New Ford Technical Support Center focused on motorsportsThu, 15 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Ford is opening a new technical and racing support center in Concord, N.C. The compound will be fully operational this summer, supporting racing teams as they develop and test their cars. The 33,000-square-foot building will eventually help in development of future Ford performance vehicles.
“Motorsports and product development at Ford are interlinked, and this new center will house advanced tools that will serve both our race teams and the development of future Ford performance vehicles,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford global product development.
At first, the facility will focus on all three divisions of NASCAR teams, eventually expanding to other Ford Racing teams in other series.
Technical support will include:
Kinematics machine: This machine can test and measure suspension kinematics -- camber, toe, scrub and various loads with tires and springs. Race teams use this weekly to set up their front suspensions for different track configurations.
Chassis torsional twist rig: Used to quantify the chassis structurally in the torsional mode -- the key parameter for a chassis. It can be used to determine the entire torsional stiffness of the car, the stiffness of the chassis independently, or the influence of various components on the car.
Vehicle center of gravity machine: This is used to precisely measure the center of gravity height of a completed car. It can be used to quantify improvements over time. Race teams generally use the machine once a quarter to gauge progress and test their latest theories.
Coordinate measurement machine: This machine helps teams measure their components for quality control and build simulation models, which allows them to make sure their cars comply with regulations.
“We have enhanced our vehicle dynamics simulation tools to lead the development of Ford Racing cars in NASCAR and IMSA, as well as our street products,” said Nair. “The driving simulator will help us to push handling optimization to the next level so that our cars can be fast right off the trailer, allowing our teams to focus on fine-tuning changes when they get to the track.”
Hopefully the street car development area will be online before the next hot Focus comes around. We think it would be the perfect place to develop a new RS, for American soil.
By Jake Lingeman