Ford Motor Company made a special announcement today regarding its plans for the 3.5L V-6 EcoBoost race engine to be included in the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship series.
This new engine will be the heartbeat of this 2014 Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype car which will debut at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona January 25-26 and will run through the entire 12-race season. Michael Shank Racing is the first team on board to use EcoBoost power in its DP car.
“At Ford Racing, we really put great emphasis on racing production-based vehicles as well as production-based technologies,” says Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “We’re proud to bring a direct-injected, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine to the United SportsCar Championship in a field of competitive V8-powered entries. We want to show Ford EcoBoost’s capabilities as an engine that provides both performance and fuel economy, on and off the track.”
“This engine is the future,” says Doug Yates, CEO, Roush Yates Racing Engines. “This Ford EcoBoost engine includes all the newest technologies – direct injection, turbocharging and high efficiency. We’re looking at taking it to the next level through this sports car racing program.”
The body of the car features design cues created by Ford production designer Garen Nicoghosian with aerodynamic support from Ford Racing chief aerodynamicist Bernie Marcus.
“Ford Motor Company has taken today’s Daytona Prototype and injected into it unique Ford attributes and unique Ford design characteristics,” says Allison. “This EcoBoost-powered car is obviously adapted for racing applications with racing controls, but ultimately we’re running what we’re selling and selling what we’re running.”
This new engine will officially make its competitive racing debut at the heavily-anticipated 2014 Rolex 24 held at Daytona, but it will hit the track for the first time on October 9. If weather permits, Michael Shank Racing will take this bad boy to the track at 8 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 9 to start building up speed.
Combined efforts by Michael Shank Racing, Ford Racing and Continental Tire, the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona championship team will aim to set a new track record at the “World Center of Speed” by beating the 210.364 mph lap set by NASCAR champion Bill Elliot back on Feb. 9, 1987 inside his Ford Thunderbird while qualifying for the Daytona 500. The driver, Colin Braun, will be behind the wheel to attempt the record run speed test.
“It’s really a privilege to have an opportunity to put your name in the record books like this,” says team owner Mike Shank. “It is almost inconceivable that this record has stood for such a long time, so it’s pretty special to be involved. We worked a long time to develop our relationship with Ford to be in a position to take on projects like this. Anytime you can get in the record books, it is a great opportunity and just builds on what this company has done.”
“Ford Motor Company stands for innovation and leading-edge technology, so having a chance to debut our Ford EcoBoost technology in a high-visibility setting such as this record run attempt, as well as the entire 2014 USCC schedule with its iconic races is great,” says Allison. “Through USCC racing and its fan outreach, we want to showcase how EcoBoost technology presents the combined benefits of performance and fuel efficiency – something all consumers would want in their vehicles.”
To prepare for this record-setting feat and upcoming race season, the EcoBoost engine has recently undergone endurance testing at Ford’s Dynamometer Lab in Dearborn, Michigan, specifically at the specialized 17G cell. Production and racing engineers have collaborated to ensure that the engine is ready this season.
“The key about this dyno cell is that it’s dedicated to motorsports, but it’s within Ford’s dynamometer facility,” says David Simon, Ford Racing engine engineer. “We can do full vehicle simulation in racing conditions, in a way some of our other cells aren’t capable of doing. It’s very, very specific to high-performance racing engine programs.”
Race fans can follow the progression of the record run attempt on Ford Racing’s Twitter channel (@FordRacing) and Facebook page throughout the day.
The new 2014 Ford-inspired Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype car will accompany the 3.5