October 15, 2013
New Track Record Set At Daytona
Daytona is one of the most prestigious tracks in the United States. To win a race there is what drivers from all types of racing divisions strive to do. A win puts the driver in a class of notable achievers among their competitors. Another feat is to hold the record for a lap around the 2.5-mile tri-oval
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In 1987, a track record for a lap around the Daytona International Raceway was set by NASCAR driver Bill Elliot at 210.364 mph. This record has held up until now. On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, Elliot’s record was shattered by a Ford Racing prototype prepared by Riley Technologies and Roush, Yates engines. Colin Braun drove the car to a speed of 222.971 mph around the track.
A Ford EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 engine was used. Engine specifications have yet to be released, but knowing NASCAR greats Yates and Roush, it is bound to be impressive. The car not only broke the speed record, but was also built with the intention of competing in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series.
The TUDOR racing series is a new competition debuting in 2014 as a merger between the North American Sports Car Racing Series, the American Le Mans Series, and the Rolex Sports Car Series. The first competition for the prototype will be at Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
The run was governed by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) from France. Braun averaged 202.438 mph on a 10-kilometer run and on a 10-mile run his average was 210.018. The record came on a longer run and is waiting for FIA acknowledgement.
The record breaking run didn’t come without issues. Rain the night before left the track wet. After the jet dryers had completed the drying, Braun took to the track and mechanical problems arose. A power steering failure cause made almost impossible to handle the car.
Braun said in a press release, “I’d have it on a line and it’d suddenly jump 10 feet to the right or 8 feet to the left. There just wasn’t a feel for when or by how much it was going to do it; you just suddenly found yourself somewhere other than where you desired to be.”
If that wasn’t problems enough, a hose on the turbocharger’s intercooler failed. Once the glitches were dealt with and Braun had a car that he could drive, he went on to set a new record.
Team owner Mike Shank stated in the press release, “a world record ranks among this team’s greatest achievements and that Ford would pick ours as a team to be a part of introducing its program — its EcoBoost engine and its new Daytona Prototype — something like this means a lot to me. It’s hard to explain just how special it is to me, and to every one of our guys, but it’s big. I can assure you of that.” He added, “but, being as I was as stressed as I think I’ve ever been in racing, it was good to see we’re now through it. And we came out the other side having achieved some pretty cool results. This is a great day for Michael Shank Racing.”
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