After much anticipation, the Michael Shank Racing (MSR) team with Colin Braun behind the wheel broke 3 records at the Daytona International Speedway this week. If you recall, we mentioned previously that the Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype car, powered by the all-new, twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 would be debuting at Daytona International Speedway during the “World Center of Speed” Oct. 9, 2013. With this new 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost race engine in place for the Prototype car at Daytona, it was able to propel a 25 year-old Colin Braun to a 222.971 mph single lap time at the Daytona International Speedway. The lap was made during a special record run attempt, shattering the previous 26 year-old record held by Bill Elliott in a Ford Thunderbird who ran 210.364 mph in 1987.
“It was a challenging day,” said Braun afterward. “There was a lot of work put in by a lot of people to accomplish these records. Our first run this morning was 209 mph, and it was an edgy drive at that speed. I can only imagine how edgy it was for Bill Elliott doing those speeds in his Thunderbird stock car. But our crew kept working and adjusting on it, and it was a great feeling coming down pit road after the record runs and seeing how happy everyone was.”
While also on the track, the MSR team took to the Daytona tri-oval to set 2 other records: standing start 10-mile and 10-kilometer. For the 10 mile, the team achieved an average of 210.018 mph; for the 10 kilometers they averaged a 202.438 mph run.
Preparing the 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost race engine for the record run was Roush Yates Engines, who is a partner with Ford racing.
“This is an engine project we started probably two years ago,” said John Maddox, road racing program manager, Roush Yates Engines. “There has been a lot of hard work by a lot of people to get it to where it is today, but this EcoBoost engine is relevant, state-of-the-art production technology in racing, and it brings with it power and high efficiency in the same package. When we broke the track speed record today with it, well, that was big. But to come back and set two world speed records that have been around since 1979…well, that’s something you can tell the grandkids someday.”
Continental Tires also added to the record breaking times this week; they engineered a special tire for the record runs. The specially designed tires were lighter and had less rolling resistance than standard race tires. They were also a harder compound than the tires used for a typical road course race.
“It’s a very proud day for all of us at Ford,” Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing, said. “To take a Ford EcoBoost race engine that is basically production technology, and to beat speed records that have been on the books for decades really says something for our new engine and the program we launched last week. It’s a great way to kick off a new era of EcoBoost and sports car racing for Ford in the 2014 United SportsCar Championship, and we couldn’t have done it without Shank and his team, and the team at Roush Yates.”
Both the new car and twin-turbo engine will debut competition in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship beginning at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. The MSR team began preparation for the 2014 USCC season almost immediately following the record laps. Switching from the Daytona tri-oval, the team took to the Daytona road course for the first test of the new car and EcoBoost engine where it will debut in January.
“We’ve been working on this for probably nine or 10 months,” said team owner Michael Shank. “We did a first shakedown of the car and engine last January and we saw the potential even then of what it may do. For someone like me, to come from where I started in racing to be part of this today at Daytona, is just so cool. We’re so excited about the Ford EcoBoost engine. It’s relevant, production technology from Ford coming into a race program, and we need more of that in racing.”
Be sure to check-out our past story about the engine, car, and the MSR team. Also, watch the video below to see the engine being dyno tested, and hear from the engineers who helped build the engine. You can keep-up with the EcoBoost car and MSR team throughout the entire 12-race season, just head to USCC or watch the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona Jan. 25-26 to stay informed.