Ford transfers street technology to the racetrack

UPDATE: Ford EcoBoost V-6-powered racer sets new speed records at Daytona

Published: October 3, 2013, 4:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:19 PM

Ford EcoBoost V-6 Record Run

UPDATE: October 9, 2013

Driving a Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype race car, powered by the new 3.5-liter, V-6 Ford EcoBoost race engine, Colin Braun set a new Daytona single- lap speed record of 358.820 km/h (222.971 mph) during a special record run attempt today.

That speed eclipsed the 26-year-old speed record of 338.532 km/h (210.364 mph) set by Bill Elliott in a Ford Thunderbird during qualifying for the 1987 Daytona 500.

Braun and the Michael Shank Racing team also set new world speed records for 10 miles from a standing start (337.976 km/h (210.018 mph) average), and 10 kilometers from a standing start (325.777 km/h (202.438 mph) average) – all times subject to FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) certification.

Click here to see a video of the record run.

It's long been a popular truism that racing technology transfers to production cars.

Now Ford is turning that premise around by it's taking its EcoBoost technology from the street to the race track.

As part of its continuing strategy to introduce product-relevant technology into racing,

The company announced today will run a 3.5-litre V-6 EcoBoost racing engine in the 2014 United SportsCar Championship series (which replaces the current Grand Am Championship and American LeMans Series).

The new engine will debut at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona in January and run the entire 12-race season in a new-look Daytona Prototype car, said to be created with Ford corporate design influence.

Michael Shank Racing will be the first team to enter an EcoBoost powered 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.

Like the EcoBoost engines in production cars, the race engine incorporates direct injection and turbocharging to enhance both performance and fuel economy.

"This engine is the future," says Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Racing Engines. "We’re looking at taking it to the next level through this sports car racing program."

A new Ford-inspired Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype car, featuring Ford production vehicle design cues and created with aerodynamic support from Ford, will house the new engine.

The new car/engine combination will make an appearance at Daytona even before the start of the racing season.

In a joint effort between Michael Shank Racing, Ford Racing and Continental Tire, on October 9 the Shank team will attempt to set a new track record on the Daytona tri-oval. The current lap record of 338.532 km/h (210.364 mph) was set in 1987 by Bill Elliott in his NASCAR Ford Thunderbird in qualifying for the Daytona 500.

To prepare for the record run and upcoming season, the EcoBoost engine has undergone endurance testing at Ford’s Dynamometer Lab in Dearborn, Mich., Production and racing engineers from Ford and specialists from Roush Yates Racing Engines have collaborated on the development of the engine.