FORD ECOBOOST ENGINE POWERS CHIP GANASSI RACING WITH FELIX SABATES TO SEBRING 12-HOUR VICTORY By: Ford
◾Ford's EcoBoost engine powered Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates to the overall win at the storied Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway.
◾Piloted by Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Marino Franchitti, the Roush Yates-prepped twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 propelled the Riley prototype to victory lane in the premier class.
Ford's EcoBoost engine powered Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates to victory at Sebring late Saturday, in the legendary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway.
On one of the most storied and demanding racetracks in the country, the Roush Yates-prepped twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 propelled the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley prototype to victory lane with drivers Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Marino Franchitti.
It was Franchitti who piloted the 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley across the finish line first to earn victory in his team's first-ever appearance at the legendary endurance race, and it was the first overall victory for Ford at Sebring since 1969.
'You read about stuff like this,' said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. 'The last time Ford won overall was in 1969, and what really makes it so sweet is that this is a win made possible by a production-based Ford EcoBoost engine. It literally comes out of our production vehicle. It just makes it so, so sweet because it validates what we do at Ford, that the technology we have in our cars is good enough to power an all-out win here at the Sebring 12 Hour.'
The win was the culmination of intense preparation by the team, Ford Racing, Ford Motor Company and Roush Yates engineers, who are working together to prove that the heart of a production engine can stand up to the most intense rigors and demands of America's toughest tracks. Over seventy-percent of the engine is production based.
Three prototypes compete with the Ford 3.5-liter EcoBoost: The 01 and 02 of Ganassi, and the 60 of Michael Shank Racing. The 02 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Ford EcoBoost Riley finished sixth in Sebring after spending a considerable time out front, while the 60 Need For Speed Ford Ecoboost/Riley also made the top 10 with a ninth-place finish.
Before the 2014 season began – the first year for the unified TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – Shank Racing teamed with Ford Racing and its 3.5-liter EcoBoost to break a series of closed-course speed records at Daytona International Speedway that had stood since 1987, setting a new record average lap speed of 222.971 mph around the high-banked oval.
The overall Sebring win, at only the second round of the new series, was particularly satisfying and demonstrates that the partnership between the teams, Ford and Roush Yates is already a winning one.
'It is an amazing feeling,' said Dave Simon, Ford Racing Engine Engineering Manager. 'I think the last 10 laps of that race were the most stressful 10 laps of a race I've ever had to live through. There's a ton of hard work and a lot of people that went into making this victory happen. All the guys at Ford Motor Company, everyone at Ford Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing and Roush Yates – it's just a huge sense of pride to be in victory lane in Sebring.'
Joining the Ford Racing family in victory lane was Raj Nair, Group Vice President, Ford Global Product Development.
'It was a great day,' Nair said. 'The first win overall for Ford since 1969 and at the same time, the first with our partners in Ganassi here at Sebring, and in only the second race on the new engine. It just doesn't get any better than this.'
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Michael Shank Racing, along with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, will compete in the full TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule in 2014.