2014 Mazda 6 GX achieves double podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park
Mazda’s Clean Diesel powered 2014 Mazda 6 GX racecars showed class leading pace this weekend enroute to second and third place finishes.
Birmingham, Alabama April 7, 2013; GRAND-AM’s third event of the 2013 season took place at Barber Motorsports Park, a 2.3 mile road course outside of Birmingham, Alabama. The racing surface had been diamond cut since the last running in 2012. The change was expected to provide more grip and quicker lap times at the expense of increased tire wear. Historically SpeedSource has performed well at this event with class wins in 2012 and 2008.
Rain and wind complicated both of the pre-race practice sessions. The weather cleared up for Friday’s fifteen minute qualifying session where Mazda drivers Tom Long in the #70 Mazdaspeed Castrol Edge Mazda 6 and Tristan Nunez in the #00 Fresh from Florida Visit Florida Racing Mazda 6 showed the true performance of their Clean Diesel SKYACTIV-D powered cars. The two traded top times lap after lap. At the end of the session, Long had earned the 2014 Mazda 6’s first pole position with Nunez in second.
The two hour main event got off to a great start with both SpeedSource cars building a big lead over the competition. An early caution period erased the gap, but when the race returned to green, the 2014 Mazda 6s ran away from the competition again. Twenty two laps into the race the #70 Mazdaspeed Castrol Edge Mazda 6 was slowed with electrical issues. Diligent work by the SpeedSource crew allowed the car to continue, with driver Sylvain Tremblay finishing in third place in the GX class.
The excellent fuel economy of the Clean Diesel SKYACTIV-D engine allowed the #00 to go deep into the race before pitting for service. A the half-way point, #00 Fresh from Florida Visit Florida Racing Mazda 6 driver Joel Miller had a nearly one lap advantage over the second place car. Despite the large lead, the team would fall to second place after they were forced to make a late race pit stop to repair an external fuel line.
When the checkered flag fell, the #00 Fresh from Florida Visit Florida Racing and the #70 Mazdaspeed Castrol Edge 2014 Mazda 6 GX racecars had placed second and third in class, respectively. Along the way, the Clean Diesel powered cars showed class leading speed, excellent fuel economy and a bright future in motorsports. The next event in the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Series calendar takes place at Road Atlanta in just two weeks. Catch the action live on SPEED at 4:30PM ET on April 20. Follow the on-going development of the 2014 Mazda 6 GX racecars on Facebook and Twitter @SpeedSource