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Mustang race teams stage protest against SCCA World Challenge rules at Mid-Ohio

By Drew Phillips - August 5, 2012 – 4:02 pm7 Comments | 1,523 views

Tiger Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302S

Today in SCCA World Challenge GTS competition, the Ford Mustang Boss 302 contingency staged a protest against the series by parking their cars in pit lane after the initial formation lap. The reason for the protest was actually two-fold. The primary reason for the protest was driven by high engine temperatures caused by the very small restrictor the Boss 302 GTS Mustang is required to run to reduce the horsepower of the Mustang. This causes unusually high engine temperatures and all Mustangs were experiencing high engine coolant and oil temperatures. Two Mustangs failed to finish due to engine related issues. Some engine oil temperatures were in excess of 310°F which is quite a bit higher than normal. Engine coolant temperatures ranged from 240°F to 280°F. This is significantly higher than normal operating temperatures and puts the engine’s computer into protect mode. This demonstrates that the restrictor has a compounding effect on the Mustang’s ability to make horsepower and be competitive. The competitors collectively chose not to race their cars rather than risk further damage to the engines in their cars.

The secondary purpose of the protest was to bring attention to the current rules package for the Boss Mustang. The series has a very difficult task in trying to create parity between vastly different vehicle makes that achieve lap times in vastly different ways. Some have a power advantage, some have a stopping advantage, some have handling advantages, etc. The Mustang owners and drivers collectively and unanimously feel that the SCCA’s method of creating parity is not working and leaves the Mustang with a significant handicap in many areas, and an advantage in NO area. The Boss Mustang teams held meetings with series officials throughout the Mid-Ohio event in an attempt to regain some level of competitiveness, but those discussions proved fruitless. The teams collectively felt that their voices were not being heard and staged a protest to bring more attention to this matter.

The top finishing Mustang in Saturday’s race was 10th place. The fastest lap time of the fastest Mustang was some 1.4 seconds slower than the front running cars. All of the top six cars were greater than one-second clear of all Mustangs. The three fastest Mustangs were within 0.1 seconds of each other. This demonstrates that there is a clear disparity between the Mustang and all other makes.

The teams agree the use of inlet restrictors are the direct cause of the extensive engine overheating issues leading to eventual failures. In consideration of the high replacement costs of a new Boss 302 engine and the replacement of failed components due to the high heat stresses being applied to these engines, and the resultant safety issues stemming from exhaust fumes entering the car, it is agreed SCCA must stop its parity by restricting the Fords.

The Mustang teams feel that SCCA Pro World-Challenge has lost sight of what has brought so many people to love World-Challenge Racing – the professional sport at a reasonable cost in GTS competition. The Ford Mustang Boss 302S should be the standard, not the exception. Ford Racing has engineered a very affordable and race-ready product anyone can buy out of the Ford Racing parts catalog and has continually developed its platform each year with feedback from its racers to have the best performance package for the dollar spent. The GTS Category should be a “Pony Car War” class with vehicles in competition which can be purchased at any dealership and raced for a reasonable cost. Rule mandates for competition should be done with proper consideration given to costs, calibrations and ease of implementation.

The teams challenge SCCA Pro World Challenge to commit to the immediate implementation of new rules and standards. They are offering their collective support to work with Tech to find a suitable and affordable means to make a competitive racing event which is safe for all who participate.

Failures of note are:

  • Tiger Racing: Two engine failures due to catastrophic engine over-temps
  • JVK Motorsports: Elevated ECT
  • Rehagen Racing: Exhaust Manifold blowout, cracking and extreme driver compartment heat
  • GSP Racing: Extreme Driver compartment heat enough to melt the rubber soles of driver’s shoes
  • Autosports Development: Elevated ECT
  • R & C Motorsports: Exhaust manifold failures

You can watch Justin Bell, driver of the #50 Tiger Racing Mustang Boss 302S, talk about the protest in the video below.




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7 Comments »

  • skean66 says:

    No child race team left behind…(sigh)

  • Doug Larsen says:

    Way to go SCCA alienating the racers, who spend their money to race….

  • Harry says:

    The SCCA is a pro-GM,BIASED,PREJUDICED,and CHICKEN SH_T group of AS__Holes! There’s only a FAIR and LEVEL PLAYING FIELD for their Kiss-As_ GM Money Grubbers! They purposely have Handicapped the FORD MUSTANG Teams Because the whole SCCA Clique is so GM loyal and prejudiced against the Ford Teams-just like Nascar. The GrandAm Series (Also Nascar/GM Contolled) has the same Biased Rules Favoring the GM cars and handicapping the rest of the competitors. Unfortunately there are few Racing Series who have a TRUE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD and EQUALITY in RULES—-BECAUSE it’s ALL about BIG MONEY,the SPONSORS,and Rule’s POLITICS that created UNFAIR RULES to benefit the Racing Series’ FAVORITES!! BOYCOTT SCCA–their Biased Rules are worst than Nascar and WWF!!

  • TheInsurgent says:

    What a shame. Lots of great excitement watching the pony cars go head to head in this series. Not much of a competition if the car is rendered inert. I don’t blame the drivers for pulling over … ridiculous to think that the teams are going to run their cars with those dangerous conditions. SCCA regulators need to get back to the drawing board on this.

  • Vista6019 says:

    Another example of the sanctioning body (SCCA) over-regulating a series that whose original intent was to bring honest, fair and exciting racing venues featuring competitive cars that people could afford. Lets hope that they do not let their ego’s ruin what has been a great series to watch. I support the drivers who protest. Hopefully they will garner some attention.

  • Bill Peterson says:

    FYI … (I would like to see Mustangs be more competitive next year, so I thought I’d put in my two cents … maybe IF more people express their opinions NASCAR/Grand AM will address the situation – feel free to express your opinion on what rule changes can make Mustangs more competitive … IF you don’t have Richard Buck’s or Gabriel Cadringher’s email addresses they are simply their first initial and last name @nascar.com)

    Bill

    From: Bennett, Ed [mailto:ebennett@nascar.com]
    Sent: Monday, October 01, 2012 3:35 PM
    To: Bill
    Cc: Smallwood, Jeff; Cadringher, Gabriel; Buck, Richard
    Subject: Re: Grand Am GS Class Mustangs

    Bill,

    Thank you for the input and I copied our competition / technical leadership team for 2013 consideration. We released the 2013 schedule on Friday and the below should be accurate:

    2013 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Schedule
    Jan. 25 Daytona International Speedway
    March 2 Circuit of the Americas (Austin, TX)
    April 6 Barber Motorsports Park
    April 20 Road Atlanta
    June 15 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
    June 29 Watkins Glen International
    July 26 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
    Aug. 10 Road America
    Aug. 17 Kansas Speedway
    Sept. 8 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
    Sept. 27 & 28 Lime Rock Park

    Best regards,
    Ed

    Sent from my iPad

    On Oct 1, 2012, at 2:15 PM, “Bill” wrote:

    Suggestion:

    Reduce the restrictor size for the Ford Mustangs to again allow them to be competitive … it should bring more fans to the race tracks to see American cars competitive … more Mustangs are owned by American households than the cars presently winning, or running up front, in the GS class.

    Question:

    What will the date be for a 2013 Grand Am race at Kansas?

    Thanks, looking forward to your reply,

    Bill Peterson
    23_32_bp@comcast.net

  • Larry says:

    The worst thing to have in the world of Racing is to have a Ford Win!

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