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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.– After 26 years, there’s a new King of Speed at Daytona International Speedway.
Colin Braun drove a Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype race car, powered by the new 3.5-liter V6 Ford EcoBoost® race engine, to a new Daytona single-lap speed record of 222.971 mph in a special record run attempt Wednesday, topping the 26-year-old speed record of 210.364 mph set by Bill Elliott in a Ford Thunderbird in qualifying for the 1987 Daytona 500.
Braun and Michael Shank Racing also set new world speed records for 10 miles from a standing start (210.018 mph average) and 10 kilometers from a standing start (202.438 mph average). All times from the session are subject to Federation Internationale de l’Automobile homologation.
Braun, 25 years old, wasn’t even born when Elliott set the previous speed record. But he knows the significance of the accomplishment at the speed trials.
“It was a challenging day,” said Braun. “There was a lot of work put in by a lot of people to accomplish these records. The power in the new EcoBoost engine is incredible, and it’s amazing how fast it comes up to speed on the runs.
“Our first run of the morning was 209 mph, and it was an edgy drive at that speed,” Braun added. “I can only imagine how edgy it was for Bill Elliott at those speeds in his stock car Thunderbird. Our crew kept working and adjusting it, and it was a great feeling coming down pit road seeing how happy everyone was.”
The new Ford EcoBoost engine was prepared for the record run by Ford Racing engine partner Roush Yates Engines, and Continental Tire did a special tire – lighter and with less rolling resistance than the standard race tire, and with a harder compound.
Both the new car and new twin-turbo engine will compete in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship that kicks off with the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
“It’s a very proud day for all of us at Ford,” said Jamie Allison, Ford Racing director. “To take a Ford EcoBoost race engine that is basically production technology, and to beat speed records that have been on the books for decades really says something for our new engine and the program we launched last week.
“It’s a great way to kick off a new era of EcoBoost and sports car racing for Ford in the 2014 United SportsCar Championship,” Allison added. “We couldn’t have done it without Shank and his team, and the team at Roush Yates.”
“We’ve been working on this for probably nine or 10 months,” said team owner Michael Shank. “We did a first shakedown of the car and engine last January, and saw the potential even then of what it may do. For someone like me – to come from where I started in racing to be part of this at Daytona – is just so cool.
“We’re so excited about the Ford EcoBoost engine,” Shank added. “It’s relevant, production technology from Ford coming into a race program, and we need more of that in racing.”
“This is a project we started probably two years ago,” said John Maddox, road racing program manager, Roush Yates Engines. “There has been a lot of hard work by a lot of people to get it to where it is today, but this EcoBoost engine is relevant, state-of-the-art production technology in racing, and it brings with it power and high efficiency in the same package.
“When we broke the track speed record today, well, that’s big,” Maddox added. “But to come back and set two world speed records that have been around since 1979, well, that’s something to tell the grandkids some day.”
Preparation for the 2014 USCC season began almost immediately after the record run. After switching the car over from an oval configuration, Michael Shank Racing took to the Daytona road course for the first test of the new car and EcoBoost engine on the track, where it will debut in January.