Before its official debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, Ford Motor Co. announced Tuesday that its new 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost racing engine will hit the track on Oct. 9 as Michael Shank Racing — with Colin Braun behind the wheel — attempts to set a new speed record at the Daytona International Speedway.
In a joint effort between the racing team, Ford Racing, and Continental Tire, the team will attempt to break a record set in 1987 by NASCAR’s Bill Elliott when he hit 210.4 mph in his Ford Thunderbird in qualifying for the Daytona 500.
To prepare for the record run and upcoming season, the EcoBoost engine — which includes direct injection, turbocharging technology, and high efficiency — has recently undergone endurance testing at Ford’s Dynamometer Lab in Dearborn, specifically at the specialized 17G cell.
Of the several dyno cells at Ford’s engineering campus in Dearborn, the 17G is the only cell dedicated purely to racing. The cell is designed to run engines as they would operate in a race, via computer models of the racetracks themselves. It can also simulate different temperatures and humidity levels the engines may run under while racing.
“We can do full vehicle simulation in racing conditions, in a way some of our other cells aren’t capable of doing.” David Simon, Ford Racing engine engineer, said in a statement. “It’s very, very specific to high-performance racing engine programs.”
Race fans can follow the progression of the record run attempt on Ford Racing’s Twitter channel (@FordRacing) and Facebook page throughout the day on Oct. 9.