This past weekend Road America hosted both the Grand Am series and American Le Mans for a sports car double header weekend.  Arguably the best race course in North America, Road America was the perfect backdrop for these races.  The weekend proved that even a bout of rain showers couldn’t keep the fans and participants alike from having a great time.

As a long time Mazda dealer it was great to see Mazda running in not one, but both series.   On Saturday afternoon the Grand Am sports cars and Daytona prototypes took the green flag for a two hour and forty five minutes race.  No stranger to Grand Am racing, Mazda committed to running the season with their Skyactiv-D Mazda6s.  A first for the series, Mazda’s diesel race car achieved it’s first win earlier this year and the two car effort came to Road America hunting for another win.

Many manufacturers view the race track as the perfect proving ground for street car innovation.  Mazda is a huge proponent of this view.  John M. Doonan,  Director of Mazda Motorsports, said of the racecar, “We’ve always said that the best street cars make the best racecars, and, with more than half of the components in the race engine being shared with the street engine, this program is a solid proof-point.”

 

Whereas car races are typically characterize by a cacophony of V8 roars and screaming six cylinders, the Skyactiv-D Mazdas made nary a noise.  With each passing lap all you heard was a rush of air from the turbo diesel, an occasional tire squeal and wind gliding over the cars sleek body.  While the race was not trouble free for either team, SpeedSource’s VisitFlorida-backed Mazda6 of Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez came out on top in GX.  In doing so they inched out the number 38 Porsche of Spencer Pumpelly, marking the classes closes finish in history.

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