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Race Version Of The Ford GT Will Debut At Le Mans

Race Version Of The Ford GT Will Debut At Le Mans

The highly anticipated race-spec version of the new Ford GT will make its global debut at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. That’s the word from Motorsport, which adds that the race car has already made its first outing on the track earlier this month. The GT was reportedly driven by Scott Maxwell at the Calabogie Motorsports Park in Ontario on May 16th and 20th.

There’s no word as to what development stage the car has reached, but it is believed that the same example will be on display at Circuit de la Sarthe next month, when Ford will also make an official announcement for its 2016 racing program. The same source revealed that the race-spec Ford GT will be powered by a Roush Yates EcoBoost, 3.5-litre V6 similar to that used in the Riley & Scott Daytona Prototype car. The mill will mate to a Ricardo gearbox.

The car is likely to make its racing debut at the Daytona 24 Hours in January 2016, but a Petit Le Mans appearance in early October is also possible.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Ken Block Announces His 2015 Schedule

Ken Block Announces His 2015 Schedule

Unsurprisingly, 2015 is shaping up to be quite the frenzied year for the hoonin’ and loonin’, turn-straight-for-what Ken Block. The celebrity Ford driver will be jetting across the globe for a variety of sideways shenanigans, including competition in stage rally, rallycross, and a few Gymkhana demos in the venerable Hoonicorn Mustang.

For Block, the main focus will be a full 12-round season of the Global Rallycross Championship. “I’m looking forward to competing in the full GRC season again and going after that title,” Block said in a press release. “I only missed it by 5 points last season, so I’m confident that I’m the best contender for the title this year and I’ve been working my butt off with my team in the offseason so that we can have the best possible chances of taking it. I’m also going to get to run my 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR a few times as well for fans around the globe. Overall it’s going to be a great season, I can’t wait for it to get started.”

You can catch Block this June in Austin, TX, as he makes a bid to add to his collection of medals at the summer X Games. Or, if pace notes are more your style, Block will be in New Zealand April 18th and May 9th, as well as in New England July 17th and Lake Superior October 16th.

The real question, though, is when we’ll see Gymkhana 8, which is currently classified "TBA." 

You can follow Block’s results through his Instagram and Twitter (@kblock43) or on Facebook (facebook.com/KenBlockRacing).

Continue reading to learn more about Ken Block’s schedule.

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Behind the Scenes at the 2015 NASCAR Budweiser Duel

Behind the Scenes at the 2015 NASCAR Budweiser Duel

NASCAR is one of those uniquely American things, much like baseball, Mount Rushmore, and Chuck Norris. Oh, and corn whiskey, also known as moonshine, white lightning, and mountain dew. That’s where the popular motorsport got its start at least; rum runners evading the lawman in souped-up cars barreling down back roads like the Duke Boys. It was all in an effort to make a living off selling illegally brewed alcohol without paying taxes on it.

Over the years the illicit practice of rum running morphed into what is now the National Association of Stock Car Racing, attracting fans the world over to its high speeds and memorable drivers.

Earlier this NASCAR season, I had the chance at a behind-the-scenes look into the cars, pit crews, and drivers – all off the track but still turning wrenches and dressed in Nomex. Except for Aric Almirola, driver of the 43 car, I actually drove him around the track in the back of a Toyota Tundra. But those details are down below.

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Chip Ganassi Racing Joins GRC

Chip Ganassi Racing Joins GRC

Fans of Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) still have a couple more months until the 2015 season kicks off, but there is already some surprisingly big news coming from this action-packed racing series. That news comes courtesy of Chip Ganassi Racing, which announced that it will be fielding two Ford Fiesta ST racecars in GRC’s flagship Supercars series.

Chip Ganassi Racing brings a new level of racing experience to GRC, as it already competes in three of the most prominent racing series in the U.S.: IndyCar, NASCAR and IMSA. In its brief but successful history, CGR teams have won at prestigious races such as the Daytona 500, 12 Hours of Sebring, Indianapolis 500 (four times) and the Rolex 24 at Daytona (six times). Both GRC race teams will be based out of the same shop in Concord, NC that houses Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR teams.

The Chip Ganassi Racing GRC teams will have solid drivers, with Canadian Steve Arpin running the full 12-race schedule and motocross star and X Games Champion Brian Deegan competing in seven events. Arpin has been a strong contender in GRC since his rookie season in 2013, and he will pilot the No. 00 racecar sponsored by ENEOS. Deegan will continue to drive his No. 38 car sponsored by RockStar energy drink (shown above). Arpin and Deegan shared the podium in last year’s season-opening race in Barbados.

The 2015 GRC season will commence on May 31 in Tampa, FL, and it will include two events in Detroit, LA and Barbados.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chip Ganassi Racing.

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Nick Offerman Welcomes Us to a New Season of NASCAR: Video

Nick Offerman Welcomes Us to a New Season of NASCAR: Video

The best commercial in this year’s Super Bowl won’t even take place during the game, but don’t worry, it will most certainly have cars. NBC Sports has released its advertisement ushering in the 2015 NASCAR season, and it does so with the unwavering Americanism of Nick Offerman – meat connoisseur, wood craftsman extraordinaire and Ron Swanson.

In “America, It’s Time For A Gut Check,” Offerman brings his usual comedy and machismo with one-liners like “Sure everybody at NASCAR gets a trophy/As long as they win the f***ing race” and “Where men and women compete together/Just like they did back in the 18-nevers.” AdWeek says that a 60-second version of the commercial will air immediately after the game, but you can see the full-length version right now. Trust me, it will be the best two minutes you’ll spend today, and you don’t have to be a NASCAR fan to get a kick out of it.

The true point of the ad, of course, is as a promotion for NBC Sports, which picks up coverage of the 2015 season starting on July 5.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

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2015 Ford Fiesta ST Olsbergs MSE

2015 Ford Fiesta ST Olsbergs MSE

“Dominant” is one word that springs to mind when considering the Ford Fiesta’s performance in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship (GRC). Going into the 2014 season, the supermini was responsible for three driver’s championships and three manufacturer’s championships, each claimed consecutively since the series’ launch in 2011. In 2013, the Fiesta won nine of the 10 scheduled races and claimed 22 of the 30 available podium spots. Last year, this American-bred hatchback added to its already impressive record with yet another driver’s championship, another manufacturer’s championship, three race wins, and 18 podiums.

Of the six different teams flying under a blue oval in the 2014 GRC season, Sweden’s Olsbergs MSE was undoubtedly the best. While other Fords contributed to the automaker’s overall series supremacy, it’s only Olsbergs MSE that can currently boast a four-peat championship drive, with Tanner Foust crowned winner in 2011 and 2012, followed by Toomas Heikkinen in 2013, and Joni Wiman in 2014.

The Fiesta has a long history of rally competition success, with different versions of the party-maker entered in series both nationally and internationally. But somehow, it’s the Olsbergs MSE Fiesta that comes out on top every time at GRC.

So, what is it that makes this Fiesta ST so successful? Part of it is the talent behind the wheel, which in 2014, included Patrik Sandell, Brian Deegan, Nelson Piquet Jr., and the new reigning champion, Joni Wiman. The other half of the equation is the team itself, which works closely with Ford to develop the Fiesta ST platform to its utmost potential. Olsbergs MSE is also responsible for a variety of GRC Supercar Lites, which extends its competition knowledge even further.

Like any good racing team, Olsbergs MSE is always in development, constantly building on past successes, solidifying its lead around a competitive field hungry for victory. Simply put, it’s a philosophy that translates into trophies.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Fiesta ST Olsbergs MSE.

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2017 Ford GT Could Race at Le Mans and This is What it Would Look Like

2017 Ford GT Could Race at Le Mans and This is What it Would Look Like

In a rather strange turn of events, the second-generation 2017 Ford GT unveiled itself to the world at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. I say "strange", because initial rumors talked about a GT racing that could spawn a road-legal supercar and not the other way around. That’s not to say Ford did things the wrong way, but it seems motorsport enthusiasts will have to wait a bit longer for the GT race car to make its first appearance. And given the GT supercar looks downright amazing, waiting for the spiritual successor of the Le Mans-winning GT40 is an agonizing mission.

Fortunately, our very own rendering artist is here to provide some comfort in the form of race-liveried machine based on the road-going Ford GT. While the GT appears to have the aerodynamics to storm race tracks the world over at high speeds, an endurance event such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans requires certain body modifications. It’s one thing to attend a weekend track event at Laguna Seca, and a completely different story to enter an endurance race on one of Europe’s most demanding road course. With that in mind, our artist gifted the GT with a much-needed, massive rear wing, as well as front fender canards. Naturally, both elements are made from carbon-fiber, as the GT needs to meet certain specifications before joining the FIA Endurance Championship. The supercar’s standard wheels have also been replaced by lightweight racing rims with center-mounted, three-spoke nuts similar in design to the GT40’s.

You will also notice a tow hook on the left side of the front grille, but the GT’s main feat is by far the Gulf livery. The orange-and-blue wrap, which also includes the wheels and the side mirrors, is complemented by "Gulf" logos and 50th Anniversary race numbers on the doors and the front bonnet. Now I know some of you motorsport freaks will argue that the first GT40 won the 1966 Le Mans in a much simpler, black-and-white livery, with the Gulf-liveried car doing the same only two years later, but let’s be honest here, the GT looks way better in light-blue and bright-orange stripes.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Ford GT.

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Ford Racing Reveals the "Art of Motorsport": Video

Ford Racing Reveals the "Art of Motorsport": Video

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beer-holder, or something. Per usual, we here at TopSpeed have a different take on what it means for something to be beautiful, and it would appear as though Ford has similar tastes. In fact, if we were to build a TopSpeed Museum of Modern Art, it would include a lot of same elements found in this video; there would be sky-scraping rally cars, dirt-chomping racing trucks, and the grey fog of drifters on full attack.

Ford has been on quite the roll lately when it comes to performance vehicles. The new sixth-generation Mustang was an enormous hit, taking home our coveted New Car of the Year award, while offering a variety of high-performance editions (like the GT350) to whet the appetites of the power-hungry. It was also recently announced that the Focus RS would come to the U.S. bearing an expected 330 horsepower, a six-speed manual transmission, and all-wheel drive. Throw in a consolidation of Ford’s tuning divisions, a new F-150 Raptor, and a possible successor to the Ford GT, and well, it looks like this video is as much premonition as it is demonstration.

The video is shot in epic slow-motion, and you can almost hear the rev limiters. It’s a jubilant display of modern motorsport, a celebration of just a handful of the modern vehicles racing under the blue oval badge. And at only a minute and 12 seconds, you’d be silly not to hit play.

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New Ford GT Successor Confirmed; Will Contest 24 Hours of Le Mans

New Ford GT Successor Confirmed; Will Contest 24 Hours of Le Mans

It has been teased, speculated and rumored, but Autoweek has come out and is claiming that a new supercar from the Blue Oval is confirmed. There will be a successor to the Ford GT, it will debut in a few weeks at Detroit, and it will be used to tackle a whole series of endurance races including the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With Ford’s 50th anniversary of its first overall win at Le Mans with the Ford GT40 happening in 2016, it only makes sense.

Now Autoweek isn’t saying much, but it is claiming that a reliable inside source has confirmed that there will be a new GT street car and racer. While there is very little info given on the street car — the source couldn’t even confirm if it would be called the GT or not — there is a whole pile of juicy info about the upcoming racing program.

Let’s start with the big stuff. There will be two factory-backed cars competing starting in 2016, and they will be campaigned by Chip Ganassi Racing of NASCAR, Tudor Series and IndyCar fame. Ford’s long-time racing partner Multimatic Motorsports in the great white North of Canada will build the race version. According to the report, the cars will be piloted by an all-star team of veteran racing drivers that includes Scott Pruett and Joey Hand.

Despite all of the evidence for the racing car, the Autoweek’s source goes on to say that when the road car is revealed by Ford in a few weeks that there will likely be no confirmation or announcement of the racing program.

When it comes to the road car, Autoweek says, the new design will be dynamic and interesting, but it won’t really be retro in the same way the last Ford GT was. It also gave no information on engine options, but we already speculated that the new GT would likely use a turned-up version of Ford’s new flat-crank V-8 found in the 2016 Shelby GT350.

One thing is for certain, with Ford’s Detroit Press Conference scheduled for Monday, January 12, we don’t have long to wait to see if this is all correct. It seems that TopSpeed’s 2014 Performance Car of the Year may soon have some competition.

Continue reading to find out more about the new Ford GT successor.

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2015 Ford Mustang Ford Championship Weekend Pace Car

2015 Ford Mustang Ford Championship Weekend Pace Car

The sixth-generation 2015 Mustang came just in time for the pony’s 50th anniversary, and Ford celebrated the milestone by releasing a 50-Year Limited Edition pony equipped with a host of unique features. As 1964 also marked the Mustang’s debut as a pace car for the iconic Indy 500, the Blue Oval is now paying tribute to the Wimbledon White pony that led the pack 50 years ago with a special pace car. Based on the 50-Year model, which is limited at only 1,964 units, the Wimbledon White pace car makes its debut at the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races during the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, between November 14th and 16th.

Specifically, the 50-Year Mustang pace car will lead the field to the green flag for the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on November 16th, 2014 and the Ford EcoBoost 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on November 15th, 2014. The V-8-powered muscle car will be driven by Mark Fields, president and chief executive officer of Ford, and John Felice, vice president of U.S. marketing sales and service, respectively.

The Wimbledon White ’Stang will be joined by the Race Red Mustang GT that paced the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on June 15th as the splitter pace car for the two races.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Mustang Pace Car For Ford Championship Weekend.

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1970 Brabham-Cosworth Ford BT33

1970 Brabham-Cosworth Ford BT33

While Ferrari needs no introduction, Brabham is a name some of you might not remember so well. Founded by Jack Brabham, who died earlier this year aged 88, and Ron Tauranac, Brabham spend three decades in Formula One, in which it won four drivers’ championships and two constructors’ titles. Its first successful campaigns, and the only ones to bring both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship, came in 1966 and 1967. Although it won two more drivers’ titles, Brabham failed to win the constructors’ championship for the third time. However, the Brits came close on many occasions. 1970 was an important year for Brabham. Although it only managed fourth position at the end of the season, the team lost its number one driver, Jack Brabham. The man that drove the race cars built by his own hands retired from racing following the Mexican Grand Prix. The 1970 Brabham-Cosworth Ford BT33 was the last F1 car he had driven during an official event, making it that much more important to the company, second to only the Repco-powered single-seaters that brought the 1966 and 1967 championships.

In this car, Brabham won one race and scored three more podiums, while teammate Rolf Stommelen added a further third-place finish. Brabham, one of eight teams to use Ford’s DFV engine that year, ended the season behind Lotus, Ferrari and March, but ahead of McLaren, BRM and Matra. What made the BT33 such a competitive racer? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1970 Brabham-Cosworth Ford BT33.

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2015 Formula Ford EcoBoost

2015 Formula Ford EcoBoost

The Formula Ford EcoBoost has taken different shapes since making its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Back then, it was a quirky, single-seat race car that resembled a high-tech go-kart more than nothing else. But now, it looks like an actual Formula One race car that even has its own rear wing.

That’s a credit to Ford, which spent the last few years improving every nook and cranny of the little race car. All that work has culminated in the car’s planned adoption to FIA Formula 4 regulations and guidelines in Britain beginning in 2015.

This paves the way for the Formula Ford EcoBoost to compete in a new racing series that will be created as a stepping stone for young race car drivers on their way to the pinnacle of auto racing, Formula One.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Formula Ford EcoBoost.

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