SpeedSource achieved a historic second place finish in this weekend’s inaugural GRAND-AM of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The second round of the 2013 GRAND-AM championship marked the series’ first visit to the new 3.4 mile track, constructed for the Formula 1 US Grand Prix. The flowing corners, long straights and large elevation changes required excellent power and handling.
Two Mazda 6 GX racecars were entered by SpeedSource. Both the #70 Mazdaspeed Mazda 6 and the #00 Visit Florida Racing Mazda 6 ran well in the practice sessions leading up to the race. Throughout the weekend, focus remained on development of the new 2.2L compound turbocharged diesel SKYACTIV-D race engine. The SpeedSource team completed a planned engine change after the second practice session. Friday night’s qualifying session went very well for the #00 car, with driver Tristan Nunez narrowly missing pole position. The #00 car would start second in GX with the #70 starting third.
The 2 hour 45 minute race started at 3:00PM on Saturday. Both Mazda 6s ran well, fighting at the front of the GX field. #70 Mazdaspeed driver Tom Long had a great start, moving into second place on the first lap….and taking theGX class lead several laps later. He would eventually hand the car over to Sylvain Tremblay in third place. The team ran a consistent race, staying out of trouble but never losing touch of the leaders. Despite a brief stay on pit lane to fix a leaking fuel line, Tremblay brought the #70 to the checkered flag for a historic second place finish in the GX class.
Consistently fast lap times and excellent work on pit lane by the SpeedSource crew allowed the #00 to also take the lead in GX after the first caution period. The Visit Florida Racing Mazda6, driven by Tristan Nunez and Joel Miller would lead the majority of the race until driveshaft failure ended the team’s run with an hour remaining in the race.
The #70s second place finish marks the first finish for a diesel powered racecar in GRAND-AM. It also marked the first podium for the new Mazda 6. SpeedSource team owner Sylvain Tremblay Team principal, Sylvain Tremblay, commented post-race, “It's a big achievement that we didn't have any engine trouble on both of the cars all weekend. It might be a small step forward, but it means a lot for us. We will get more speed as a next step.”
The Mazda 6 GX racecars showed great performance potential this weekend, challenging at the front of the GX field all weekend. The next chapter of this exciting development program will take place at Barber Motorsports Park on April 6, 2013. The race will air on SPEED on April 7th at 5:30PM ET.
On any given weekend, there are more Mazda's on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you'll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the soul of a sports car. In fact, the fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA's Spec Miata class, with nearly 1,500 first- and second-generation Miata's tearing up America's racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda's involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world's premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.