Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Failed To Read The Memo

In my January 20 post, I was intrigued (and bemused) that Ford would offer a 2.0 liter turbo as an upgrade engine in the Mustang.  Some people just don't get the memo, or fail to read it: me, for instance.  Most of the non-"Corvette" prototype field showed up at Daytona with 3.5 liter EcoBoost V-6's in their engine bays.  The engines appear to be available to racing teams on lease from RoushYates.

The Ganassi pit was three deep in people in Blue Oval fleeces and Ford Racing baseball caps, giving interviews.   In case you wondered, the EcoBoosts in the back of those race cars "is just like the one you can buy in your F-150."  Race-tuned, it was almost competitive with the 6 liter GM V-8's.  (The Ford teams said they were losing a few m.p.h. on top-end to the "Corvettes."  But they're also running the Riley body which appears to be less slippery.  I wonder if Riley is busy building a new "Mustang.")

The "get" among racing teams for Ford was Ganassi.  Apparently Chip did not decided on an engine deal for 2014 until very late.  The cars were rushed to completion for Daytona.  This showed up in glitches in his normally flawless pit operations.  Ganassi has previously run Lexus and BMW engines, so I wonder if there was a manufacturers' bidding war to wind up in his engine bays.  It appears that Ganassi Racing is the Ford factory team, not a factory team.

Anyway.  Aside from the turbo 4 in the Mustang, Ford had been touting its turbo V-6's with V-8 power, its turbo 4's with V-6 power, and its turbo 3's (sold mostly in Europe) with the power of a 4.  Clearly there is a lot of brand-wide marketing of turbos going on, for those with eyes to see.

On a purely personal note, the GT classes were (again) the most fun to watch at Daytona.

The Riley-Fords led at Daytona only if the field was cycling through pit stops.  But they weren't hopelessly off the
pace.  Let's hope that Riley is working on an aero body kit that makes its cars look as sharp as the "Corvettes." 

Has to be lighter than a GM aluminum 6-liter V-8.  Is this "the new black" in American prototype sports car racing?

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