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Mazda has announced that a racing version of its new Mazda6 will make its motorsports debut at the Rolex 24 endurance race in Daytona Beach, Florida next January. Mazda North America had apparently been waiting to announce the car for months, but had to bide its time until the production car was revealed.

The race car – set to run in the new Grand-Am GX class – will be powered by a reworked SkyActiv-D Clean Diesel engine derived from the base 2.2 litre SkyaActiv-D unit found on the production Mazda6.

The company says that the engine is meeting the performance targets for both power and endurance of 400+ hp for over 50 hours, and is especially proud of the fact that it isn’t a pure race engine but one with a production block SkyActiv-D and a very long list of production Mazda parts.

The Grand-Am GX racer is set to be the first diesel-powered vehicle of any type to race at the Rolex 24, and Mazda is looking to bag its 24th class win in the American endurance classic, the most recent wins being in 2008 and 2010.