News - Ford
Ford gives racers an EcoBoost
Prototype 2013 Ford Falcon race car gets global EcoBoost livery for first local test
23 Aug 2012
FORD Australia is using a dinosaur V8-powered race car to promote its new high-technology turbocharged ‘EcoBoost’ engines and will next month hit the track – at least in testing – with a brand new 2013 V8 Supercar Falcon decked out in an international colour scheme.
However, the fresh branding does not mean a renewed or increasing interest in local V8 Supercar racing for Ford, which is reported to be cutting back its investment in what has for almost two decades been a two-brand category.
All that changes next year with the introduction of Nissan – which will formally launch its 2013 program on September 4 – as a third brand in V8 Supercar racing.
The new Falcon race car – the first new-generation Car of the Future (COTF) built by the factory-backed Ford Performance Racing team – is to be decked out in an EcoBoost motorsport livery that is featuring across the Blue Oval’s competition cars globally throughout August.
However, the EcoBoost-liveried FPR Falcon will not be ready to hit the test track until September, probably at Victoria’s Winton Raceway near Benalla.
With FPR contractually committed until the end of the year to title sponsors Orrcon and Trading Post for its two primary entries driven by championship contenders Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison, the team has taken the opportunity to fly Ford’s colours on its 2013 prototype.
While the race car is powered by an old 5.0-litre pushrod V8 engine, EcoBoost is Ford’s foray into smaller and more fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder and six-cylinder units, which are being installed in the locally built Falcon (introduced earlier this year), the imported Mondeo and the soon-to-be-released Focus ST.
The predominantly white colour scheme with black and blue stripes is also being used by Ford’s World Rally Championship team, as well as drag cars and NASCAR stock cars in the United States.
Ford Australia motorsport boss Graham Barrie told GoAuto the company has yet to finalise its 2013 budgets, which are undoubtedly under pressure as Ford Australia last year slumped to a $290 million loss and continues to struggle with sales down 5.0 per cent year to date.
FPR is contracted to the end of 2013, but deals expire at the end of this year with past series champions Stone Brothers Racing and Dick Johnson Racing.
Mr Barrie said “V8 Supercars remain a really important part of what we do”.
He said EcoBoost is a growing and important story for Ford globally and the race program was a good way to build awareness in Australia.
FPR team principal Tim Edwards – who is reported to have signed Pepsi as title sponsor for both cars next year – said the COTF test car would become one of the team’s race vehicles come the first round of the 2013 championship.
“The impending debut of our first COTF Falcon coincides with an important time for Ford globally as the company rolls out more and more models featuring EcoBoost technology,” said Mr Edwards.
“By running our test program in Ford’s EcoBoost motorsport colours we are not only showcasing our team and category to the world, but also showing we are an important part of Ford’s racing program.
“It is also appropriate that we are running it on our Falcon at the same time road-going Falcons with EcoBoost engines are being produced just across the road from our workshop.”
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