Rolex 24: Ford Racing post-race quotes

Raj Nair: "The Ford and Roush Yates teams will be working flat out between now and Sebring to give our teams the best chance of winning."

Raj Nair - Group Vice President, Product Development Ford Motor Company: “It's always disappointing when you don't win, but all three of our cars were well-placed and led laps.

#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Riley DP Ford EcoBoost: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Justin Wilson
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Riley DP Ford EcoBoost: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Justin Wilson

Photo by: Trevor Horn

Obviously we didn't finish where we wanted, and in a 24-hour race, everything needs really go your way. We've been working hard on developing our production 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine for endurance racing, including multiple simulated 24 hour races on our dynos in Dearborn.

We were happy with our power at the Roar test, but believe the intake restrictor change instituted after the Roar affected our turbo V6 more than other naturally aspirated engines. We suspect the 01 car suffered an engine failure and we will be working on that issue, which may result in us using the stock crankshaft in the future.

The EcoBoost engines in the 02 and 60 performed well throughout the race so we were pleased with that performance. The Ford and Roush Yates teams will be working flat out between now and Sebring to give our teams the best chance of winning.”

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian

NOT THE RESULT YOU PROBABLY WANTED, BUT WAS HOW YOU GOT THERE A POSITIVE? “Listen, if you had looked at the Ford EcoBoost cars, two-third of the way through the race we were all on the lead lap, charging, swapping the lead. I thought we had something for them. The engine ran great the whole time. We had a first gear failure, was able to fix that but go four laps down. We felt we could get that back. But then the shrapnel in the system got in all the ports and drove the oil pressure down and we had to come back in to change the back half off. It was like a cancer. I'm so impressed with the folks in Dearborn. What they did in four weeks with this EcoBoost race motor is insane. If the general public knew what the Ford folks did in Detroit (this month), they'd probably buy Fords the rest of their life. It's that impressive.”

WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE? We have conference calls starting on Tuesday about Sebring. Not just about the engine but in aerodynamics and to get our whole program better. But look at our car. It doesn't have a scratch on it. I'm confident that with the times Justin was doing at the end, if we were where we usually are, we would have had a really competitive go at it. It's the way it goes. It's tough. Every year since 2011, we've finished on the lead lap with as many of three cars on the lead lap out of my own stable. So it's hard in that regard, but I'm super proud of everyone involved. I can't say that enough.

Ozz Negri - No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Ecoboost Riley

YOU HAD A CHANCE TO LEARN A LOT TODAY EVEN WITH THE TOUGH BREAKS WITH THE GEAR BOX. "It wasn't the finish that we were hoping for, or the one we deserved. I think we could have been fighting for a top-3-or-4, but we learned a lot about our EcoBoost engine. Hats off to all the Ford people, and the Roush Yates guys, all the people on my team, we worked so hard between the three-day test in January to this race. We were all worried about a lot of issues, and none of them visited us today. This is racing, and we are looking forward to the next one. We learned so much one cannot even imagine. Working on the drivability of the engine, traction control, set-up of the car with a new splitter. We learned a lot. I'm really looking forward to the next few races.”

Scott Pruett - No. 01 Telcel/Target/Comfort Revolution Ford Ecoboost Riley

TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE. “I can’t say enough about the Ford guys and how far we have come from the Roar. It seemed like from the start the 01 car was just plagued with problems. The pit stop, then me hitting the fence. It breaks my heart that I hit the fence and then this. But to see where we were, and where we are now, this is a great step moving forward with this program. This is huge. This is a whole new engine with technology that hasn’t been in the sport before. And for Ford to step forward like they did with the Roush Yates guys and the Ganassi guys… wow. We were here at the Roar and we left early because we had issues. So coming back here, everyone put this gallant effort ... change this, re-do this, change that. To run like we did, when you think about where we were at the Roar, it’s huge.

TALK ABOUT THE SPEED DIFFERENTIAL. “Going into this race, everyone knew there was a 4-5 mile per hour differential (to the Corvette). IMSA knew. They recognized it. They didn’t want to change it. We knew the differential from the start.”

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FIRST RACE IN WITH THE COMBINED SERIES? “I think for the most part it has all gone all pretty smooth. There are some issues for sure. I never started a race here at the Bus Stop. Typically, you take the green at the green flag. However, I think the quality of drivers has been pretty impressive. We saw most of the guys when you drive with them or past them, and I thought they were pretty heads up.”

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF ALL THE TRAFFIC? “It’s Daytona. I’ve been here when they started more. That’s just what it is here. You can complain about it, but it’s great to be here, and it’s great to have this many cars, and it’s great to have this fan following.”

Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IMSA
Drivers Justin Wilson , Scott Pruett , A.J. Allmendinger , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , John Pew , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing
Article type Race report
Tags daytona 24, michael shank racing, ozz negri, raj nair, scott pruett, tusc