Ford teases EcoBoost-powered Daytona PrototypeEnlarge Photo
Ford's EcoBoost engines are winning over customers, and now Ford thinks they will win on the track.
Ford Racing posted a photo of a shadowed Grand Am Daytona Prototype on its Facebook page, teasing a race-tuned EcoBoost that will power several of the cars during the 2014 season.
The Daytona Prototype is set to join the premier class in American sports car racing next year, as Grand Am and the American Le Mans Series merge, pitting the DP cars against the P2 Le Mans Prototypes and the one-off DeltaWing Coupe.
Micheal Shank Racing showed a prototype Prototype, powered by a 3.5-liter direct-injected and turbocharged EcoBoost V-6, at the Rolex 24 at Daytona this past January.
The racing EcoBoost, built by Roush Yates, has since begun testing, according to Racer. It reportedly has about 70-percent parts commonality with the stock engine. New bodywork for the DP car is also being developed.
The challenges so far have been matching rule-specified power delivery characteristics, and dealing with team defections as Ford makes the transition from the old 5.0-liter V-8 prototype engine to the EcoBoost, Ford's James Allison told Racer.
Race cars have grown significantly more complicated since the days of "win on Sunday, sell on Monday;" the EcoBoost-powered Daytona Prototype will, if nothing else, be a top-tier racer with something in common with production cars.
Ford hopes to prove the EcoBoost's mettle on the track, and perhaps cast a residual glow on its showroom models, next year.