Mustang FR500C on the pace in Grand-Am Cup in California The Ford Racing Technology Mustang FR500C dominated final practice today in preparation for this weekend's Grand-Am Cup California 200 at Fontana. After setting the 4th ( ...
Mustang FR500C on the pace in Grand-Am Cup in California
The Ford Racing Technology Mustang FR500C dominated final practice today in preparation for this weekend's Grand-Am Cup California 200 at Fontana.
After setting the 4th (#05 Gunnar Jeannette/James Gue) and 6th (#55 Scott Maxwell/David Empringham) fastest times in the morning practice, the Multimatic Motorsports entries improved even further in the afternoon to set the pace with 1st and 3rd fastest times.
Scott Maxwell set the fastest time of the day at 1 minute, 48.515 seconds on new Hoosier rubber when he swapped to the #05 Jeannette/Gue Mustang early in the final practice session.
The #55 car with David Empringham behind the wheel was third fastest at 1:49.477 while the Blackforest Motorsports customer entry made it a Mustang 1-2-3 by setting the 2nd fastest time at 1:49.400.
The quick times turned today came after yesterday's practice day was cancelled because of 60mph winds which hit the California Speedway track.
"We made a lot of progress at the rear of the car with spring and damper changes between the sessions," Multimatic Vice-President and Technical Director, Larry Holt said.
"The Mustang is very strong on the oval, but we knew the secret to success would be to improve the car on the infield section of the track.
"We were hoping to get a lot of track time in yesterday, but considering we couldn't turn a lap until today, I am very happy with the progress - the four drivers and the Multimatic Motorsports crew did an excellent job."
Ford Racing Technology embarked on this program to return the Mustang to the race track, and unveiled the new Mustang FR500C racer at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer's Association Show in Las Vegas in November last year. Ford Racing worked closely with Multimatic on the design, development, and build of the race car to Grand-Am specification.
Ford Racing Performance Parts will offer the Mustang FR500C in Grand-Am Cup specification, as well as all the racing components necessary for race team support and for those enthusiasts interested in enhancing their own Mustangs.
In conjunction with the debut season of the new Mustang FR500C, Multimatic Motorsports has launched a new web site to commemorate the return to the track by the Ford muscle-car. The site is located at www.multimaticmotorsports.com/mustang/ and features driver profiles, race news, photo galleries and Multimatic Motorsports and Mustang history.
-mm- SCOTT MAXWELL
"Everybody is working on a really compressed timeline because of the practice day being cancelled yesterday and we only had two 40 minute sessions today.
"We made some really fast and furious changes between the sessions and based on the results of the afternoon practice, it certainly seems to have worked.
"Hopefully we will be able to continue that form tomorrow in qualifying and the race. This afternoon was certainly an improvement from this morning when we were struggling a little.
"We were happy with the power and brakes but we really improved the handling, plus the balance and grip were much better in the afternoon."
"We improved the car throughout the day despite the little amount of track time we had.
"It is the first race here for both James and myself so the cancellation of yesterday's practice day really hurt us a quite a bit.
"Everytime we are out on track there is somebody dropping oil or spinning off in front of us.
"I don't feel we are super prepared going into the race, but I am sure we will get the hang of it by the end.
"The car is certainly fast and our aim tomorrow will be to keep out of trouble, dodge the traffic and come away with a big handful of points."
"There will be a lot of cars out there tomorrow and keeping out of trouble will be a really important factor.
"You have to keep your eyes a long way down the road because this afternoon there were guys spinning, cones were being knocked over and there were even body panels on the track as well.
"Scotty's and my experience will be beneficial with that. It wil now be just a matter of getting the set-up of our car where we want it. We made a lot of progress today so I am fairly optimistic.
"I was fairly discouraged after the first session, but very encouraged after the second - we really made some big steps forward"
"Everytime we went out we went forward with the car. We didn't get a lot of track time but that is really the same for everybody.
"There are more than 70 entries for this weekend and traffic could be a huge problem, especially on the infield sections of the track where it is very tight.
"Tire management will not be as critical this weekend, but we will have to be very clever in traffic to ensure we don't get caught out and damage the car or get held up.
"We have been up the front in the both the practice sessions so I think we are in good shape for tomorrow's qualifying."