November 27, 2005

Steeda Stampede '05

The 6th Annual Steeda Stampede was a huge success with over 240 Fordperformance vehicles and 550 people attending the event held on theSteeda Campus in Pompano Beach, FL.. Enthusiasts traveled from as faraway as Cape Cod, Massachusetts to take part in the festivities.Mustangs of all kinds began lining up to enter the Steeda Campus asearly as 6:00 AM. When the event officially opened at 9:00, there waslots to see and do with so many great looking and sounding Mustangs,Foci and F-150 performance vehicles on hand.

On display on the Steeda Row of Champions were Steeda equipped Mustangsincluding, 2004 and 2005 Fun Ford Weekend Street Warrior Class ChampionDarrell Peterson and Crew Chief Brian Mcafee with their 1994 Mustang.Steve Lee, Thunder Autosports President and owner of the Mustang alsoattended the show. They were joined by 2005 Fun Ford Weekend Drag RadialClass Champion, Adam Louramore and the owner of the 1988 Mustang, DemoKoutsis. These champions were joined by the legendary Steeda IMSA roadracing Cobra R Models. The 1993 Cobra R, one of 107 built and the firstCobra R to win a road race. The Cobra was also a development test carfor Steeda and Ford Engineering, the result being better and largerbrakes for the Mustang street cars. The famed number 20, 1995 Cobra R,one of only 300 produced drew a large crowd all morning long, as peoplecheck out the first production Mustang to win an IMSA Professional racein almost 20 years. Like all Steeda race cars, the R Model was a testbed for Steeda performance parts. Over 50 parts were developed andcompetition proven on this Cobra are now in the Steeda Mustang catalog.This Cobra R won more races than all the Cobra R Models combined on itsway to earning a storied competition record with victories at Daytona,Sebring, Texas World Speedway and Mosport. Joining the Cobra R Mustangswas the number 22 Steeda Focus. The 2001 ZX3 has won numerous road raceswhile serving as a development car for the Steeda lineup of Focusperformance parts.

The morning was highlighted by campus tours, conducted by Dario Orlando,Steeda President, which included viewing the state of the art Steedamanufacturing complex, the Champions building where all the Steedastreet and race cars are built and the Steeda product showroom.

Before "Stampeding" to the Ford Power Festival at Moroso MortorsportsPark 60 miles north in Jupiter, FL, attendees enjoyed the a large partsraffle with Steeda its marketing partners giving away a host of prizes.Enthusiasts went home with everything from sets of tires from Nitto andBF Goodrich, Steeda performance parts, an NOS Nitrous System, RoyalPurple Oil and coolant, a complete JBA Headers exhaust system and lotsmore.

As always, the sights and sounds of all the vehicles leaving the SteedaCampus on their way to Moroso Motorsports Park was magic to anenthusiast's senses.

GT 500 Convertible

Carroll Shelby takes an early prototype of the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500convertible for a test-drive at Ford's Dearborn Proving Ground.

DEARBORN, Oct 3, 2005 - The Ford Shelby GT500, one of the mostanticipated and powerful cars coming in 2006, just got hotter with theannouncement that a convertible version will join Ford's line-up. Withmore than 450-horsepower on tap from its supercharged 5.4L V-8 engine,the Shelby GT500 convertible will be the most powerful factory-builtFord Mustang convertible in history.

Carroll Shelby, the legend behind the original Shelby Mustangs, joinedthe Ford SVT engineering team early in the program to put his stamp ofapproval on the convertible version and had nothing but praise for theeffort.

"Convertibles often go against the pursuit of high-performance, but notthis GT500," said Shelby. "This GT500 convertible can go up against thebest of them, and hold its own. It's stiff, it's fast, and I'm lookingforward to cruising mine up and down the roads of Texas."

Driving enthusiasts know all too well that the vastly increased weightand reduced structural integrity of some drop tops over their hard topderivatives sometimes force manufacturers to restrict performancecapability. Often it's a matter of a detuned engine or a softenedsuspension - that one must suffer for the sake of drivability ordurability in convertible models.

The good news is that the same 450-plus horsepower V-8 engine powers theGT500 coupe and convertible. And with the convertible's added weightkept to a bare minimum, fewer suspension modifications are needed,meaning the handling you experience driving the convertible will be farcloser to that of the coupe than ever before.

In designing the Shelby GT500 convertible, Ford SVT engineers were ableto start with the same solid chassis structure that benefits the 2005Mustang convertible. Ford engineers designed the coupe and convertiblesimultaneously, yielding a convertible with twice the torsionalstiffness of the previous generation.

Considering where the convertible would require the most strength andhow commonality with the coupe could be integrated into the car's basicstructure, engineers added strength into both models by designing bodyjoints and rocker panels, for instance, which help solidify theconvertible without excessive bracing.

As a result, the GT500 convertible is less than 125 pounds heavier thanthe coupe. This enabled engineers to use the same suspension geometry,with chassis modifications limited to only slightly softer spring rates,sway bars, and damper tuning to fit the convertible's character.

Shelby GT500'S Supercharged 5.4-Liter DOHC V-8 Produces Over 450 HP

Watch for more on this special Ford car after the SEMA Show!

Just as the original Shelby GT500 was the "step up" to big-block powerfrom the GT350, the new Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 convertible steps up toFord's 5.4-liter "MOD" V-8. The result? The GT500 convertible is themost powerful factory convertible Mustang ever. Its supercharged5.4-liter, 32-valve V-8 evolves from SVT's experience with superchargingthe "MOD" engine to deliver more than 450 horsepower and 450 foot-poundsof torque.

Exclusive Cloth Top Improves Appearance and Performance

The Shelby GT500 convertible features a unique cloth convertible top,replacing the vinyl top of the Mustang GT convertible. The GT500 will beonly the second Mustang to feature a cloth top, first introduced on the2003 SVT Mustang Cobra.

The cloth is similar to that used for high-end, exotic sports cars,providing an elegant visual upgrade to the GT500 convertible. Inaddition, the thicker fabric is not only more durable than vinyl, butcreates a much tauter top resulting in a very quiet interior whiledriving with the top up.

For top-down driving, the Mustang's convertible "floating" five-bowpower top with z-fold construction tucks nicely into the boot, providinga more finished, tidy, top-down appearance.

The snake is back - Legendary looks with SVT function

The Shelby GT500 convertible combines the dramatic design genes of theall-new Mustang with Carroll Shelby's legendary performance image tocreate an SVT Mustang that broadens the power brand's design approachand appeal.

"The restrained, performance-oriented SVT design theme has becomeinstantly recognizable to enthusiasts," says Doug Gaffka, designdirector, Ford SVT. "The GT500 takes a huge leap forward by combiningthe modern Mustang muscle car with the classic Shelby performance lookto expand SVT's reach to a much bigger audience."

While the GT500 coupe's exterior is punctuated by the classic ShelbyLeMans-style stripes that race along the car from nose to tail, theconvertible will be more subtle with just the side stripes along therocker reading "GT500".

The Shelby design elements alone are enough to tell the GT500 story butare not the only visual cues that set this Mustang apart. The reworkedfront fascia features a functional air splitter and the unique hood hasheat-extraction ducts, combining to provide improved airflow andaerodynamics. Revised headlamp insets offer a more aggressive look andresult in symmetrical upper and lower grilles with large air openings,creating a visual connection to vintage Shelby Mustangs. The unique rearfascia features strakes inspired by the Ford GT's integrated rearairflow diffuser, and a rear spoiler reminiscent of a classic GT500. Tomark the collaboration of two Mustang performance icons, the GT500features Shelby and SVT badging. Continuing the snake logo tradition ofprevious SVT Mustang Cobras, and late-model Shelby Mustangs, the fenderseach feature an updated design of the Cobra. For the first time on anySVT Mustang, the front grille features an off-center snake in place ofthe standard running horse. "GT500" is emblazoned inside the side rockerstripes, and the name " SHELBY " is prominently featured across the reardeck. The SVT logo can be seen on the wheel center caps, a signature SVTlocation, as well as on the doorsill plates. To top if off, the "gascap" medallion between the taillights reads "Shelby GT500" centered onthe Cobra image.

EMPRINGHAM CLINCHES THE GRAND-AM CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP AND FORD TAKESHOME THE MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP

It was a banner day for Ford Racing on Saturday at VirginiaInternational Raceway as David Empringham clinched the 2005 Grand-Am CupSeries driver's championship with his third-place finish in the Grand-AmCup 200, and a Mustang victory secured the manufacturer's championshipfor Ford. The Blackforest Motorsports No. 5 Mustang FR500C co-driven byTom Nastasi and Ian James took the checkered flag for second time thisseason, adding to their season-opening victory at Daytona in February,while the No. 05 Multimatic Motorsports Mustang FR500C crossed the linein third place. In addition to the driver's championship, MultimaticMotorsports also clinched the team championship with the No. 05 Mustangthat was driven by David Empringham and Scott Maxwell.

In just its first year of competition, the Mustang FR500C was driven toa series-high five victories that included a win in its race debut atDaytona in February. The Ford Racing Mustang FR500C was developed byFord Racing Technology and is available through Ford Racing PerformanceParts as a complete "ready-to-race" package for the Grand-Am Cup Series.

Manufacturer Championship Tidbits

Ford won the Grand-Am Cup manufacturer's championship in its firstseason with the Mustang FR500C.

Ford accumulated 357 points this season with six drivers contributing.

Ford captured five wins this season, compared to BMW's five and Nissan'sone.

Ford drivers who have won races in 2005: Empringham (3), Jeannette (2),Maxwell (2), James (2), Nastasi (2), Gue (1).

Ford had only one finish outside the top three throughout the 10-raceseason.

Season Highlights

*Ford driver David Empringham won Ford's first Grand-Am Cup Seriesdriver's championship.

*Ford-backed Multimatic Motorsports won Ford's first Grand-Am Cup Seriesteam championship.

*Ford Mustang FR500C was driven to victory in its race debut at Daytonain February.

*Ford equaled the season-high win mark in the Grand-Am Cup Series withfive victories.

*Ford had six drivers win races in 2005, the most of any manufacturer inthe series.

Ford had three drivers place in the top five in the final pointstandings (Empringham, 1st; Maxwell, 2nd; James/Natasi, 5th)

Ford drivers who scored manufacturer points this season:

David Empringham: 164 points (five races)
Scott Maxwell: 129 points (four races)
Gunnar Jeannette: 128 points (four races)
Ian James: 100 points (three races)
Tom Nastasi: 100 points (three races)
James Gue: 93 points (three races)

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES: Grand-Am Cup 200

October 8, 2005 Virginia International Raceway

TOM NASTASI-5-Blackforest Motorsports Ford Mustang (Finished 1st)

HOW DIFFICULT WERE THE TRACK CONDITIONS TODAY WITH THE RAIN?

"I love driving in the rain, and I hoped it would rain the entire time. I drove the first stint and just kept the car on course, so that Iancould get in it and bring it home for us. He did that today and we justhad a powerful Mustang today. It's amazing that we were able to win thefirst race of the season and cap off the season with a victory heretoday."

IAN JAMES-5-Blackforest Motorsports Ford Mustang (Finished 1st)

"I'mreally happy. The Ford ran really strong today. Tom got at it and hadfun for a little while there and put me in the car in a good position.We really never had a challenge at all; it was fun."

DID THE NUMBER OF LATE CAUTION FLAGS HELP YOU WITH YOUR STRATEGY TODAY?

"It may have helped us in our fuel strategy, but at one point we had a20-second lead and we had to give that all up. It's tough when you haverestarts in these types of conditions and everybody gets bunched up, butwe had a strong Mustang today."

DID YOU THINK YOU HAD THE CAR TO BEAT WHEN YOU TOOK OVER DRIVING DUTIES?

"It's tough when you get in the car and you're near the back wheneverybody pitted before us, but I knew after two laps that we had astrong car and that we could challenge for the lead. It's just greatthat we were the ones that were able to deliver Ford the manufacturerchampionship."

YOU WON THE SEASON-OPENER AT DAYTONA AS WELL AS THE SERIES FINALE TODAY. COULD YOU THINK OF TWO BETTER RACES TO WIN?

"No, this is the greatest way to get our second win. We got Ford'sfirst win of the season and got their last to help clinch themanufacture's championship. It's nice to know that we were a criticalpart in winning any championship. This leads us into 2006 in a greatframe of mind."

SCOTT MAXWELL-05-Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang (Finished 2nd)

"We didn't have the car to win today, but it was a good car and it gotus not only the team championship, but David was able to clinch thedriver's championship. The Blackforest guys had the Mustang to beattoday, and our main objective was to win the driver, team andmanufacturer championships, which we did."

WAS THE RAIN THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TODAY?

"It was the hardest thing for everyone today. The conditions weredefinitely slick out there and you just needed to try to keep your line. It made it tough to pass out there, but we knew we had a car that wasgood enough to run up front as long and we didn't get off course."

DAVID EMPRINGHAM-05-Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang (Finished 3rd)

"We had a great year, and Scotty and I have certainly enjoyed racingtogether. We got the championship; I wish we could be co-champions butit's a little bit of a points problem there. Multimatic won the teamchampionship and Ford the manufacturer, and it couldn't be better."

WILL YOU BE BACK NEXT YEAR TO DEFEND YOUR TITLE?

"I certainly hope so."

PUT THIS CHAMPIONSHIP IN PERSPECTIVE WITH YOUR OTHER RACINGACCOMPLISHMENTS?

"To put it in perspective, I'm 41 years old and I'm still able to race,and won with one of my best friends. It's been quite a season and we'veovercome a lot, and to bring Ford and Multimactic the championship inthe first year with the new Mustang is quite an accomplishment."

DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A CAR TO WIN THE RACE TODAY?

"We didn't have the car to win, but we knew going into this what weneeded to do to win the championship and we were able to do that today. We drove a conservative race knowing that the No.96 withdrew before thestart of the race, but we still wanted to finish off the season on astrong note."

DAN DAVIS, Director, Ford Racing Technology

"We finished the season the same way we started it, with a Mustang invictory lane. From winning the first race of the season in Daytona,following it up with four more wins and capping off the season with theGrand-Am Cup driver, manufacturer and team championships is just anincredible accomplishment by everyone involved. It has always been saidthat Mustang was made for racing - and once again, it has proven true."

"This championship is a great tribute to all of the hard work developingthe car by our guys in Dearborn and the Multimatic team who worked withus every step of the way. When we started this program our goal was tobuild and sell identical Mustangs that people could win with and I thinkwe proved that this year by having six different drivers take thecheckered flag in a Mustang."

LARRY HOLT, Multimatic Technical Director/Vice President of Engineering

YOU MANAGED TO WIN THE DRIVER, TEAM AND MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIPSTODAY.

"This was a hell of a day. I just told Dave (Empringham) at the endthat the Pumpelly Porsche was coming at him. I said, 'You know what,that doesn't mean anything, just don't wreck this thing.' He did a greatjob, and Scotty, obviously, at the beginning of it did a great job. Wehad some problems early this morning in qualifying and these guys hadnothing to do with it, we messed, so this was a driver's day. It wasgreat. A customer won, so that was cool, too. That helped with thechampionship for Ford, so we got it all."

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR NEXT YEAR?

"I'm not sure yet, but I would imagine that either myself or a customeris going to be doing well in this series."

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES SPECIAL EDITION

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Ford Racing NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Dale Jarrett test drove the new2006 Ford Fusion for the first time today in the official on-trackNASCAR approval phase for the new car. The test took place Tuesday atAtlanta Motor Speedway in front of NASCAR officials.

Jarrett took to the AMS track at approximately 1:15 p.m. this afternoon,and completed a series of approval runs for NASCAR. The Wood BrothersRacing team prepped and ran the car for Jarrett, who drives for RobertYates Racing.

The new Fusion race car was scheduled to go to the Lockheed wind tunnellater in the day in Marietta, Ga., for its final NASCAR approval stage.

DALE JARRETT - Driver #88 UPS Ford

"I think things went really well. I was pleased with the way the newFord Fusion was as far as the balance entering and exiting the corner. It has a very nice look to it and performed well. We were able toachieve the speed that we were looking for, and hold on to the speed weneeded in a 10-lap run. I was very comfortable in the car."

WITH ONLY A FEW LAPS, WAS THERE ANY WAY TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEENTHE FUSION AND TAURUS?

"I think the biggest thing we fight with the Taurus is if we get enoughdownforce in the rear to make it to where we can drive at tracks likeAtlanta, getting into the corner, then usually we fight a problem of thefront end not sticking as good as we need. It wants to lift up. This carseems to have a better balance about it. That's what we were trying toachieve with the Fusion, and I think we've done that."

YOU DROVE THE PRODUCTION CAR RECENTLY IN MICHIGAN. WHAT ARE YOURTHOUGHTS?

"I think what we've done with the Fusion is that we built a car that'sgoing to be very nice on the race track, but it's going to be one thatthe public will go to a dealership and want to buy one. That's what wewant to achieve - something we can win with on Sunday and the publicwill buy on Monday."

EDDIE WOOD - Ford Racing/Wood Brothers team owner

HOW DO YOU FEEL THINGS WENT TODAY?

"From my standpoint, I just wanted to come down here and run what wewere supposed to run without anything happening to the race car. Thatwas our main goal. We brought an extra car (Taurus No. 21 car), just incase we needed an oil line or something like that. There is no partstruck to go to here, and nobody else to go borrow stuff from, so we camedown and approached this just like a normal race week. Fortunately,nothing was needed. Dale got in the car and ran the speed that NASCARneeded and now it's headed to the wind tunnel."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS OF BUILDING THE CAR?

"Bernie Marcus (Ford aero expert) and Ben Leslie (Ford NASCAR FieldManager) did all the development work on the nose and the tail, and didit with our 40-percent scale model, and adapted it to the race car. FordRacing did a really good job; they had a timetable to meet and weactually got the car in a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, so we arepretty happy with that. We did the last submission car Ford did, andwith the Fusion being the new model for next year, it's pretty special."

GREG SPECHT - Operations Manager, Ford Racing Technology

THOUGHTS ON THE TEST?

"The day couldn't have gone better in my opinion. We did the minimumamount of laps that were required to demonstrate the car's capability toNASCAR and it performed flawlessly. We even beat the rain, so I'm happywith the way things worked out."

WHAT HAS THE MOOD BEEN SINCE THE PUBLIC UNVEILING OF FUSION TWO WEEKSAGO?

"The unveiling went so well, and of course we still have to get the carapproved by NASCAR, so there was a little bit of concern about todaygoing well. But now the first part of the day is behind us, the carlooked good, and we got very good feedback from Dale. He felt it waswell-balanced. As I said, this part of it couldn't have gone any better."