Mazda, famous for going their own way in the world of motorsports is about to take a step back in line with more conventional thinking. Their long running SkyActiv clean diesel running prototypes in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship are set for an engine change to AER turbocharged gasoline powered units before the season’s end.
To Mazda Motorsports and Speed Source’s credit, running with a production based diesel in an LMP2 derived car on a fraction of the budget a team like LMP1 diesel runner Audi has was a bold, near courageous move.
The team made steady progress with the 2.2 liter SkyActiv engines, but not strong enough. There was only so much Mazda, the only Japanese manufacturer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, could take of running at the back of the field.
Further bolstering the decision to switch back to gasoline powerplants are the looming rule changes in 2017 which will limit LMP2 machines to gasoline engines only, reserving the world of engine experimentation to the high bucks, whiz bang LMP1 machines.
It is yet to be confirmed when Mazda will debut the new engine and subsequently updated car.