After a 26-year dry spell, Colin Braun is the new King of Speed with the help of Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype race car suited with a 3.5L V-6 Ford EcoBoost race engine, which ran 222.971 mph during a record run attempt. The old record was set back in 1987 by Bill Elliott in a Ford Thunderbird during his qualifying attempt for the Daytona 500 where he ran a lap of 210.364 mph.
“It was a challenging day,” said Braun afterward. “There was a lot of work put in by a lot of people to accomplish these records. The power in the new EcoBoost engine was incredible, and it was amazing how fast it came up to speed on the runs.”
Braun is only 25 and wasn’t even born yet when Elliott first set the record in 1987. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know the importance of such a feat.
“Our first run this morning was 209 mph, and it was an edgy drive at that speed. I can only imagine how edgy it was for Bill Elliott doing those speeds in his Thunderbird stock car. But our crew kept working and adjusting on it, and it was a great feeling coming down pit road after the record runs and seeing how happy everyone was.”
Braun, with the Michael Shank Racing team, set new world records for 10 miles from a standing start (210.018 mph average), and 10 kilometers from a standing start (202.438 mph average). All of the times are subject to Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) homologation.
The Ford EcoBoost engine was prepared for the run by Ford Racing engine partner Roush Yates Engines, and Continental Tires brought in a special tire for the run that was lighter with less rolling resistance than the standard tire. It also uses a harder compound than those used for a typical road course race.
Now that the record is set, the new car and new twin-turbo engine will compete in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship that kicks off with the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
Here’s what some of the guys involved had to say about their record-breaking day:
“It’s a very proud day for all of us at Ford,” said Jamie Allison. “To take a Ford EcoBoost race engine that is basically production technology, and to beat speed records that have been on the books for decades really says something for our new engine and the program we launched last week.
“It’s a great way to kick off a new era of EcoBoost and sports car racing for Ford in the 2014 United SportsCar Championship, and we couldn’t have done it without Shank and his team, and the team at Roush Yates.”
“We’ve been working on this for probably nine or 10 months,” said team owner Michael Shank. “We did a first shakedown of the car and engine last January and we saw the potential, even then, of what it may do. For someone like me, to come from where I started in racing to be part of this today at Daytona, is just so cool.”
“This is an engine project we started probably two years ago,” said John Maddox, road racing program manager, Roush Yates Engines.
“There has been a lot of hard work by a lot of people to get it to where it is today, but this EcoBoost engine is relevant, state-of-the-art production technology in racing, and it brings with it power and high efficiency in the same package.
“When we broke the track speed record today with it, well, that was big. But to come back and set two world speed records that have been around since 1979…well, that’s something you can tell the grandkids some day.”