Ford EcoBoost Engine Sets Daytona Record, Showcases Technology
- A prototype race car with a tweaked 3.5-liter V6 Ford EcoBoost race engine set a new Daytona single lap speed record on Wednesday, showcasing the technology and raising its reputation in the eyes of consumers.
- The Ford EcoBoost-powered Daytona Prototype achieved 222.971 mph during a special record run attempt.
- Ford is rolling out EcoBoost engines across nearly its entire line, from its smallest engines to its F-Series pickup trucks.
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Bill Elliott's 26-year-old Daytona International Speedway speed record has been erased by a new prototype sports racecar with a tweaked Ford EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine.
The record-setting run was designed to showcase Ford's EcoBoost technology, which adds power while saving gas. The technology is a gamble on turbocharging and appears to be paying off.
The Ford EcoBoost-powered Daytona Prototype achieved 222.971 mph during a special record run attempt, according to a statement by Ford Racing. Ford said the prototype also set other records. They include a world speed record for 10 miles from a standing start of 210.018 mph on average and a speed record for 10 kilometers from a standing start of 202.438 mph.
Ford is rolling out EcoBoost engines across nearly its entire line, from its smallest engines to its F-Series pickup trucks.
The racecar will be fielded in competition next year in the United SportsCar Championship when that series debuts in January.
The record remains in the Ford family. Elliott drove a NASCAR Winston Cup Ford Thunderbird when he ran 210.364 mph to win the pole for the Daytona 500 in 1987. Colin Braun was wheeling a Michael Shank Racing Daytona Prototype machine in the latest record run.
NASCAR machines have been slowed dramatically since the year of Elliott's records at Daytona and its sister track, Talladega (Alabama) Superspeedway. A crash at Talladega that year saw a car driven by Bobby Allison come close to sailing into a crowded grandstand, and officials responded by placing restrictor plates on engines to limit the amount of fuel, reducing horsepower and keeping cars below 200 mph.
Braun's runs Wednesday were restricted only by a series of glitches caused by the weather and by some gremlins with the new racecar and the requirements of observer Bob Strange of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, which will confirm records Braun established for 10-mile and 10-kilometer speed runs.
"It was pretty damn fast, I know that much," said Braun after breaking Elliott's mark. Braun, 25, of Ovalo, Texas, already has a decade of experience in full-sized racing cars. At 17, he became the youngest driver to race in the prototype division in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2006. From 2008-'12, he competed in NASCAR's Camping World Truck and Nationwide series, driving Fords for Roush-Fenway Racing.
He competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007 and raced last year in the American Le Mans Series, which will merge with Grand American Road Racing to form the new United SportsCar Championship, which launched with January's running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The speed records were established on the 2.5-mile high-banked Daytona trioval. The Rolex 24 is held on a 3.56-mile course that includes most of the oval and a circuit that runs through the track's infield.
Michael Shank Racing is the first team to sign on with Ford to use the new power plant, which is part of Ford's EcoBoost line of turbocharged, direct-injection inline-4 and V6 engines.
Edmunds says: Elliott's achievements during the years of peak raw speeds for stock cars are legendary. This record was not set in a comparable public forum, but it's an impressive performance for Ford to tout and it provides some more spark for the debut of the USCC next year.