Orlando, Fla. — Brian Wolfe, director of Ford North America Motorsports, addressed a group at the Performance Racing Industry Show this morning in Orlando, Fla. Here’s a transcript of his remarks.
Thank you, and good morning everyone.
Boy, a lot has happened in the past year, not just for Ford, but also for the entire auto industry.
Looking forward, the outlook for the overall aftermarket industry is certainly better; but there is still a long and rough road ahead.
Of course, today, we are here to share some news about what's happening in the world of Ford Racing, but before we get into that, it’s good to first understand where Ford is going as a car company.
Over the last decade, people have come to know Ford as a great truck company that also makes that car called the Mustang. But we are re-shaping our global resources and updating our product line so in the future we are known as a great car company that also has the world’s best trucks.
We’ve also updated the DNA of our products over the last couple years … we are producing world-class vehicles that handle and brake well, meet the highest standards for safety, are very fuel-efficient, and have quality levels second to none.
And we see some signs that people are taking notice of the changes at Ford, as we have seen a gain in retail market share 13 times in the last 14 months.
Last month, our all-new Taurus and Fusion sales were up 54 percent versus a year ago. And Fusion was just named Motor Trend Car of the Year.
We just introduced Fiesta at the LA Auto Show last week … our first, One Ford global car.
Fiesta will be in showrooms next summer, but there’s already buzz throughout the industry thanks to the Fiesta Movement program and our efforts with Fiesta at Pikes Peak and the X Games this past summer. I have to tell you this is a car born for the aftermarket industry.
Our job at Ford Racing, is to create, produce and race products that make people more enthusiastic about Ford … to get people into our showrooms and to drive our great vehicles.
Our philosophy is to be racer-friendly in all we do, whether we are dealing with the top levels of professional racing, or with the grassroots racer.
I am so proud of how much the Ford Racing team has accomplished over the last year, and would like to give you an overview of the highlights of what we have in our display here at PRI. We decided to split our booth into four distinct areas:
We also have our Z347 & 427 engines, as well as a ’34 Hot Rod powered by our new EcoBoost engine.
EcoBoost technology is one of the keys to Ford’s future powertrain engine strategies, using direct-injection and turbocharging that allow smaller displacement engines to provide superior fuel economy, while providing the power of larger engines.
We’re also returning to the value-priced segment of the crate engine market with the new X302 engine.
This engine is designed, developed and tested by the same Ford Racing engineers that are responsible for the line for Ford Racing Crate Engines.
• Built with a mix of Ford Racing, Ford production and high quality aftermarket components
ROAD RACING AREA
Some of you are also aware of Ford Racing’s plans to build 50 2011 Boss 302-R race cars, which we announced to dealers about a month ago for SCCA and NASA competition, along with a Grand-Am Koni spec version of that car that will replace the successful FR500C.
Also, you’ll see our Formula Ford Kent block that we recently announced we would build again for competitors, featuring improved durability and design attributes that will support other applications like the Cosworth DBA and Lotus Twin-Cam.
CIRCLE TRACK AREA
The S374 Series represents an industry-first in circle track racing with an OEM engineered and developed sealed racing engine with two power levels—540 hp and 590 hp.
These Sealed Racing Engines address the objective to manage the cost of Short Track asphalt and dirt racing with sealed spec engines while maintaining a high level of competition for racers and fans.
Both engines were developed in conjunction with the key asphalt and dirt track stakeholders in short track racing and they will be in competition early in 2010.
The S374 Series underscores the commitment by Ford Racing to the Sportsman Circle Track Racer and joins the highly successful S347 series of sealed racing engines.
Both versions of the S374 engine are showcased here today:
We’re also pleased to announce today that championship-contending Joey Pole Racing is switching to Ford power for the ACT Tour.
• Joey Pole Polewarczyk Jr. is switching from a Chevrolet to Ford Fusion for 2010 and will use the S347JR Ford Racing Sealed engine in his run for the American Canadian Tour Championship.
With these added engines we at Ford will have the widest lineup of Sealed Racing Engines for short track racing—our Blue Oval Sealed Racing Engines— that range from 350 to 590 HP.
Finally, we want to show our commitment to Short Track Racing with an expanded racer contingency program for 2010
As part of the commitment, Ford Racing is proud to announce that it has posted race win contingencies with the following Racing Series for the 2010 racing season:
DRAG RACING AREA
We are so proud of all our Funny Car teams, with all six Mustang competitors making it to the top 10 in the countdown for the championship in 2009.
We’ve also got big news for Pro Stock competitors.
Earlier this year, we revealed our new 2010 Mustang body at the U.S. Nationals, and we were very pleased that Cunningham Racing won the Best Engineered award.
The new 2010 Mustang body was designed by a team consisting of Don Ness and our Ford Racing aerodynamics experts, and went through extensive wind tunnel testing prior to NHRA approvals to ensure it was second to none in the field.
The new Pro Stock Engine program, led by Mose Nowland, is also causing an enormous amount of excitement.
The new engine is based on a common CGI block design that has a "flexible" core package that allows us to offer two cylinder head derivatives, one featuring a mirror-image port layout, and another featuring a sequential port layout. Both of those configurations are on display here at PRI.
Ford Racing is also offering many of the components needed to complete a Pro Stock engine as well, including valve covers, camshaft spools, crankshaft seal retainers, stud kits, head gaskets, and cam drive.
The new engine made its first test passes at the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona by Cunningham Motorsports drivers Jim Cunningham and Erica Enders.
The Cunningham effort is just one of the Ford Mustang teams we expect to see next year.
• Larry Morgan’s Lucas Oil Mustang will debut at the 2010 Winternationals—his Mustang looks great and Larry has been an exciting addition to the Ford family. He will also run a second Mustang for John Nobile.
On the Sportsman front, most of you probably have seen the new 2010 version of the CobraJet we introduced at SEMA.
Well, we’re pleased to announce today that the NHRA has officially approved five engine combinations for the new car, which will be built starting in January at the Mustang plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
The engine offerings include:
These engine combinations allow the Cobra Jet to compete in 52 different Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes.
While the 2010 Cobra Jet was limited to only 50 units, we also offered Mustang Competition Kits for any racer who wanted to build one from the ground up.
These kits were an industry-first, offering optional interior trim, exterior trim, seats, and even a pre-bent 10-point rollcage.
These kits were available for pre-order only until November 15th and, despite a short order window, the kits were a huge success with nearly 40 kits being sold.
Mustang Competition Kits will be delivered in February 2010, immediately following the Cobra Jet build.
Based on demand, we plan to offer Mustang Competition Kits again in 2010, and with the MSRP of the Body-in-White being just $4,995 and of the combination of body, interior & exterior trim kits being just over $8,000, this is a value that is unmatched by our competition.
In addition to our on-track efforts, we also have become the Official Vehicle of the NHRA, as well as official vehicle of the American Drag Racing League.
We will also continue to support our relationship with PSCA, including the very popular Mustang Madness class, and we will return to IHRA in 2010 with new sportsmen contingency postings. And, of course, we will also continue to support MNRA and NMCA racing.
All in all, there’s no question we have made a major commitment to our racing program, not just on the professional classes, but also the sportsman and grassroots ranks.
We feel this involvement will pay off, not just with more competitors racing Fords, but also allowing these racers to become our grassroots ambassadors for Ford and its products throughout the country.
While we have a lot at our booth, we hope you’ll also look at a couple other Ford vehicles on display here at the show. Tim Matherly’s Real Street Mustang and Cale Aronson’s IHRA Pro Stock Mustang are both in the outer lobby.
Source: Ford Racing
Pour lire le reste / Read more...