Ford Mustang FR500S Dominates in its Competition Debut
The new Ford Mustang FR500S had a very successful competition debut this past weekend, March 14-16, as nine cars entered the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) Pot O’ Gold event at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Despite tornados in the area, golf-ball-sized hail and persistent blustery rain and wind throughout Friday and Saturday, the new Mustangs, which were built for the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup, made a very positive impression on the large field of racers assembled for the weekend. There were nine FR500Ss entered, which prompted NASA to create a regional Mustang Challenge class to accommodate them.
Jamie Slone, driving the Slone Racing No. 6 Go Pro Ford Mustang FR500S, had the best weekend of all, scoring a hat trick with first overall in the second round of the NASA National Endurance Series on Friday and first in class in 25-minute sprint races on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, Slone teamed up with KONI Challenge Series driver Billy “Big Time” Johnson to win the rain-shortened three-hour enduro, besting a field of 25 cars to claim the distinction of taking the first-ever race win for a Ford Mustang FR500S. Finishing second overall was Slone’s teammate, Mike Harvison , co-driving his No. 111 US Test Management FR500S with Formula D drifting star Tyler McQuarrie.
In Saturday’s rain-shortened and aptly-named Thunder sprint race, Slone placed fourth overall and first in class. Harvison was second in class and sixth overall, one position ahead of Ford SVT development engineer Gene Martindale, who finished third in class and seventh overall test-driving the No. 554 Mustang FR500S for Jim Click Racing. Jeff Humberson was fourth in class and 14th overall in his No. 43 StableOne Racing Mustang FR500S, followed by his teammate, rookie Andrew Hendricks, who was fifth in class and 15th overall in the No. 05 StableOne Racing Mustang FR500S. Since the race was held in wet conditions, drivers chose to use the series-spec BFGoodrich KDW rain tires.
On Sunday, the storms had ended and racers were greeted with blue skies and dry track, which prompted a switch back to the series-spec dry tires, the BFGoodrich g-Force R1s. Slone again took the class win with a fifth-place overall finish. KONI Challenge Series regular Dean Martin took over the testing duties for the Jim Click Racing No. 554 and finished second in class and ninth overall. Harvison was third in class and 12th overall, just ahead of Hendricks, who was fourth in class and 13th overall in the No. 05 StableOne Racing Mustang FR500S. George Winkler , driving his No. 541 Mustang FR500S, was fifth in class and 15th overall.
“The weekend really couldn’t have gone any better,” Slone said. “Pulling off the hat trick was a first for me. It was particularly gratifying considering that almost half of the Mustang Challenge field was here, and some of the drivers I was competing against are very experienced professionals.”
“The Mustang FR500S is very well balanced, and was a blast to drive in both wet and dry conditions. The BFGoodrich tires also performed brilliantly, giving me the confidence to drive to the limit on both the KDWs and the R1s. I’d like to thank Rehagen Racing for their engineering support this weekend; they truly are Mustang experts! I’m really looking forward to the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup this year!”
The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup is a professional road racing series, sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association, that utilizes the new Ford Mustang FR500S racing on BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires. The inaugural season will kick off at Road Atlanta on May 3, 2008 for the first of eight races.
For more information on the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup, visit the series’ website at www.MillerCup.com. For more information on Miller Motorsports Park, visit www.MillerMotorsportsPark.com. For more information on Ford Racing, visit their website at www.FordRacing.com. For more information on BFGoodrich Tires, visit their website at www.BFGoodrichTires.com.
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