We become more convinced each day that Mazda is secretly run by a person attempting to channel Enzo Ferrari. That person believes his or her brand exists solely to fund the automaker's exploits on the race track.

Sure, it's a much more affordable and approachable version of what Enzo was doing, but the cars that Mazda produces feature technology that filters back and forth between the street and the racetrack as much, or more than, other automakers involved in motorsports.

The latest vision of this ideal is Mazda bringing its SKYACTIV-D technology to prototype racing. Mazda will produce a diesel-powered racer for the upcoming 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, which includes the 24 Hours of Daytona. In fact, that's the first race of the year for the series, which kicks off the weekend starting January 25.

Diesel is not new for the folks at Mazda, as they campaigned the oil-burning Mazda6 race car all last year during the 2013 Rolex GRAND-AM racing series. In fact, the diesel team wound up winning nine out of 12 races last year, and took the overall manufacturer's title. So it's safe to say that Mazda understands how to win with diesel-powered vehicles.

Mazda is again teaming up with SpeedSource Race Engineering to develop the new prototype race car. This is the same crew that helped the automaker win with the Mazda6, and we expect them to see strong results in the prototype class going forward.


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