Pete Epple Technical Editor
May 11, 2010
Photos By: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company, Stacy Reynolds

For many, Speed Weeks at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, serves as the start of each year's race season. For the Grand Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) series (formerly the Koni Challenge), the start of the 2010 race season ushered in a new title sponsor, as well as new vehicles. Among these was the hot 2011 Boss 302R1 Mustang.

In December of 2010, Ford unveiled the 2011 Mustang GT, which is powered by the new 5.0L engine. Following the very successful FR500C, Ford Racing now offers the new Boss 302R Mustang, which is a factory-built racecar powered by the 5.0L, and ready for track days and road racing in a number of Grand-Am, SCCA, and NASA classes.

Each Mustang Boss 302R is serialized and ready to run. The base-model Boss 302R comes with a Four-Valve 5.0L powerplant, six-speed manual transmission, rollcage, race seats, safety harness, data acquisition system, and race dampers and springs, along with a Brembo brake package. The Boss 302R1 is the spec racer for the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, and competes in the Grand Sport class. The CTSCC-ready Boss 302R1 Mustang features a "sealed" high-output race engine with an upgraded cooling system, close-ratio six-speed transmission, seam-welded body, and a race suspension that features Koni dampers, ABS brake tuning, race-designed performance exhaust, and a one-piece driveshaft to minimize vibrations.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Parnelli Jones' 1970 championship Trans-Am season, Ford Racing dressed two of the new Boss 302R1s in the vintage Bud Moore Engineering colors from the '70 season.

"The 2011 Boss 302R is an amazing machine," states Parnelli Jones, who was on hand for the race. "It's amazing to see the technology in the racecars of today, and I'm proud to still be affiliated with Ford Racing after all these years."

Multimatic Motorsports fielded both cars, which sported Nos. 15 and 16. The No. 15 Boss 302R1 was layered in the historic yellow and black hues from Jones' championship car, and was piloted by Joe Foster of Atlanta, Georgia, and Scott Maxwell of Toronto, Canada. The No. 16 Boss 302R1 showed up in red, black, and white trim-a throwback to George Follmer's Boss 302 from 1970. Gunnar Jeanette of Sandy, Utah, and Frankie Montecalvo of Highlands, New Jersey, handled the driving duties of the number 16 Boss.

The CTSCC series is made up of two classes-Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST), and a total of 77 cars started the race in both classes. The front of the field was saturated with Fords, as Mustangs took 6 of the top 10 starting positions, with the No. 15 Multimatic Boss 302R1 qualifying second. The 16 car was not far behind, clicking off the 11th fastest time in qualifying. Other Mustang-racing standouts also took to the Daytona road course, including 2009 Mustang Challenge series champion Andrew Caddell and Jack Roush Jr., who were both in the top 10.

Once the green flag waved, the Mustangs hung around the front for much of the race. As the 2.5-hour race went on, the field spread out over the 3.56-mile circuit. Unfortunately, it was not to be for Multimatic Motorsports, as both Boss 302R1s faced mechanical issues. When all was said and done, Jeanette and Montecalvo took 49th place with the No. 16 Boss 302R1, while Maxwell and Foster ended up taking 56th place with the No. 15 Boss 302R1.

"We were running a solid third and fourth for a while," explains Jeanette. "We had electrical issues, which unfortunately manifested into larger problems, and we ended up not finishing the race. The car has a huge amount of potential. I have all the confidence that we are going to fix it, and hopefully we get back on top soon."

"It was a brand-new car, and we haven't run more than short stints prior to this race," adds Scott Maxwell. "We had a bit of an engine problem early on, but we could keep up with guys running in the top five. We eventually lost the power steering unit about halfway through the race. We went behind the wall and changed it, but by the end of the race it was going again. It wasn't a great day-new-car blues."

When the checkered flag waved, signifying the end of the race, the No. 37 Boss 302R1 of JBS Motorsports, driven by James Gue and Bret Seafuse, was the highest finishing Mustang, coming in Fourth Place.

With 3 Mustangs in the top 10 and 6 Mustangs in the top 20, it was great showing for Ford Racing. Once the bugs are worked out of the budding Boss 302R1 program, it will be a force to be reckoned with.

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