Chalk this one up as bizarre and, well, really freakin' cool. It's well known that racing improves the breed, and there's little reason to believe that the same wouldn't hold true for diesels. Gale Banks already took a Cummins to Bonneville and did quite well. The next step is apparently to attack an endurance road-racing event with a Duramax-powered tube-framed GMC Sierra called the D-Max Type-R. With 600 HP and a 3200-lb race weight, this truck should be an impressive performer. I'm glad that I'm not in charge of finding a transmission to stand up to the engine's 800 lb-ft of torque, however.
Unlike the usual forced-induction game of simply turning up the boost for improved performance, Banks must have spent a considerable amount of time at the flowbench - the modified heads offer a 30% improvement in flow on the intake side and 50% more on the exhaust, which will allow the team to run much less boost to achieve the same amount of power. That means less heat, and therefore should translate into increased durability. Make no mistake, though - there's still plenty of boost being used here. Interestingly enough, a particulate trap may be employed to reduce smoking, as that's usually a quick way to earn a black flag on the racetrack.
Competing in NASA's Super Unlimited class, this should be one of the meanest looking vehicles to hit a racecourse next year.
The amount of info available at Bank's website is far too extensive to condense into a single blog post, so I'd highly recommend hitting the link.