Ford To Power Ganassi SportsCar Effort
LAS VEGAS — Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas will have Ford power under the hood of their Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley Daytona Prototype when the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship kicks off with the annual Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The team that has won seven of the last 10 Rolex Sports Car Series DP titles will switch to the new 3.5-liter V-6 Ford EcoBoost sports car engine package starting next year.
The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon at the Specialty Equipment Market Ass’n Show.
“We’re excited about Chip Ganassi Racing choosing Ford EcoBoost power going forward in sports cars,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “We believe they will be the perfect partner going forward to work with us to further develop the advantages of our EcoBoost engines.”
Ford EcoBoost branding has appeared on various Ford race cars around the world the past two seasons as part of a strategy to raise brand awareness of the growing Ford line of production engines, which are now available in 1-liter, 1.5-liter, 1.6-liter, 2-liter and 3.5-liter versions.
“This opportunity with our racing program will highlight the core advantages of Ford’s EcoBoost technology — its unbeatable combination of performance and fuel economy,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. “Chip’s sports car team is a champion in the sport, and we look forward to having Scott Pruett behind the wheel of a Ford again showcasing the modern technology and advantages of EcoBoost, on and off the track.”
Ford celebrated the building of its two millionth EcoBoost engine in September, and now versions of the award-winning powerplant are available in 90 percent of the vehicles Ford offers to consumers.
“This new Ford EcoBoost race engine shares 70 percent of its parts with the 3.5-liter V6 engine that a customer can buy today in their Taurus SHO,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “This is Ford engine technology at its best — direct injection, turbocharging and high efficiency. And there may not be a better place to continue to develop and improve it than endurance sports car racing.”
Chip Ganassi Racing, which will field Chevrolet engines in its NASCAR Sprint Cup and IndyCar Series machines next season, is the defending winner of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team owner is excited about the switch to Ford for the first season following the merger of Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series into a unified road racing series.
“We are very excited to be switching to Ford power for our sports car program,” said Chip Ganassi. “Over the last 10 seasons we have been able to experience a great deal of success in Grand-Am and now with the dawn of the new United SportsCar Championship we feel that Ford power will be a key ingredient to writing the next chapter of our sports car program. I can’t wait for the 24 hours at Daytona to get here.”