Leading the field to the green at this weekend’s TUDOR race at Long Beach will be the new EcoBoost-Powered Ford Taurus SHO.
This new pace car signifies the beginning of a three-year agreement between Ford and the IMSA, with Ford now being the “Official Automotive Partner” of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
Ford’s new Roush Yates-prepped twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine won its first TUDOR Championship race last month, powering the No. 01 Telcel Chip Ganassi Racing Riley DP co-driven by Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Marino Franchitti to the overall and Prototype class victory in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. It was Ford’s fourth overall victory in the Twelve Hours of Sebring and the manufacturer’s first since taking the 1969 Central Florida endurance classic.
“When you see the Ford EcoBoost Riley prototypes racing, you’re truly seeing Ford Motor Company’s latest technology proven on the race track,” said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. “That’s why the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is an important platform for Ford Racing and Ford. Racing the technology supports the development of production vehicles consumers drive every day, and vice-versa.”
Ford EcoBoost engines are the power of choice of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian in the TUDOR Championship. Last October, a Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian, Ford EcoBoost-powered Riley DP set the track record on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway tri-oval at 222.971 mph (40.364 seconds), as well as Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) 10-kilometer (203.010 mph) and 10-mile (210.017 mph) world records.
In addition to the TUDOR Championship program, five Ford Mustang Boss 302Rs compete in the 2014 Continental Tire Challenge. Ford has 38 victories and 22 pole positions in Continental Tire Challenge competition.
“Ford’s multi-year commitment to IMSA and the TUDOR Championship is another very important partnership for us,” said IMSA Vice President, Marketing David Pettit. “Likewise, Ford has enjoyed a long and successful history with its iconic Mustangs in the Continental Tire Challenge. Both series allow Ford to showcase its impressive technology – which transfers directly to its consumer products – benefitting all involved in this partnership.”
The Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports 1 at 6 p.m. ET, Saturday, with the new Ford Taurus pace car leading the way.