Mustang FR500C Multimatic looking to race ahead in championship battle Multimatic Motorsports will be out to defend its hard fought lead in the driver's, team's and manufacturer's Grand Am Cup Championship when the series visits Mazda Raceway ...
Mustang FR500C Multimatic looking to race ahead in championship battle
Multimatic Motorsports will be out to defend its hard fought lead in the driver's, team's and manufacturer's Grand Am Cup Championship when the series visits Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the first time this week.
The new factory backed Ford Mustang FR500C racecars have been in strong form in the three races to date - finishing on the podium in every round of the championship staged in 2005.
Gunnar Jeannette and James Gue took the team's first victory at the last round of the series at California Speedway while former Grand-Am Cup Champions, Canadians Scott Maxwell and David Empringham are now aiming to record their first win of the year after finishing second in the opening round at Daytona.
The Laguna Seca round will be the final race before the Mustang FR500C receives its second performance reducing penalty from Grand-Am officials. The car will be required to run a different final drive ratio from the following round at Watkins Glen on June 10.
"We will be going all out for our second victory of the year in California before we have to run a different final drive ratio at the Glen," Multimatic Vice President and Technical Director, Larry Holt said.
"I really believe we are a victim of our own success. I think the BMW is the fastest car out there, but we have just done a very good job in the races. Our drivers have excelled and our strategy has worked perfectly.
"We need to make sure we have an even bigger lead when we leave Laguna Seca. It is going to be tough but we will keep doing the best we can, no matter what they throw at us."
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.
"I am really looking forward to racing the Mustang at Laguna Seca because it really is one of my favorite tracks.
"The BMWs will be very strong here, but I am confident we will be able to be a threat for pole position and challenge for a win.
"The Mustang horsepower should prove very handy on the run up the hill to the corkscrew.
"This is a race where you are really going to have to use your head. The track has a lot of left-right-left-right sections where there could be a sport touring class car in the middle of the road.
"Those cars can be just as quick in the corners, but we have an advantage down the straight. You are going to have to be careful and patient in working through the traffic."
"Getting the win at Fontana was fantastic for James and myself and we will certainly be keen to repeat that performance here.
"Laguna is a circuit which requires good power and it is a lot more flowing than what we saw in Santo Domingo so I think we should be in pretty good shape.
"I really like the left-hander heading up the hill to the corkscrew - I think our car is going to be really strong through that part of the track.
"Tire wear is going to be important here because the track is very smooth and doesn't have a lot of grip. You can also end up with a lot of fine dirt dragged back onto the circuit when people run wide."
"Scotty and I have had a couple of tough weekends but we are very keen to bounce back this week.
"Laguna is a fantastic challenge and a real drivers circuit. The elevation changes make it a fantastic track to drive.
"We will be out to grab another big slice of points before the diff ratio change kicks in for Watkins Glen.
"We are still developing the Mustang FR500C but the key thing in our favor is the fact the car is very solid - we can run flat out for three hours without any problems.
"That is a great credit to the team and the hours of preparation they put in to make sure we have a reliable race car."
"I have done quite a few races at Laguna Seca, going back to the old Skip Barber days and I am really looking forward to racing the Mustang there.
"It is a very unique track and there really is nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
"The Mustang should be very strong from turn one, all the way up to the top of the corkscrew - our horsepower up the hill will be a big advantage.
"But traffic is what is going to make a big impact here. I have only ever raced here with about 30 cars before, but with double that number you are going to be very busy.
"That is going to be very interesting and could play a key role in the outcome of this event."