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Old 12-02-2012, 12:22 PM   #1
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Default Mazda and Aston Martin Unveil New American Sports Car Racing Initiatives

Mazda has taken the digital wraps off its replacement for the championship-winning (but out-of-production) triple-rotor RX-8 model that competed in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series through 2012. Through a lone rendering dispatched from the 2012 LA Auto Show, the marque revealed the production-based turbodiesel SKYACTIV-D Mazda6 platform that will make its racing debut at January’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

Based on the shapely 2014 Mazda6 model, the Florida-based SpeedSource team will spearhead a campaign focused on a pair of 6s in the brand-new GX category. Compared to the more traditional Rolex GT class, GX offers a showcase for experimental-ish cars like the 6 that utilize alternative racing powerplants and concepts.

With more than 400 hp on tap, the 2.2-liter, four-cylinder, bi-turbo diesel will also have a home in the prototype ranks with an expected appearance in a P2 car at the 2013 24 hours of Le Mans.

“The SpeedSource engineering team, working with the Mazda engineers, have been flat out for months on engine development,” said Mazda North American Operations motorsports director John Doonan. “We’re happy to report that the engine is meeting the performance targets for both power and endurance.That means 400+ hp for over 50 hours, with an engine that includes a very long list of production Mazda parts. This is not a pure race engine; it is a production block SKYACTIV-D. We’re excited about having our newest engine powering our newest car.”

As Mazda turns a page with its first diesel racecars, Porsche stalwarts The Racer’s Group announced they’ve partnered with Aston Martin to spearhead a multi-series sports car attack on behalf of the British manufacturer.

TRG-Aston Martin Racing North America, LLC, as the new enterprise will be known, will compete in the American Le Mans Series, GRAND-AM’s Rolex Series and Continental Tire Series, SCCA World Challenge and possibly with a one-make championship for the Aston Martin GT4 Vantage.

“Aston Martin Racing, as a factory- supported entity, has truly arrived in North America,” said team founder/owner Kevin Buckler. “This program is massive and far-reaching. What we have crafted with Aston Martin Racing is the ability for TRG-AMR North America to compete in all the majorrace series with multiple teams, and to manage and support all customer programs, marketing, merchandising, transport, maintenance, a new Aston Martin GT4 race series, and even an Aston Martin-specific ‘Arrive and Drive’ program for corporate clients and customers. I am honored to have my Aston Martin friends and co-drivers Kenneth Greenberg and Robert Nimkoff as partners with us on this new endeavor, and we are all excited to get the programs rolling immediately.”
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