improved their on-track performance since their arrival in the series, and was a key contributor to Mazda winning the 2010 GRAND-AM GT Manufacturers Championship. With support from several partners, Dempsey Racing expanded their operation this year to include a team running in the American Le Mans Series, and is competing in both the Prototype Challenge (LMPC) and Prototype 2 (LMP2) classes as they prepare for their Le Mans effort. The tem is currently testing their LMP2 car in Virginia as the rest of the sports car world focused in on the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past weekend.
Patrick Dempsey and his business partner/co-driver Joe Foster have both competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as drivers in the GT category, and are eager to return in 2013, this time in the LMP2 class and with Mazda SKYACTIV-D clean diesel-power.
Who would have thought that turbo diesel racing would become the dominate propulsion technology to take on both the ALMS and 24 hours of Le Mans in just 6-short years? With Mazda’s entry into LMP2, we have yet another consumer technology being advanced for the racing circuit that saves fuel even for those that want to go blistering fast. And who knows what SKYATIV-D engine and drivetrain tweaks will make their way back to the cars and trucks we will be driving in the near future. I can assure you what is in store will be beyond belief and I for one cannot wait!
Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom spirit is alive and well all the while the latest SKYACTIV products only sip sip making it easier at the pump for the rest of us.