Alton, Va. — The fifth annual Pirelli Ultimate Track Car Challenge was held July 22 at the famed Virginia International Raceway and Ford Racing was there waving the Ford banner.
Ford Racing entered a 2012 Boss 302S, one of two turnkey race cars offered by Ford Racing and rooted in the very successful Boss 302 street car.
To get the most from the Boss 302S, former Grand-Am hot shoe Dean Martin handled driving duties with Ford Racing's own Andy Vrenko. With record ambient temperatures hotter than 105 degrees the cooling systems was taxed and the vehicle reliability was truly tested.
In the first morning session, Martin clicked off a lightning-fast lap of 2:02.2, which was the fastest lap for a factory-built car and the fastest time turned by a Ford vehicle. Despite the extreme July heat, the Boss 302S never missed a lap in all three sessions, proving durability testing performed earlier in the year paid off. The Ford Racing Boss 302S also won the Whoa Wonder award for the best braking system on a factory-built car.
Also in attendance was the Boss 302S of George Winkler. He drove his Boss 302S to an excellent lap of 2:03.5, which earned him the distinction of second fastest Ford in attendance. Rounding out the top three fastest Ford drivers was Chris DeSalvo in his 2011 Boss 302S spec Mustang GT with a time of 2:03.6. Both Winkler and DeSalvo are regulars in the World Challenge GTS class and proved their Mustangs were up to the task by then racing in National Auto Sport Association classes all weekend.
Ford Racing's Boss 302S is a turnkey race car, built in the Ford Auto Alliance International assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich., which is designed for sprint races, including the World Challenge Grand Touring Series, NASA American Iron Racing and Super Touring 2 and also makes an excellent track-day car.
Fiesta Spec B racer unveiled
Making its track debut at VIR was the Ford Racing Spec B Fiesta, which extends Ford Racing's commitment to grassroots racers and support of the Spec B class. Spec B allows very few modifications, those allowed inclued a full roll cage, typical safety equipment (racing seats, fire system, racing belts) and the spec Ford Racing coil-over suspension kit. Despite these minimal modifications, the Fiesta showed everyone it was up to the task.
Vrenko took the Spec B racer out on its first official lap and immediately felt comfortable behind the wheel.
"The Spec B Fiesta had excellent grip and good entry into the corners, along with accurate and linear steering," Vrenko said. "The Fiesta driving position was very comfortable and the brakes were confident, which allowed me to out-brake a number of high-dollar exotics attending the event."
Overall it was a great shakedown run of the Fiesta Spec B, which should only get faster with time and additional tuning. The Spec B Fiesta was also a hit off the track with many people inspecting it all weekend. Ford Racing Engineering Supervisor Mark Wilson also noted he received numerous thumbs up as he drove through the paddock.