Archive for September, 2018

FORD & BRAD KESELOWSKI SWEEP DARLINGTON RACEWAY

Posted on: September 5th, 2018
Location: post
No Comments

DARLINGTON, SC – September 4, 2018 – Brad Keselowski, driving the No. 2 Team Penske Ford Fusion, won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this season, at the iconic Darlington Raceway on Sunday night in the Southern 500. In addition, on Saturday afternoon, Keselowski recorded his first career win at South Carolina’s historic speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Race Sport Clips Haircuts 200.
“Congratulations to Brad, Roger, Team Penske and Ford Performance for sweeping the Southern 500 Throwback weekend at Darlington,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Brad was on top of his game and his pit crew came through big time on the last stop of the race Sunday night! An awesome 1-2 finish for Team Penske on Sunday and 1-2 finish on Saturday afternoon for Team Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing.”

In a grueling race during NASCAR’s throwback weekend, Keselowski was running second to Kyle Larson until the last caution on lap 345. Keselowski and his pit crew won the race off pit road, giving Keselowski the final race lead for the remaining 19 laps. Teammate Joey Logano crossed the finish line in second place to make it a 1–2 finish for Team Penske.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my pit crew,” Brad Keselowski stated in Victory Lane.  “We were running second and that last stop they nailed it and got us out in the lead. I thought Kyle was really good, and he was flat-out flying. I know how it goes. In 2015 we led a bunch of laps and lost it on the last pit stop and today my team won it on the last pit stop.”

Five Ford Performance teams finished in the Top-12; Keselowski (P1), Logano (P2), Kevin Harvick (P4), Kurt Busch (P6) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished (P12) in front of a packed stadium at Darlington Raceway.

Ford has seven drivers locked into playoff positions with one race remaining at Indianapolis before the MENCS Playoffs’ kick off in Las Vegas. Harvick leads the Playoff field in the number one position with 40 points.

Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer, Busch and Aric Almirola are fourth, eighth and fourteenth. In addition, Team Penske teammates have also clinched positions; Keselowski sits in fifth, Logano in sixth, and Ryan Blaney in eleventh.

Keselowski started ninth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts 200 on Saturday afternoon and worked his way through the field to take the checkered flag.

After taking the lead with 33 laps to go, Keselowski won his third race out of five Xfinity starts this season, winning Team Penske’s sixth overall NXS race. Cole Custer, in the No. 00 SHR Ford Mustang, crossed the finish line .738 seconds behind Keselowski to make it a 1-2 finish for Ford Performance.
NASCAR heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend to determine the final MENCS 2018 Playoff field. Reference the full 2018 schedule on Roush Yates Engines.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 345 WINS – 309 POLES!
*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media

 

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Resumes Fight for Title at Laguna Seca

Posted on: September 7th, 2018
Location: post
No Comments

MONTEREY, CA, Sept. 7, 2018–Two races remain in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and both Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs remain in the fight for the title.

Next up is Laguna Seca, the Central California track where the No. 67 Ford GT and drivers Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe earned a monumental first win for the supercar in 2016. It’s also the hometown track for driver Joey Hand, who shares the No. 66 Ford GT with Dirk Müller.

“For me, it’s a big one because not only is it two races to go, but it’s also my home race,” Hand said. “I have a lot of family and friends that come to the race. We even camp at the track, so it’s an exciting one for me.”


Hand’s wife Natalie, son, daughter and friends will attend the race.

“There’s always the hope that the home track advantage might come into play,” Hand said. “I’ve driven this track a lot, so I know it well. Dirk likes the track. We’ve got all the right things going for us; we just have to put it all together. It’s also really cool to see the fan engagement. People can see from the hill at the top of the Corkscrew and get up close in the paddock and see the cars. It’s a fun one for me.”

Ford CGR has had an astounding 2018 season. The No. 67 Ford GT is just four points behind the leader in the point standings, while the No. 66 Ford GT is nine points out.

“I love this track,” Westbrook said. “It’s a real highlight of the season. Strategy is really important here as it is difficult to overtake, but with all three classes racing here there are some opportunities that arise in traffic. History points to having a few yellows so fuel management can be a real key if the safety car comes out at a certain time, as myself and Ryan found out when we won in 2016.”

Ford maintains its lead in the manufacturers’ standings by 12 points and can all but secure the title at Laguna Seca.
The race will air from 5-8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 on Sept. 9, 2018. Outside the U.S., tune in at IMSA.tv.

*Courtesy Ford Performance

FORD PERFORMANCE & KESELOWSKI WIN THE BRICKYARD 400!

Posted on: September 11th, 2018
Location: post
No Comments

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – September 11, 2018 –Brad Keselowski won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400, Monday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Keselowski made it an Indianapolis sweep for Roger Penske, winning the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the year with Will Power. This marked the first MENCS Brickyard win for Ford Performance since 1999 with Dale Jarrett and Robert Yates Racing.

“Never give up,” was what Keselowski told his team.

“Congratulations to Brad, Roger, Team Penske and Ford Performance for winning the Brickyard 400,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “We are so proud to be part of Roger’s first MENCS Brickyard win, to go along with his 17 Indianapolis 500 wins. This is the sole track Roush Yates, as a company, had not won at since we began building engines as a company in 2004. It’s amazing to have achieved this win with such a great group of people and dedicated team. To be in Victory Lane at Indianapolis and to kiss the Brickyard bricks is an incredible feeling!”
The rain delayed Brickyard 400 started in Indianapolis Monday afternoon with the Ford Performance teams of Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing leading the way with Clint Bowyer winning Stage 1 and Matt Kenseth winning Stage 2 of the 400 mile race.
It looked as though a win may elude Ford Performance again, but with a late race caution the field lined up for a final restart. Keselowski, positioned on the inside of the second row, with his 15 lap newer tires and a great re-start he began to reel in the leader. The No. 2 reached the rear bumper of the No.11 Denny Hamlin and dove to the inside to pull beside him with two laps to go. It became a drag race, but Keselowski took the white flag to lead the final lap of the race and win the 499th checkered flag for Team Penske.
“I gotta give credit where credit is due,” said Keselowski in Victory Lane. “My crew chief, Paul Wolfe, made a heck of a call to pit there late in that run and the yellow came out and we had new tires and started eighth and it was kind of like it gave me the ball. You know how that goes. I had to make a play. I knew it was going to be tough. We weren’t a dominant car by any means but Paul and everyone executed an incredible race. I just had to do my job and here I am in victory lane at the Brickyard. Man, I wish RP (Roger Penske) was here. I know he is watching at home. What a day!”

Five Ford Fusions finished in the Top-10; Keselowski (P1), Kevin Harvick (P4), Bowyer (P5), Kurt Busch (P6) and Paul Menard finished (P9).

Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines end the regular MENCS season with 13 wins out of 26-point races.

The 2018 Playoff field is now set. Seven Ford Performance drivers are locked in. Harvick leads the Ford field with 50 Playoff points. His teammates from Stewart-Haas Racing follow with, Bowyer (P5), Busch (P7) and Aric Almirola (P14). In addition, Team Penske teammates secured positions; Indy winner, Keselowski (P4), Joey Logano (P6) and Ryan Blaney (P9).

NASCAR heads Las Vegas to kickoff the MENCS 2018 Playoffs this weekend while the Xfinity Series playoff field will be set.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 346 WINS – 309 POLES!
*Photography courtesy NASCAR Media

FORD PERFORMANCE HEADS TO NASCAR PLAYOFFS

Posted on: September 13th, 2018
Location: post
No Comments

MOORESVILLE, NC – September 13, 2018 – All three of NASCAR’s top touring series will be in action this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Camping World Truck Series will compete in their respective Playoff openers while the NASCAR XFINITY Series concludes its regular season and sets the 12-driver postseason field.

Ford has 35 all-time Playoff victories with Harvick, Logano, Keselowski and Busch all having at least one with the manufacturer.  In fact, Busch won the very first Playoff race in NASCAR history when he captured the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 19, 2004.  He eventually went on to win the championship that season.

Ford, which has 13 points wins this season, has the most drivers in this year’s Playoff field with seven as every team from Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske qualified.

This is how they lineup. Race winners who earned automatic qualification include Kevin Harvick (7 wins), Clint Bowyer (2), Brad Keselowski (2), Joey Logano (1), and Kurt Busch (1).  Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola advanced on points.

Indianapolis Win – Brad Keselowski

Darlington Win – Brad Keselowski

Bristol Win – Kurt Busch

Michigan Win – Kevin Harvick

New Hampshire Win – Kevin Harvick

Michigan Win – Clint Bowyer

Kansas Win – Kevin Harvick

Dover Win – Kevin Harvick

Talladega Win – Joey Logano

Martinsville Win – Clint Bowyer

Phoenix Win – Kevin Harvick

Las Vegas Win – Kevin Harvick

Atlanta Win – Kevin Harvick


It’s all on the line! 

*Photography courtesy of NASCAR Media

KESELOWSKI WINS LAS VEGAS & TEAM PENSKE’S 500th WIN!

Posted on: September 17th, 2018
Location: post
No Comments

LAS VEGAS, NV – September 17, 2018 –Brad Keselowski, in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford Fusion won the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race in Las Vegas and automatically advances to the second round of the NASCAR Playoffs. In addition, Keselowski achieved Team Penske’s 500thoverall race win for Roger Penske. This also marked the 80th overall (points/non-points) win for the partnership between Roush Yates Engines and Team Penske.
“Congratulations to Brad, Team Penske, and Ford Performance for winning the first Playoff race of the season and hats off to Roger for winning his 500th career win,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Roger is a true leader and sets the standard for the sport of racing! Our team, at Roush Yates, is proud to be partnering with Ford Performance in providing the horsepower for the Ford Fusions and are looking forward to Richmond.”

In an epic battle of will and stamina, Team Penske driver Keselowski and the No. 2 crew showed they had grit and determination to win the South Point 400. After starting thirteenth, Keselowski drove the No. 2 Ford Fusion to the front to win Stage 2 and led 75 laps out of the 272-lap race.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever had a team that was this strong on pit road before,” Keselowski commented in Victory Lane. “This is the best we’ve ever been on pit road and that made a huge, huge difference today. I’m very thankful for that.”

After a late race caution, the race came down to a two-lap overtime decision, only the second Las Vegas race to be decided in overtime. Keselowski lined up next to Team Penske teammate Joey Logano, on the front row, for the restart. Keselowski got a great launch to take the lead on his way to taking the checkered flag and winning his third race in a row this season and earned six playoff points.
Five Fords finished in the top-10 with Keselowski first, Logano fourth and Ryan Blaney fifth while Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola finished sixth and Wood Brother’s Racing driver Paul Menard finished 10th.
Ford Performance leads all manufacturers with 14 race wins this season. The 2018 Playoff standings is led by Keselowski in P1 and his Team Penske teammates Logano in P5 and Blaney P7. Kevin Harvick leads the Stewart-Haas Racing teammates at P4 while Kurt Busch is P6, Almirola P9 and Clint Bowyer in P11.
Las Vegas was also the location of Cole Custer’s fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series pole win.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff field is now set with three Ford Performance teammates Cole Custer, Ryan Reed and Austin Cindric earning positions in the round of twelve.
NASCAR heads to Richmond Raceway this weekend for the second round of the MENCS Playoffs and round one for NXS.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 347 WINS – 310 POLES!
*Pictures courtesy of NASCAR Media

ROUSH FENWAY RACING ANNOUNCES RYAN NEWMAN TO DRIVE NO. 6 FORD IN 2019

Posted on: September 25th, 2018
Location: post
No Comments

 

RICHMOND, VA – September 25, 2019 – Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newark and owner Jack Roush met with media members at Richmond Raceway Saturday afternoon (September 22nd) to introduce and formally announce the new driver of the No. 6 Ford for the 2019 season, Ryan Newman. The trio took questions from the media in attendance.

STEVE NEWMARK, Roush Fenway Racing “We’re obviously here to formally announced that Ryan Newman will be joining our organization in 2019. He will be piloting the number 6 Ford Mustang for a full season next year, and we’re absolutely thrilled to bring a driver of Ryan’s caliber to our organization. We truly believe that he fits extremely well with the culture that Jack has built is going to help us compete for wins and championships next year. So, Ryan, we are real appreciative of your desire to come over and be part of the team and really excited about what we can do together next year”

RYAN NEWMAN — “Thank you I’ve I’ve always been a big appreciator of the history of our sport and I think that a big part of that is always been Roush and Roush Fenway Racing, and what Jack’s done and contributed to all forms of Motorsports but specifically in the Cup garage here and he has created a great namesake and opportunity for me for next year. So I look forward to the opportunity of driving and with the ultimate goal of winning. I’m in a position where I’ve never wanted to stop, never wanted to quit, never wanted to retire and want to win a championship. So I am I look forward to this opportunity. Obviously finishing out this year strong as we both can in our respective positions. But at the same time with enthusiasm for the Daytona 500 in 2019.”

JACK ROUSH, co-owner, Roush Fenway Racing —  “I’d like to start by thanking Matt Kenseth and Trevor Bayne for being the most recent custodians of the number 6 car. They’ve done a good job. Matt has brought to us some ideas to make our car better but before I get into that, I’d like to say that Trevor has been one of the finest individuals I’ve ever had to meet in and out of, either in or outside of stock car racing. It’s been a great pleasure to work with him to watch him grow and and share his success he had been in the Xfinity garage as well as that success he had with the Wood Brothers when he was run the partial schedule with them on loan from us.

Matt was identified by Mark Martin as somebody that had his ideas and his questions about the handling of the car and the interaction they had when Matt was just getting started as a rookie back in the early 90s encouraged Mark to ask me to give Matt a chance to to see what he can do in one of our cars. When we got ourselves into a situation where the setups weren’t working, as well as I’d like to early in the year, we had a conversation with Matt and he agreed to come back. Even though the results haven’t justified the effort, we’ve had more speed in  our cars and we’ve got a direction that’s going to be clear that will make better race cars and better racing for our fans going forward.

Ryan Newman has been the one of the most fierce drivers that we faced on the racetrack for his nine years of being involved with the sport. He has demonstrated himself to have good values and one of the things that a driver has to have is a code that makes sense to other drivers and whenever you raced Mark you knew what to expect. Whenever you raced Matt you knew what to expect. And whenever you Ryan you could know what to expect there as well. I look forward for that working in our favor as it has worked to our to our negative side on on a few occasions over the years but I’ve never had a quarrel with Ryan. We’ve always respected what he did and respected where he was coming from and the fact he’s got an engineering degree makes him more valuable to me as a driver than they might be without that with his fierce competitive history.”

JACK ROUSH CONTINUED — “We look forward to going down the road for a number of years. I can’t say how many but for number of years and to to be able to win and compete for a run off of positions late in the years and to race for championships as well as the race to win races on a weekly basis.”

WILL MATT KENSETH HAVE ANY ROLE WITH THE TEAM AND CAN YOU ALSO TOUCH ON IF YOU HAVE ANY SPONSORSHIP TO ANNOUNCE?

STEVE NEWMARK CONTINUED — “Touching on a little bit of the the Matt story I think is appropriate at this time. I know Jack gave you a little bit of insight but obviously an unusual situation this year when we elected to bring Matt on board in the middle of the season. Obviously some of the reasons that Jack mentioned is just you know, his ability to diagnose cars and obviously his long history with our organization. If you ask Matt how it went with his kind of self deprecating nature, he probably would say, he hasn’t helped at all. But from our perspective, he’s been invaluable. He’s really helped us kind of move the needle and try to focus on what we need to do. You know, we went in to that relationship with the intent that the primary focus was on 2018 and we always kind of had it back of mind, we’ll see how it plays out for 19. We had some intent about where that would go. But we always kind of left the arrangement with Matt that he would come back and we would sit down in late August, early September and have a dialogue about what the future looks like. That’s the way it played out. He came and sat down with me when he was looking at everything, talking to his family, considering at what stage he is in his life, meaning that he’s got four young girls and he’s been on the road for almost 20 years, kind of sacrificing a lot of family time that he just wasn’t prepared to run full time. We talked a lot about that and he said he owed it to his family. And so we obviously respect his decision and even through this process, even though it has only really ramped up in the last five to 10 days, he’s been helpful in trying to guide us on direction to go with for 2019 with drivers and other things. What our hope is right now is that we’ll sit down and have a dialogue and figure out what role he may have with Roush Fenway going forward.

The second part, I think, I know, you guys have been hounding us for the last couple weeks asking about what the driver situation was all with appropriate questions. So we’ll have this this conference just really focused on the driver situation and the fact that we’re pretty fortunate to have Ryan come on board. And then as we get into the coming weeks and months, we’ll start talking about some of the partners situation.”

YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO DRIVE  ANYWHERE SO I KNOW YOU ASSESSED ROUSH FENWAY RACING. WHAT DO YOU FIND THERE AT ROUSH FENWAY THAT IS INTERESTING TO YOU.? WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU CAN LAND AND WHAT EXPERIENCE OR WHAT CAN YOU BRING FROM THE OTHER COMPANIES YOU’VE WORKED FOR INTO ROUSH FENWAY?

RYAN NEWMAN CONTINUED — “I go back to my initial statement, I think the history is important thing. If you look at the history of Jack Roush in all forms of automotive relationships, it’s huge from a performance standpoint, what they bring with Roush Yates Engines. The people, everything that’s built and invested is there to stay. As Steve mentioned, it’s just an opportunity for me to help them grow their program from where they have been, and to, hopefully where we all want to be. I think that we have both an equal opportunity of doing that.”

“I think, obviously you bring a level of experience and that experience is good experiences and bad experiences, whether it’s, you know, a shock or a spring package or dealing with certain people or different kinds of programs and how things are run. Shop layouts, different perspectives, I would say that I’ve kind of kept in the back of my mind that make an impact on the end result of being successful. It’s all those things from everywhere from the time that I grew up working in racing them out of my dad’s shop to the different Cup organizations I’ve been a part of.”

STEVE NEWMARK CONTINUED — “We’d probably say Ryan’s being a little bit humble there because we think he’s fairly unique in the garage with his engineering background with a number of different teams and manufacturers that he’s seen. We think that’s going to help tremendously as we’re trying to take that next step.”

WHEN YOU FIRST CAME INTO THE SERIES YOU GOT THE NICKNAME “THE ROCKET MAN” BUT OVER THE YEARS YOU’VE EARNED THE TITLE AS THE HARDEST DRIVER TO PASS ON THE CIRCUIT. WHAT TYPE OF RESPECT LEVEL DOES THAT SHOW YOU FROM THE OTHER DRIVERS?

RYAN NEWMAN CONTINUED — “If I go back and think about it as being called the Rocket Man there was a time where I was winning polls left and right and it just kind of came easy and we had cars and kept track position and not a lot of people had a chance to pass me. As some of that started to deteriorate we weren’t winning polls we were having a race a little harder. I amped up my game of not letting guys by and I never had the guidance of a Mark Martin to teach me to give and take and it took me a couple years I would say to learn the right time to give and the right time to take and the right places on the racetrack to do that equally as important. I think just overall just my experience in the past of of all the things that I’ve done and from a qualifying standpoint back in the day I’ve been a little disappointed quite frankly recently to not even had a pole in the last I guess five years so I look forward to that opportunity changing.”

WITH YOUR UNIQUE BACKGROUND IN ENGINEERING, HOW MUCH OF THAT DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE INVOLVED WITH THE CONVERSION IN 2019 TO THE PACKAGE AND TO THE NEW BODY STRUCTURE AND HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT CAN SWAY ROUSH FENWAY RACING BACK TO A PERFORMANCE LEVEL THAT THEY USED TO BE AT? “I think from an engineering standpoint, if you look at the way technology has affected our sport and our lives computers are driving pretty much everything not just in the media center here but in the garage and and that is even more important now with the lack of testing which I commend NASCAR on for us to be able to spend time with their families and do the homework on a computer, through simulators and through simulation to to make a difference. I think from an engineering standpoint, having a lot of experience with different packages over the last 18 years of my cup career, and the knowledge of the engineers at Roush Fenway in conjunction with Ford as well to be able to work through the most important race of the season and the Daytona 500 being the first one. The typical cookie cutter racetracks that happened shortly after that are equally as important to winning the championship.”

WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THIS ORGANIZATION AND THE 6 CAR THAT MAKES YOU CONFIDENT YOU CAN BE PART OF THE ANSWER TO THEIR STRUGGLES? “Teamwork, putting the right people in place. They’re willing to listen and make the right decisions collectively. Everybody puts that effort forward. It’s just a matter of how well you do it. With respect to the 78, I think everybody in this room knew that they had their challenges being a Colorado based team starting out, so individually not aligning themselves with people to start with. They chose a very steep uphill battle and they succeeded in doing that but nobody has any kind of guarantee on how long that’s going to last. You look at the history of our sport. The Hall of Famers. The Bobby Allison’s and Darrell Waltrip’s owned teams and they didn’t make it.Jack Roush and Roush Fenway Racing has proven to be a staple from a car and engine standpoint and I don’t see any of that changing. That’s why it was an easy decision.”

YOU STARTED YOUR NASCAR CAREER WITH FORD. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO OR FEEL COMFORTABLE ABOUT COMING BACK TO FORD?  

RYAN NEWMAN CONTINUED — “I had success in a Ford. It was a good start to my career, both from a back in the day Busch side, even the ARCA side and as well as the Cup side when we when we got the ball rolling. At that point I was with Penske and Penske made the decision to move to Dodge and I’ve landed everywhere but I guess Toyota in my career. I never had an issue at all with Ford. We were always competitive back in the day we we had really strong horsepower.  There’s really two things that are extremely important, a lot of things that are important but two things that are extremely important in what we do and that’s horsepower and downforce. That makes it a little bit easier and for me from my standpoint it’s about people. Ford has proven this year if you look at the results, to have the right people in the right places to be successful and the win column says that.”

*Courtesy of Ford Performance and Roush Fenway Racing

 

FORD PERFORMANCE RACING TECHNOLOGY SPEEDS DEVELOPMENT OF NEW VEHICLES, CUTS ENGINEERING COST

Posted on: September 28th, 2018
Location: post
No Comments

CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 28, 2018 – All-new research and development technology that helps make Ford Performance racecars faster also is helping Ford speed up development of its consumer vehicle lineup and improving the company’s operational fitness.

Breakthroughs including a daily driving vehicle simulator, 3D race environment and other advancements are helping Ford improve product development fitness by reducing the number of physical prototypes. In its latest move, Ford is working to speed up vehicle development and reduce costs through a new production vehicle dynamic simulator in a 33,000-square-foot facility in the heart of NASCAR country in North Carolina.

The initial purpose of the facility – up and running since 2014 – was to develop and test racecars virtually through an immersive simulator. But the tools have become so good so fast that Ford is now using the technology for its production vehicles.

“The mission of Ford Performance is to transfer innovations from racetracks to the driveways of new Ford vehicle owners,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance. “The tech center and this new driving simulator are two of the most important steps we have taken to help our mainstream engineering partners make sure the next Edge or F-150 is great to drive – even if you don’t check the performance model box.”

A New Day in Product Development

How good are Ford’s advanced aerodynamic development tools? The 2019 NHRA Funny Car program will have no prototype bodies physically created before the racing body is built – a milestone in the history of Ford racing development.

Ford is so confident in its dynamic simulator, development and testing tools that much of its race testing is now done in advance of ever arriving at a racetrack. Virtual prototyping and simulator tools help optimize both performance and manufacturing capability, which becomes critical when designing production vehicles – often made in volumes in the hundreds of thousands annually.

Along with the new simulator, Ford is using several other advanced tools to help speed production development times and cut costs. These include a new dynamic simulator, computational fluid dynamics for aerodynamic testing and virtual manufacturing. Together, these tools are migrating from the super-high-tech, low-volume racing development world to Ford’s global product development system.

Racing Simulator Gets Immersive New 3D Experience

The racing simulator at the Concord facility also received a recent upgrade and now features an immersive 3D environment for drivers.

“I’ve used the simulator a lot and have gotten used to the normal vision, so I was quite apprehensive when they told me we are going 3D,” said Richard Westbrook, driver of the No. 67 IMSA Ford GT, who will be vying to capture a championship next month. “It really is a step up in terms of reality. With all the hard work at the Ford Performance tech center, we now have something we can really rely on to give us a good car when we roll it off the truck in real life.” Before the then-new Ford GT ever put its tires on a racetrack, it racked up hundreds of hours of testing on virtual racetracks around the world.

 

Each simulator runs on numerous software programs that must all be calibrated to work in perfect harmony – operation, movement, visuals, audio, physics modeling, environment replication, results analysis – so that the experience remains as natural as possible for the operator. Even the slightest amount of difference could pull someone out of focus and induce motion sickness.

Along with upgrades to the race simulator, other breakthroughs include supercomputer modeling of race and regular tires to improve rubber wear and performance.

* Courtesy of Ford Performance