FF: Ford Racing/USAC create new midget series

Dearborn, Mich., Nov. 21, 2001 -- Ford Racing and the United States Auto Club (USAC) today announced the formation of the Ford Focus Midget Car Series presented by the Southern California Ford Dealers. This new series will begin competition in ...

Dearborn, Mich., Nov. 21, 2001 -- Ford Racing and the United States Auto Club (USAC) today announced the formation of the Ford Focus Midget Car Series presented by the Southern California Ford Dealers. This new series will begin competition in spring of 2002 and contest a tentative 20-race schedule at as many as six tracks in Southern California.

A cooperative effort between Ford Racing Technology, S.C.R.E.A.M (Small Car Racing Engines and More) of Torrance, Calif., and USAC, the Ford Focus Midget Car Series is designed to address the growing need for affordable, reliable, entry-level racing opportunities. Midget racing has long been recognized as a preferred venue for young aspiring drivers, and the Ford Focus Midget Car Series is designed to give young racers a cost-effective avenue to pursue racing.

"We hope the Ford Focus Midget Car Series becomes one of the first steps for young, aspiring drivers looking to go racing," said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology.

The Ford Focus Midget Cars will be based on the current Midget car chassis but will be powered by an internally stock, 2.0-liter Ford Zetec engine currently found in the Ford Focus -- the No. 1 selling car in the world. A reliable and affordable foundation for the series, this engine was developed by Ford Racing Technology and S.C.R.E.A.M. and generates 175 horsepower at 7,000 rpm. But more importantly, it's designed to last an entire season with no significant maintenance.

"Building this program around the production 2.0-liter Ford Focus Zetec engine made complete sense," said Davis. "The engine is such a capable powerplant that the performance was there from the beginning. We didn't need to change anything internally within the engine to get the performance we were after."

Ford Racing Technology and S.C.R.E.A.M. have developed an engine that's affordable, reliable and basically maintenance-free when compared to other forms of entry-level racing series.

Adding to the value to this program, the Southern California Ford Dealers will contribute to the Ford Focus Midget Car Series purse, making it one of the most attractive purse structures of any entry-level race series in the country.

"The Southern California Ford Dealers are very excited to be part of this new series," said Sam Scott, Ford Division Racing Marketing manager. "We know our customers are interested in racing at all levels and this new series gives the Southern California Ford Dealers a way to become involved on a regional level. The dealers see the value and benefits of associating Focus with racing and they think their customers will too."

"The long-term plan for this program is to grow it beyond Southern California," said Davis. "Ideally, we'd like to have a number of regional series eventually competing under a national umbrella program that could even lead to a national championship."

The Ford Focus Midget Car will make its public debut at the annual Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, Calif. on Thursday, November 22, 2001.

-FRT-

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Series Automotive , USAC