CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio Ford Cosworth Story

Ford and Cosworth Take 300th Win at Mid-Ohio Lexington, Ohio, Aug. 9 -- Adrian Fernandez' victory today in Mid-Ohio was the 300th champ car victory in the combined win totals of Ford Motor Company and Cosworth Racing Inc. While Ford...

Ford and Cosworth Take 300th Win at Mid-Ohio

Lexington, Ohio, Aug. 9 -- Adrian Fernandez' victory today in Mid-Ohio was the 300th champ car victory in the combined win totals of Ford Motor Company and Cosworth Racing Inc. While Ford Motor Company's first points-producing win came with a Lincoln engine in September 1955, the second for the company and first for the Ford nameplate came in 1963 as Jim Clark took the checkered flag in at Milwaukee with a 256 pushrod engine. In amassing 300 wins, both Ford and Cosworth have enjoyed eras of individual dominance dating back to the 1960's when the Ford 256 DOHC engine was championed by the likes of Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Dan Gurney. The Cosworth DFX engine also dominated champ cars from CART's inception in 1979 through 1987 with 125 wins in that span alone. A racing partnership that began in 1959 led to a combined and dedicated champ car effort in 1992 with the introduction of the Ford-Cosworth XB engine. The XB engine and its successor, the current Ford-Cosworth XD engine, have tallied 40 wins since that time. Earlier this month, Ford has agreed in principle to buy the Cosworth Racing engine division of Cosworth Engineering from Audi AG. Cosworth Racing has worked together very closely with Ford for more than 30 years. The sale allows Audi to concentrate fully on the engineering, development, casting and manufacturing capabilities of Cosworth.

Ford Cosworth XD is Making a Name for Itself After Dominating Mid-Ohio

Ford Cosworth's 300th victory in Champ Car racing came in grand style as Ford Cosworth driver's Adrian Fernandez, Scott Pruett and Bobby Rahal swept the podium in Mid-Ohio. The Ford dominance of the podium marked the first time since 1995 that a single engine manufacturer laid claim to the top-three finishing positions. During the 1995 season, Ford Cosworth-powered teams claimed the podium sweep hat-trick in Detroit, Elkhart Lake and Cleveland. Although the Ford Cosworth XD currently sits second in wins during the 1998 season, rumor up and down pit road is that the Ford Cosworth XD is the engine to have. "I think it's widely acknowledged both amongst the teams and the drivers that, particularly for this year, we have demonstrated a dominance in engine performance," said Ian Bisco, Executive Vice President, Cosworth Racing, Inc. Scott Pruett would tend to agree, "We had a great car [in Mid-Ohio] all race long. Ford did a great job with the engine once again. I beat on it all day," said Pruett, diver of the Visteon Ford Cosworth, who finished second. With the tremendous up-side potential of the XD that the Ford Cosworth engineers believed they, even after two years, the decision to run the XD in 1998 was a no-brainer. "We continue to make gains in performance and fuel economy and dramatic improvements in reliability," said Tim Cunningham, Track Support Manager, Cosworth Racing, Inc. Through Mid-Ohio, the Ford Cosworth XD engine claims the top-spot in both laps completed with over 13,760 and in miles logged with over 23,681. Team Rahal's Bobby Rahal leads both columns. Cunnigham believes the performance advantage of the XD is attributed to the stability of the engine design and configuration. "We are currently the only engine out there which is an evolution of an existing engine model. All of the other engine manufacturers have elected to go down the route of developing a brand new engine. Inevitability that has to have a consequence of some development time to get it up to the equivalent performance and reliability of an existing engine," says Cunnigham. Looking to 1999, the Ford Cosworth powered teams can look forward to a next-generation evolution of this years XD. "We strongly believe that we can still take the XD even further next year," said Bisco. "Typically when you design a totally new package you have to weigh the cost versus the gain and we still see quite a bit of potential with the XD," said Bisco. Having watched the competitors develop new engines for this season, the Cosworth Racing folks feel that they are in the best position for future success. "In our opinion the compromises that you have to make to reduce the physical size of the engine far outweigh the potential benefits of the smaller installation," says Cunningham. "The smaller installation does not appear to have any dramatic influence in the performance of the car, but it does have a significant negative impact on the reliability of the engine, said Cunnigham. "With the way the regulations as they are with the chassises at the moment, the smaller package does not justify the compromises you have to make," said Cunnigham. The Ford Cosworth-powered teams head to Elkhart Lake this weekend where they look to build on the successes of Mid-Ohio.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Bobby Rahal , Scott Pruett , Dan Gurney , Mario Andretti , Jim Clark , Al Unser Sr. , A.J. Foyt